Consumer Trends in Health and Beauty for 2021

Welcome to what, for better or worse, will inevitably be an eventful 2021.

It’s been a crazy ride over these last 12 months, and as a result, there is a great amount of uncertainty across the board. For us marketers however, that can be a good thing, since uncertainty leads to changes in behaviours, and these changes give us new ways to add value to consumers, customers, and brands.

As you may know from some of our other blog posts, we always strive to provide useful information to our readers and friends, so to help give your marketing an edge, we’ve pulled together a list of the key trends to watch out for in the health and beauty space throughout 2021.

As a quick note, these insights apply to all kinds of marketing activations. Whether you’re looking for short-term tactical wins or perhaps some inspiration for more extended strategic programmes, these health and beauty insights should have you covered.

We’ve identified six macro influences that are impacting the world around us. While none of these will be ‘new news’ to you (hopefully), it’s essential that we recognise what’s going on, so that we can in turn understand why and how the insights have manifested.

We have an energy crisis on our hands. The world is warming, and now we need to be accountable for creating change more than ever.

Secondly, we are faced, day in and day out, with a data overload. We consume more data than ever before – it can be tiring, intimidating and can impact our mental health – all things that will influence the health and beauty space.

We are experiencing a shift in power towards consumers, unlike ever before. It’s both empowering and a huge responsibility. We cannot only dictate how brands ‘show up’ but also why and for what cause.

We are also more health-aware than ever before; aware, not only of our physical health, but our mental wellbeing as well. As a result of this awareness, we’re more knowledgeable and less susceptible to stereotypes or traditions.

We are less concerned about materialism and more concerned about enjoying fulfilling experiences. This has been a growing trend for some time, but in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we crave experiences more than ever.

Finally, there’s social distancing. We can’t get away from it, and it’s something that may remain a part of our lives for some time to come. This means that we must bear it in mind with regards to our marketing plans and activations, be that our route-to-market or our awareness of why we’re socially distancing and how we can support shoppers and consumers.

So this is what’s happening on a global scale, but what does it mean for consumer behaviour?

We have identified the following patterns and trends, so you can use these to align your brand activity to your changing consumers.


The balance of science and nature

90% of consumers say businesses have a responsibility to improve the state of the world, and 69% of consumers believe emerging technologies will fundamentally impact the way they live.

What is it?

How does it make us feel?


Goodbye, shrink & pink, hello gender neutrality.

Recent studies suggest genetics accounts for 50-60% of ageing, which means how we age and what happens to our skin is down to a genetic predisposition, not gender.

What is it?

How does it make us feel?


Functional beauty 

56% of women surveyed recently reported they now feel more confident in their skin, due to weeks of refocusing their beauty routines at home – an unexpected but welcome benefit of lockdown.

What is it?

How does it make us feel?


Small purchase, big impact

96% of people believe their actions (such as donating, recycling and buying ethically) can make a difference. Over half believe these actions can make a huge difference.

What is it?

How does it make us feel?


Direct to my door 

While internet shopping is not new, 46% of internet users worldwide intend to shop more online after the pandemic.

What is it?

How does it make us feel?


Health as social currency 

The fitness social network Strava experienced a 61% uplift throughout April-June 2020.

What is it?

How does it make us feel?


So, you can expect to see these trends emerging and building throughout 2021. Here is a quick a roundup of these key trends:

If you’d like some inspiration on how to leverage these trends for your brand, why not give us a call we’d love to help.

Hungry for more? Check out some more of our webinars and thought pieces here

We’re always striving to improve the content that we share with readers like you, so let us know your thoughts – we’d love to hear from you!