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3 Rising Beauty Trends from 2021

2020 was a year where skincare boomed and consumers were excited to try new things, devour educational content, and seek out purpose-driven brands. 

So what trends rose in 2021? We share an analysis that reveals three rising beauty trends that we think may continue into 2022. 

All data above compares December 2019 – November 2020 vs December 2020 – November 2021, in order to a full year-over-year comparison.

Specificity in diverse hair care

Diverse hair care – or hair care for folks with curly, wavy, and otherwise textured hair – saw a rise in 2020. However, data shows that influencers posting content with diverse hair care terms has fallen by 26% in 2021.

What’s interesting is that we’re seeing a simultaneous rise in conversations about specific attributes or challenges for folks with curly, wavy, and textured hair. For example, more folks are talking about hair porosity and individual hair types (e.g. 2A, 3C, 4).

Hair Porosity Content Across All Platforms:

  • +7% active influencers
  • +608% engagements
  • +1159% video views

And, even though the number of influencers posting about specific hair types has fallen, audience engagements and video views are still rising.

Specific Hair Type Content Across All Platforms:

  • -16% active influencers
  • +127% engagements
  • +50% video views

We think this rising trend is due to the fact that the era of general education is over. Now, consumers are looking for content and products that are tailored and address specific needs.

Skincare zones in on sensitivity

We actually think this movement from general education to specific problem solving will be an overarching theme in the next year. Why? We’re seeing it happen in skincare too. 

Sensitive Skincare Content Across All Platforms:

  • -5% active influencers
  • -22% engagements
  • +21% video views

Even more interesting, conversations about specific skin conditions are gaining traction too.

Acne Content Across All Platforms:

  • -20% active influencers
  • -15% engagements
  • +20% video views

Eczema Content Across All Platforms:

  • +1% active influencers
  • +24% engagements
  • +106% video views

Rosacea Content Across All Platforms:

  • +6 active influencers
  • -39% engagements 
  • +7% video views

Some of you may ask the question: why is this still a trend if engagements are down but video views are up? We think this might have something to do with the negative connotation of these topics. Consumers may not “like” a video about having sensitive skin, acne, eczema, or rosacea, but they may watch a video to learn how to solve those issues.

Natural beauty ingredients

According to social data, it appears that influencers and their audiences are interested in incorporating beauty products with more natural ingredients. Two examples? Ayurvedic and mushroom-based beauty products.

Mushroom-based Beauty Content Across All Platforms:

  • +12% activated influencers
  • +19% engagements

Glossy compared the new mushroom trend to CBD beauty – pointing out that they both have a tie to psychedelics and possess atopical (hydrating, anti-inflammatory) and internal (immunity boosting) benefits. But unlike CBD, which worked its way slowly up from indie brands, mushroom beauty seems to have emerged and immediately made it into mainstream beauty brand’s products. 

Tip: If you are looking to incorporate mushrooms, make sure you dedicate time to researching their history! Reishi mushrooms, for example, are a staple of traditional Chinese medicine. Paula’s Choice has done this type of research and acknowledgement well – check it out in this Instagram post about their Super Hydrate Overnight Mask.

Next, Ayurvedic-based beauty products. 

Content Mentioning Hair Care Products with Ayurvedic Ingredients Across All Platforms:

  • -11% activated influencers
  • +338% engagements
  • +486% video views

It’s important to note that Ayurveda is by no means new – Ayurveda is a traditional Indian system of medicine that “aims to preserve health and wellness by keeping the mind, body, and spirit in balance and preventing disease rather than treating it”. When we say it’s a “rising trend” we are simply noting the recent momentum it has gained amongst mainstream influencers, brands, and social audiences. 

There appears to be two general approaches to Ayurvedic beauty products — one simply uses traditional Ayurvedic ingredients like ashwagandha, barberry, brahmi, cardamomum, kumkumadi oil, chickpea flour, and more. For example, Fable & Mane is a hair care brand founded by Akash Mehta that uses ayurvedic ingredients like ashwagandha in its hair and scalp treatment oils. The other approach uses those specific ingredients while applying the holistic philosophy from Ayurvedic practices. For example, some Ayurvedic skincare brands create products tailored for specific skin types or incorporate essential oils to tap into other senses. 

Tip: This trend is interesting because it aligns with some of the other themes we’ve been seeing in beauty. Skinfluencers became popular because they pulled the curtain back on what specific ingredients do what, Ayurvedic beauty has that same educational element. Similarly, many brands are thinking about how the beauty industry overlaps with self care and mental health (e.g. Rare Beauty) — Ayurvedic beauty has that same holistic approach. 

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