The coronavirus pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, and beauty and skincare is no exception. It’s almost certain that several women around the world have applied lipstick as part of their daily makeup ritual, only to remember it will be covered by a mask. As a result, the emphasis in our beauty routines is shifting: now, the eye area is the focal point. For the BPC industry itself, this presents a new opportunity in the eye care category, as the eyes become the site of the ‘lipstick effect.’
This opportunity is reflected in NPD; inspired by K-beauty eye care routines, we are seeing more and more products like eye masks, eye creams, and sheet masks appearing on the market. However, as market demands continue to shift and evolve, how can the BPC industry meet this demand in an agile, innovative way?
Meeting the demand for de-stressing beauty post-pandemic
It’s widely reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on consumers’ mental health, and thus, their attitudes and spending behaviors. For example, in the US, 59% of 18-34-year-old women agree that mental well-being has become a higher priority since the outbreak (Mintel, 2020). Therefore, consumers are on the lookout for products that heal and soothe: currently, 35% of Brazilian consumers aged 16-34 are interested in hair care products with fragrances that help them relax (Mintel, 2020).
These data present a significant opportunity in the eye care space, as many manifestations of stress and fatigue occur around the eyes. In the face of the pressure of a post-pandemic society, consumers will be looking for anti-stress, anti-dark circle products that help them look and feel fresher – and this is further emphasized as massive mask usage draws more attention to the eye area.
A multidimensional, inclusive trend
Of course, the stresses of the pandemic isn’t only an issue that affects female consumers. Men, too, are feeling the pressures of the crisis and are looking for products that alleviate stress. Pre-COVID-19, men were already stressed: 28% of men in the UK reported feeling stressed or anxious at least three times a week, rising to 44% of those aged 16-24 (Mintel, 2020). Certainly, these levels have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and may continue to rise as we feel the fall out.
Considering the eye area often reveals the symptoms of stress, there is a substantial opportunity to develop eye care targeted at men. However, to deliver meaningful impact, brands need to be sensitive to the cultural climate surrounding men’s skin care. Younger consumers, particularly Generation Z, believe that BPC products should be gender neutral – and considering its particularly young consumers that are reporting stress and anxiety, there is a double opportunity here. This inclusive, gender neutral shift is already occurring in lucrative Korean markets, so brands should take notice.
Why natural ingredients should be the star of new formulas for the eye area
The eye area is the new beauty focus: consumers are looking for de-stressing, caring products for the area that’s the new focal point of the face. Moreover, this demand is genderless, expanding the market for such products now and into the future. But how should brands approach formulations? The answer is they should remain in line with one of the most significant beauty trends of the last decade – and one which is set to grow in the wake of the pandemic – natural ingredients.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new concerns around product safety and consumers are finding comfort in nature. With familiar, soothing scents and ‘healthy halo’ associations, natural ingredients should take center stage in products with de-stressing claims. Equally, as the eye area becomes the new site of the ‘lipstick effect’, brands should seek to develop products that have both instant results and long-term benefits.
This is why Provital developed Eye’fective™: with a blend of two white flowers, hawthorn and Arabian jasmine, this product has a multi-functional effect on the eye contour. This is achieved by improving blood flow and increasing bilirubin degradation, which instantly reduces the appearance of bags and dark circles. With instant effects to calm and brighten, and longer-term anti-aging and hydrating properties, this ingredient seeks to meet the demand for enhanced eye care head-on.