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Self-care emerges as the prime focus as beauty brands gear up for the new normal

With most people still largely confining themselves to their homes and continuing in the work/ study from home mode, personal grooming rituals have changed in the pandemic times. Where in the pre-COVID-19 times salon visits were a regular affair, now people have their beauty and personal care regimen at them home.

According to HUL Beauty & Personal Care FY2021 performance report, Beauty & Personal Care grew 20% with Skin Cleansing, Hair Care and Oral Care delivering high double-digit growths. Skin Care portfolio registered strong performance in Hand & Body Care and Face Cleansing segments. Colour Cosmetics performance improved sequentially as consumers are using make-up as a morale booster while working from home and attending numerous official calls in the virtual mode.

Commenting on the shift in consumer behaviour, Dipali Mathur Dayal, CEO, Co-Founder Super Smelly Super Smelly, observed, “There is a shift in consumer behaviour from the need of instant gratification to focusing on self-care and good health, with people starting to actively make conscious choices towards healthier products that are not just good for us, but also for the environment. This has led to a switch in preferences from the traditional mainstream skincare products to niche and clean skincare solutions. This means skincare that is vegan, cruelty-free, toxin-free, eco-friendly, locally sourced, prepared in smaller and fresh batches.”

Pandemic has shifted what people have been looking for. Caring for your skin, hair and body has taken precedence over the need to do quick-fix make-up. As people are more in touch with their needs, they are looking for longer-term effective care for their skin. Hence, they are investing in superior products, decluttering their shelf and going for the long-term self-care.

Vivek Singh, Co-founder, Anveya, noted, “When it comes to beauty and personal care, people have been increasingly making choices for themselves and have been becoming less dependent on what is being advertised by the big media. They have been choosing to educate and equip themselves basis their own sensibilities. The result is a rise and success of brands that are bringing products with superior value than what the market has been offering to consumers so far.”

To someone who has always been a beauty enthusiast, maybe splurging more on luxury brands is feasible, but for most users the prices need to be in the affordable range. Commenting on whether pricing plays an important role in these times, Manish Chowdhary, Co-Founder, WOW Skin Science, remarked, “No doubt price is a factor people consider while buying and Indian audiences are known to be price-sensitive, but the tide is changing and consumers are ready to pay for quality products which are truly effective and fall within an affordable range.”

Looking at the current scenario, women are eager to try out new skincare products at home, self-care has become immensely important. They are more aware of the benefits of using natural and toxin-free products. With testing not possible during these times, women get sceptical to try new products on their skin. Several brands have come up with unique communication strategies to bridge this gap. A spokesperson from Pilgrim shared, “We have used social media as a tool to connect with our audience and get feedback on our products. Having a digital presence is very important in today’s time and we look forward to continuing more of it in the future.”

“We always think from a consumer’s point of view rather than a businessman’s point of view. Show the consumers what they want to see and not what you want them to see. We understand our TG, then market products based on their concerns or needs. That’s the key!” Shaurya Shah, E-commerce Director, Richfeel added.

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