Cosmetics Business reveals the top 5 skin care trends of 2024 in new report

Published: 5-Mar-2024

From the great peptide revival to Gen Alpha's hyper-engagement, this report opens the lid on latest trends to sizzle in skin care

This article was originally published in the Skin Care Trend Report. Receive your copy here

No beauty category gets beauty consumers’ pulses racing quite like skin care.

Whether it’s the discovery of a hot challenger brand, or a highly anticipated breakthrough from a long established leader, the consumer appetite for skin care is growing increasingly voracious – from the very youngest through to older generations.

The proof is in the data. With a global market value hitting $160bn in 2023, skin care sales are sizzling.

Across Europe, sales shot up by 10% in value terms and 9% in units last year, according to Circana, with toners and clarifiers, lip treatments, serums and body care in particular over-indexing versus the category average.

The UK specifically saw prestige skin care grow by 16% in value and 22% in units, while in the US, prestige and mass skin care grew by 16% and 11% respectively.

Although inflation has impacted consumer spending power in some areas, what is clear is that the average consumer is willing to invest in skin care products across most price points, “as long as it’s justified by efficacy and proven results,” says Euromonitor’s Senior Research Analyst Connor Spicer.

This is a factor that has shifted the skin care landscape significantly.

“Established brands which have not responded to the evolving UK consumer continue to see their market share erode at the expense of dermatological brands, such as CeraVe, which resonate strongly with consumers seeking results and efficacy amid high inflation,” says Spicer.

Mid-range brands like The Ordinary and The Inkey List are also driving growth within the prestige market, offering hugely popular products at much lower price points.

Circana notes that The Ordinary is now the number one brand in terms of unit sales in Europe.

But amid the growing competition from newer players, some established mid-range brands like No7 have also become more innovative, and are focusing on ingredient-led launches.

TikTok virality continues to influence the assortment of skin care in physical retailers too.

Viral US skin care brand Bubble – which racked up 49 million views of #bubbleskincare on TikTok in 2023 – launched in the UK in December at Boots’ new Battersea Power Station store and on, selling one product every minute within the first month.

Brand growth within skin care is also being achieved through strategies including brand repositioning and improving accessibility: Elemis, for example, recorded 19% growth in the UK in 2023 according to Kantar.

But skin care is a jar full to the brim with trends, and here, Cosmetics Business opens the lid on five that are shaping the category in 2024.


Trends will be revealed in detail throughout March exclusively to subscribers, so don't miss out and subscribe.


Trend 1: The great peptide revival

“Peptides are the buzzword of the year,” stated board-certified dermatologist Dr Lindsay Zubritsky at Clinique’s latest launch event.

And judging by the extent of innovation focusing on their wide ranging benefits, it seems the entire skin care industry would agree.

But while peptides are taking skin care by storm, it's not for the first time.

Peptides exploded onto the skin care scene in the early 2000s when Matrixyl 3000 and Argireline launched, actives that became widely used by brands across the board from Olay to Chanel.

This trend explores why is there a renewed buzz around these restorative ingredients.

Trend 2: Gen Alpha: skin care's biggest opportunity

Gen Z may still dominate mainstay beauty, but it’s Gen Alpha that has stolen the limelight in recent months.

From the reports of 10-year-olds having a multi-step Drunk Elephant routine, to the ‘Sephora kids’ trend, and concern of an anti-ageing craze among this youngest cohort, Gen Alpha’s beauty industry debut has not been a positive one.

But while their extreme passion for skin care and luxury millennial brands has been met with a sense of astonishment, Gen A’s hyper-engagement in the category is actually not so surprising.

With the oldest of this cohort now 14, this is a generation that has constant access to information and influence.

But education about skin health is sorely needed when speaking to young consumers, as is the need to tackle the broader anti-ageing narrative within beauty. Can brands step up?

Trend 3: Silicone patches

They’re non-invasive, reusable, and they promise to smooth and hydrate the skin: no wonder silicone patches have gone viral.

Silicone patches and masks, which are made from medical-grade silicone and are worn for a specified period of time or overnight to lock in moisture and keep the skin under the mask taut, are no new invention, but they have benefited from a recent surge in attention on social media as a Botox alternative.

On TikTok, #siliconepatches has 141.8m views, while silicone patch brands including SiO Beauty and Wrinkles Schminkles have also seen social media posts go viral.

This trend explores the potential that silicone patches have within the wider skin care landscape.

Trend 4: Seaweed

Maintaining a healthy skin barrier remains one of the biggest trends in skin care in 2024, with brands devoting new innovations to repairing and restoring compromised skin.

So it is little wonder that seaweed, with its myriad of healing and anti-inflammatory benefits, is moving further into the spotlight as a buzzy ingredient.

Seaweed is set for a fresh wave of development as research uncovers more about its secrets in skin barrier repair and protection.

Trend 5: Year-round sunscreen

Wear sunscreen every day, including in winter and even indoors.

It’s deemed the most important skin care step by dermatologists and aesthetic clinicians, brands and journalists, and messaging around year-round sunscreen use is only growing louder in 2024.

Yet, for the most part, brands and dermatologists have a hard time convincing people, particularly in the UK, that they need to apply sunscreen during the winter months, when many feel it is unnecessary.

In fact, the current advice from the World Health Organisation and some other leading health agencies and experts, agrees with them.

This article explores the industry's division over year-round sunscreen use as a must or a myth.

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