Prestige beauty booms in the UK with changing consumer habits

By Austyn King | Published: 30-May-2022

The high end beauty sector reported double digit growth in the first quarter of 2022, with lip care, skin care and fragrance driving success

The UK's prestige beauty market enjoyed double digit sales growth in the first quarter of 2022 as consumers adopt new beauty habits, according to the latest figures by analyst The NPD Group.

The lip sector saw some intriguing developments as total lip make-up sales fell 20% in April 2022 compared to the same period in 2019; however, sales of all other lip products saw a glossy 61% increase.

Lip gloss sales jumped 20%, in a move thought to be driven by a changing retail landscape and more consumers adopting a hybrid mode of working in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is prompting them to choose more hydrating, plumping and moisturising alternatives to the traditional lipsticks, The NPD Group said.

“It is interesting to see the new stars emerging as consumers opt for lip products with benefits to hydrate and protect their lips,” said Emma Fishwick, Account Manager at NPD UK Beauty.

“More broadly, skin care continues to be a popular part of consumer’s beauty regimes, especially with the growth of face and body supplements.”

Prestige beauty bounces back:

Skin care sales were up 15% in the first quarter of 2022, with face serums jumping by 80% and supplements by 73% compared to Q1 2019 as consumers continue to embrace the 'skin care as self care' movement kickstarted by the pandemic.

Body devices, meanwhile, increased more than five times in Q1 2022 (512%), while body supplements enjoyed similar success with a 196% increase compared to the same period in 2019.

Fragrance, however, remained the prestige category's star performer with sales of £263m in the first quarter of 2022, up 6% on the same time in 2019.

Niche scents were a notable driver of the sector's growth, as well as larger sizes and stronger concentrations, according to The NPD Group.

The growth follows a strong Christmas season, which saw 2021 fragrance sales over the festive period surge by 53% and 31% compared to 2020 and 2019 respectively and male-marketed scents perform particularly well compared to their female counterparts.

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