Beauty Switches to Wellness from the Cosmetic
The cosmetic is losing its monopoly of the beauty market.
Beauty buyers worldwide express an increased wellness consciousness.
Wellness discourse reveals what beauty consumers really want.
Wellness has become a synonym of beauty. As we
have previously explained
consumers believe that skin appearance can be dramatically improved by reducing stress or increasing energy. The cosmetic is no longer
THE reference point.
Beauty buyers have enthusiastically embraced wellness. Wellness
is the prism through which people now understand beauty. This can be
seen in the appropriation of wellness terms by the beauty
discourse. Words such as 'energy', 'de-stressing' resonate with
buyers. They get it.
So frequently is the word beauty omitted from these discussions,
that it is has become conspicuous by its absence. Beauty, especially
skincare, can now be discussed, delivered and bought without the
actual B word itself ever being mentioned. There is no contradiction
or confusion in the minds of buyers who believe that wellness
delivers beautiful (e.g., clearer, younger looking) skin as, or more,
effectively than many cosmetic products.
Wellness as beauty is a bottom up development which is, and has
been, 100% driven by changes in buyer behaviour and
regimes. Up till relatively recently, it was the regime of
certain consumer segments – in the most developed markets – which
defined beauty. But now beauty experts in Europe, the USA and
beyond report that consumers take a very holistic approach to beauty. Beauty regimes
can now be defined by wellness rather than the narrowly cosmetic.
Wellness as beauty was pioneered by innovative beauty spas/ salons
in cities like London
, New York and Los Angeles
which were in tune with changing consumer needs. The
online and social media
democratised this trend, popularising the wellness discourse
with beauty buyers around the globe. Our research shows that
consumers in less developed (Africa
) markets are as
likely to look to wellness as cosmetic for their beauty needs.
These millions of new consumers, who are critical to the future
of the beauty industry, come with different skin and haircare
traditions and rituals. A striking example is
, one of the largest
skincare markets, where acupuncture - which epitomises
wellness - is widely used for beauty.
We can see that buyers are voting with their feet and it is
up to companies to adapt their products to meet the demands of
beauty as wellness. Our research shows that it has been
'new' entrants, which redefined beauty as wellness, that
have benefited. The legacy companies, which were so heavily invested in the cosmetic concept that they owned, have been much slower to appreciate the
implications of, and react to, changes in consumer behaviour.
Diagonal Reports has been researching consumer demand for
wellness as beauty globally and tracking buyer behaviour since
first identifying this trend.
Contact for fuller details on wellness as beauty research