The personal care product boom is likely here to stay

If there’s one thing we will look back on when we think about 2020, is how more people started looking after themselves again. And this has lead to one of the positive stories of the year- the personal care product boom.

The personal care industry has, in recent years, seen a massive boom. With more people realising the importance of looking after themselves, be it mentally, physically and also aesthetically, they are shelling out a lot of money to try and be at their best.

This happened more in 2020. Google “self-care” and you are likely to get a bunch of personal care products popping up in ads while on the search engine. From major brands and upstarts, it’s an industry that is showing no signs of slowing growth.

What has also helped the industry, is the internet is providing tips and tricks on how to create your own product at home. There is also an increase in the number of brands selling these products, creating healthy competition and various options for many.

This has helped make personal care products, once only for the truly well-heeled with an expendable income, more accessible.

And celebrities are realising that people are interested in this industry and have quickly jumped on the bandwagon.

Recently, rapper Drake announced his plans of entering the industry with his latest enterprise- scented candles. He joins many other celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kacey Musgraves and Erykah Badu, in doing candles that smell like them (and their nether regions). His Better World Fragrance House (BWHF) will debut with five different scented candles, including one which smells “just like Drake”.

Candles are reportedly the latest trend in celebrity merchandise, following the make-up and fragrance boom of the past few years. Technavio, a technology research and advisory company reported that the global scented candles market was valued at $5.4 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow to $7.22bn by 2024.

It’s not only candles. The true game-changer is the essential oils, butters and scrubs section of the personal care industry, which has seen impressive growth over the past two years. Thanks to YouTubers and a bigger focus on self-care, holistic health and treating yourself, many brands have launched products serving a market that cannot get enough of personal care. It’s so popular, that the wellness industry, which personal care falls under, is expected to be worth more than $1.1 trillion by 2023.

Kgomotso Ndungane at the launch of her luxury personal care product range. PICTURE: Craige Mannheim UNPRECEDENTED PICTURES

This would explain the increasing number of people pivoting to personal care. We recently attended the launch of Kgomotso Ndungane’s -businesswoman and wife of former Springbok player, Odwa- personal care brand, LeLaPa. Kgomotso, who was recently nominated in the Business Women Association South Africa regional awards, in the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year category, launched LeLaPa as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected her event planning company, Oak Celebrations.

The LeLaPa luxury oils by Kgomotso Ndungane. PICTURE: Craige Mannheim UNPRECEDENTED PICTURES

The products are a home, body and bath range, featuring essentials oils, scrubs, hand and body creams, room sprays and diffuser oils and candles. They come in various scents, including lemongrass, lemon verbena mandarin, rose geranium lavender, and tea tree sweet orange. We tried the LeLaPa body wash and it cleverly doubles up as a hand wash too. It’s a luxurious scent that lingers on your skin and has a calming effect. It won’t be surprising if hotel chains choose to use the products.

Actress and TV presenter, Pearl Thusi has also entered the personal care race, with her collaboration with the publicist, Yvette Davis Gayle. The Sitota Collection x Pearl Thusi collection features hand-poured soy candles and artisanal soaps made with natural oils and different kinds of butter that promise to nourish your skin. The #BlackRose collection fragrance combines Bulgarian Rose with Black Currant and Sweet Berries.

The #BlackRose collection fragrance combines Bulgarian Rose with Black Currant and Sweet Berries. PICTURE: Austin Malema

With many working remotely and spending more time at home, there’s a need for our houses to be homey and this is helped by using essential oils, whether in your beauty regiment or as diffuser scents. Thanks to social media, where self-care has become a lifestyle and ‘Wellness Wednesday’ is a thing, more consumers are turning to natural products and oils made with natural scents.

The high-stress levels that came with the pandemic and people realising that they had not been taking care of themselves, turned many of them to personal care products to help them create at-home experiences. Bath bombs, shower steamers, body scrubs, candles, oils and sheet masks were all the rage this year.

Skincare is also seeing growth. Few people needed to wear make-up this year as they were at home and if they weren’t at home, they were wearing face masks. This allowed more people to attend to their skin and saw an increase in scrubs, masks, mists, serums and creams that help with taking care of one’s skin.

Earlier this year, Nielsen reported that that mass facial skincare grew more than 22% year-over-year in the first half of 2020.

“The growth of skin care growth will decelerate through 2024, per Euromonitor. NPD data shows that U.S. prestige skin care sales totalled $1.1 billion in Q2, a year-over-year drop of 18%. During that period, e-commerce sales spiked 93% year-over-year.”

While the personal care and skincare industry is booming, the beauty industry is expected to decline, according to a study by McKinsey. In the report, the research company writes that based on the scenarios most expected by global executives and current trends, they estimate that the global beauty-industry revenues could fall 20 to 30 percent in 2020.

“In the United States, if there is a Covid-19 recurrence later in the year, the decline could be as much as 35 percent.” What might help the beauty industry is a bigger focus on health-inspired innovation and also natural and organic product offerings.

With most of the world currently experiencing a second-wave in Covid-19 infections, the personal care industry is likely to grow even more. It is the most popular gift and many brands have been wise to do special gift packs with their biggest personal care sellers.