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COMMENT: The evolution of beauty and the opportunity for B2B buyers

Michela Rubegni

By Michela Rubegni, EU marketing director,

The UK beauty and personal care industry is thriving.

According to Mintel, retail sales through specialist health and beauty retailers rose 4.9% in 2022 to £12.9 billion. Over the coming years, it predicts the market will continue its positive trajectory, reaching £13.6 billion in 2027.

Against this backdrop, shifting consumer preferences and lifestyles, increased consumer awareness around environmental issues, and technological innovations are re-shaping the industry. These trends present significant opportunities for UK B2B wholesale beauty buyers.

At, one of the world’s leading B2B ecommerce marketplaces, we’ve seen a 42% year on year (YoY) increase in the number of sustainable beauty products listed on the platform. This has largely been driven by millennial and Gen Z consumers, who are more conscious of the environmental impact of their choices.

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Sustainable beauty is all about using natural ingredients that are eco-friendly and ethical in their production. This includes organic skincare, plant-based hair care and biodegradable make-up remover wipes. Sustainable beauty is not just limited to the ingredients in the products, but also extends to the packaging, manufacturing and the overall impact on the environment.

Using upcycled or recycled materials are becoming more commonplace in the industry, with products like shampoo bars, lip balms, and makeup palettes featuring recycled paper and packaging. Brands are also repurposing materials like coffee grounds and fruit waste to make exfoliants and face masks.
Savvy consumers are also switching to eco-friendly and water-efficient beauty options that only benefit the planet but also save time and money.

The cost of water and the energy to heat it is on the rise, and many beauty products, such as shampoos and body washes, require a lot of water to rinse off. However, some brands are now offering waterless alternatives, such as dry shampoos and body wipes.

According to Mintel, the waterless beauty product market is expected to grow by 20% annually. Reflecting this trend, we’ve seen 190% more enquiries on for resource-saving beauty products.

With fast-paced lifestyles, consumers are increasingly on the lookout for products that offer multiple benefits in one easy-to-use package. These ‘all-in-one’ , multi-tasking products are designed to simplify the beauty routine.

They include products like BB creams that combine moisturiser, sunscreen and foundation, and hair and body washes that condition in one step. One of the fastest growing segments in the beauty industry is anti-aging products that target skin rejuvenation and fine-line reduction, including anti-wrinkle creams, serums, face masks and facial oils.

The rise of social media has played a significant role in the growth of the anti-aging trend. According to a survey by Skinstore, 60% of women aged 18-34 use anti-aging products regularly due to social media influence. With a growing market size and increasing demand from younger consumers.

The at-home beauty trend has skyrocketed with consumers seeking products that provide a spa-like experience within the comfort of their own home. These include convenient and affordable beauty solutions such as DIY nail kits and skincare masks. As many consumers continue to prioritise self-care and work from home, the at-home beauty market is projected to grow 7.9% by 2025.

The concept of total personal care – from head to toe – is also gaining traction. Consumers are becoming more focused on maintaining healthy skin for the entire body.

This is driving demand for gentler scalp and skin treatments. Speciality beauty products, specifically designed to address a particular skin or hair type, are becoming increasingly popular among consumers who want personalised solutions for their beauty needs.

Finally, Vitamin C is adding a little more zest in beauty product line-ups. The use of Vitamin C in products such as serums, face masks and moisturisers are testament to its skincare and eco-friendly benefits, plus its consumer appeal.

This reflects the Vitamin C beauty boom – according to Mintel, 38% of skincare launches in 2019 contained Vitamin C.

As the beauty industry undergoes rapid transformation, I would encourage B2B buyers to stay attuned to these shifts in consumer behaviour and seek to capitalise on key trends to unlock future business growth.

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