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Prestige Beauty Swelled 19 Percent in Q1 2022, per NPD Group

Results from the NPD Group for 2022's first quarter shows beauty riding high on a post-pandemic rebound.

Beauty’s post-pandemic momentum shows no signs of slowing down.

According to data on the first quarter of 2022 from the NPD Group, prestige beauty sales in the U.S. reached $5.3 billion, up 19 percent from the same period last year.

The market proved its buoyancy last year — WWD reported sales climbed 30 percent in 2021 — and the same consumer behaviors are continuing, unhampered by inflation and the ebbs and flows of the pandemic. “Beauty has not felt those [factors] at all,” said Larissa Jensen, vice president of beauty at the NPD Group. “It’s the only industry so far, year-to-date, that has positive unit growth, double-digits. If a consumer isn’t going to be able to splurge, we’re not feeling that yet.”

Every category grew double-digits, with makeup still taking the top slot at $1.8 billion, a 22 percent increase. Lipstick sales came roaring back, posting 44 percent gains. Blush and bronzer also jumped by 45 percent and 38 percent, respectively. “The artistry brands are performing the best, and they’re the largest piece of the business,” Jensen said. “That also includes influencer brands. They are the largest, in size, of makeup, so they represent the majority, and they’re growing, and bringing the most volumes.”

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Jensen attributed the growth to consumers continuing their re-emergence into public life following the pandemic, with a growing focus on appearance and less emphasis on at-home self care. In hair care, the same trend took hold. Overall, the category grew 32 percent to $744.7 million, with styling products swelling 35 percent. Hair color also grew double-digits.

Skin care, which gained 11 percent to a volume of $1.6 billion, also benefited from that behavior. Sunscreen was up almost 60 percent, while pandemic-era interest in body skin care remained high. Body grew 26 percent, in contrast to an 11 percent increase in facial skin care.

“Body was the only category in skin care that posted growth in 2020, and we’re seeing that continue as people are going out more,” Jensen said. “With sun, it’s similar, especially as there is a lot more awareness around sun damage.”

Fragrance interest remains high, increasing 18 percent to $1.1 billion. The category got a boost from Valentine’s Day, and consumers are still attracted to higher concentrations and luxury price points. Fragrance juices outpaced the category, with sales soaring 23 percent over last year.

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