France’s online skin care sales skyrocket 123% during lockdown

The NPD Group reports a surge in April 2020 demand as French women learn to spa at home

The recent closure of perfumeries and department stores across France has resulted in an online sales boom of prestige skin care products among French consumers.

According to The NPD Group, e-commerce prestige beauty sales in April 2020 amounted to €21.6m, a 73% increase in value on April 2019. Unit growth was also up 69% on the prior-year period.

The data analysis firm singled out skin care as the primary category behind this spike, promoted by French consumers looking to recreate professional face and body rituals from their bathrooms.

In April 2020, prestige online skin care sales increased by 123% on April 2019's figures, with skin care representing 37% of high-end online purchases. Comparatively, in April 2019, skin care made up just 18% of prestige e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar beauty sales combined.

“After the initial shock of lockdown, which had a significant impact on the prestige beauty market, consumers have adapted their purchasing behaviour and quickly embraced e-commerce,” said Mathilde Lion, Expert Beauté, Europe at The NPD Group.

“Online shopping in the prestige beauty market was a welcome boost for brands and demonstrates the importance that consumers place on maintaining skin care regimes during lockdown, often prioritising this over make-up.”

Facial skin care generated an extra €3.4m in online sales during the month compared with April 2019, a 153% increase, with the strongest contributions coming from face creams, serums, facial exfoliators and masks.

Online sales of body care in France likewise benefitted, with growing demand for body exfoliators, body oils and supplements resulting in a 225% sales bump.

April's sunny weather also created a huge boost in sun care sales among French consumers. Here, sales rocketed 223%.

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