Skincare gets savvy – do increased ingredient Google searches spell a new future for the consumer market?

Skincare gets savvy – do increased ingredient Google searches spell a new future for the consumer market?

If there’s one thing that 2020 has given rise to in the beauty world, it’s the upsurge in demand for skincare products. With consumers the world over having infinitely more time on their hands, and infinitely less need for make-up due to lockdown periods and the new normal mask wearing, our thirst for all things skin wellness has witnessed a huge rise. What this extra down time has also allowed the majority of us, is the time to educate and inform ourselves on just what we require from our products, and more tellingly, what should be in them, with this year’s top skincare searches highlighting just what consumers are looking for. Research from Cult Beauty showed that the top 10 comprised of Vitamin C, Retinol, Castor Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalane, Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Witch Hazel, Niacinamide and Ceramides respectively, with many ingredients reporting staggering increases in searches when compared year on year. 

Vitamin C, for example, witnessed a 204 percent increase in searches from last year, with over one million searches and ‘What does Vitamin C do for your skin’ being the most asked question. What it does is promote anti-ageing, and given the circumstances of the last six months it’s little wonder consumers are concerned about feeling, and looking, aged.

Anti-ageing stalwart retinol has also seen a surge of enquiries, hitting just under one million searches, so, it’s unsurprising that Walgreens Boots Alliance is stepping up its retinol game, having announced its first ever digital skincare launch for its ‘next generation’ product, the No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate.

Meanwhile number four ingredient hyaluronic acid was cited by Cult Beauty as ‘the one to watch’, with 19,280 searches in 2020 in comparison to 9,280 last year. More telling of the consumer psyche this year, this wrinkle reducer garnered a 400 percent increase in the question, “What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?” AmorePacific was ahead of the game on this, having added the ingredient to its new vegan-friendly lifestyle brand, Enough Project. Indeed, such is the popularity, and apparent efficacy of the ingredient, that Neutrogena added it to its debut hair care line Neutrogena Health Scalp in a bid to bring the ‘science of skincare’ to the hair care market. 

But what do these searches mean for the consumer skincare market? While a focus on anti-ageing is no revelation, it’s clear that 2020 has seen even more consumers grow concerned about ageing and how to combat it. What the huge rise in skincare searches shows is that shoppers are getting increasingly savvy and knowledge-thirsty about the exact ingredients that can be found in their products. While pre-GVC ‘anti-aging’ labels may have been enough to satiate, post-pandemic skincare consumers are wearier, wiser and looking for specifics. Broad anti-ageing claims are seemingly no longer enough. With time on their hands, the data shows that consumers are getting technical, with the statistics purporting that interest in specific ingredients has skyrocketed and skincare fans aren’t afraid to do their own research. It seems that a strategic and specific approach to skincare is the new route to success in a post-pandemic world.