The mask has dropped: Google’s skin care trends to watch

The mask has dropped: Google’s skin care trends to watch

Masks. That’s the one word that sums up the biggest thing in beauty right now, according to Think with Google’s Beauty Trends – Skin Care Edition report. Released last Friday, it reveals what beauty consumers are looking for right now in the US, France and Japan.

And okay, spoiler alert, we did kinda give away the punch line in the very first word but, drilling down, there’s some fascinating micro-trends growing in each country at the moment, as authors Olivier Zimmer and Yarden Horwitz explain, “Trends evolve differently in each market based on cultural behaviors and values. For instance, a trend in the US may evolve to cross products and uses. France, on the other hand, will add an organic or natural spin to new trends.” The mask trend is a case in point, says Zimmer and Yarden, originating in Japan, its playing out differently in each market.

In the US, for example, acne dominates the list of chief skin care concerns, with masks formulated with clay, charcoal and mud the most popular choice to remove excess oil, eliminate blackheads and promote clear skin. Here, sheet masks are very much viewed as providing hydration, while in Japan, a sheet mask provides a solution to just about any problem – including acne, and in France, it’s all about the peel.

What sets the mask apart from other skin care rituals today, however, is its sociability and, ultimately, social media appeal. From celebrities posting sheet mask selfies to influencers vlogging about the sensorial experience and results, this is a trend that could bring skin care some of that magic make-up has been enjoying and see sales soar as a result. And viewing figures are crazy-high – 98 million total views for the top 10 mask-related skin care videos in the US, France and Japan.

In short, a mask has everything a product in 2017 needs, instant results for those impatient millennials, sociability for a hygge element – check out The Innovation Company’s Nordic Beauty Peat for the ultimate Scandi-chic ritual – and endless segmentation possibilities from the function to the occasion – to wit, Aveda’s Wedding range – and even the body part.

Yes, in Japan, where the craze originated, search terms are evolving to reveal an interest in masks for hands and feet. This could play out very well in France, where cellulite continues to be a chief concern. Bring out an anti-cellulite peel and you’re onto a winner here.

Meanwhile, Japan’s next big thing is carbonated cleansing, and given the search term carbonated clay mask has soared 5030 percent year-on-year in the US, it’s likely we’ll be seeing this trend cross the pond any day now. The US’ thirst for all things vegan beauty, however, is yet to gain traction in Japan, and is still in its infancy in France.

And the one thing that’s always been a thorn in the heel of the mask industry – homemade – is transitioning in a rather lucrative way. First, says Google, with terminology, which in the US is now skewed toward ‘DIY’ over ‘homemade’ or ‘recipe’ – a whole different kettle of fish for the marketing departments out there. For example, with DIY, there’s a chance to market make-your-own kits, while homemade is just someone with an avocado and a blender. Companies like Hello Glow, Menos Mas, Beauty Chef and Local Rose have been capitalizing on this trend with ingredient kits delivered to your door but the real development has to be a recent launch from Lauder-owned Clinique (admittedly in the make-up arena) – BIY (Blend it Yourself) pigment drops. A perfect example of borrowed terminology to tread a middle ground between made-for-you and the make-your-own crew.

Now someone go make an instant, carbonated, certified vegan mask with a DIY element and watch the $$$ roll in.