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U.S. Prestige Beauty Sales Totaled $18 Billion Last Year

Skin care — particularly natural skin care — is driving growth, says a new report from The NPD Group.

U.S. makeup sales may be sliding, but skin care is showing promise.

The U.S. prestige beauty market drove $18.8 billion in sales in 2019, according to a new report from The NPD Group. Makeup remains prestige beauty’s largest category, driving $7.6 billion in sales, followed by skin care, which totaled $5.9 billion in 2019.

Overall, prestige beauty sales remained flat over 2018. Makeup sales declined by 7 percent, while skin care grew by 5 percent and fragrance was up by 2 percent. Hair experienced the most growth, up 16 percent.

The decline in makeup sales stems from a general decline in makeup usage, said NPD, though vice president and beauty industry adviser Larissa Jensen predicts the category will pick up within the next couple of years.

“‘Natural’ is a big buzz word in many industries, especially beauty — in terms of product ingredients as well as consumers looking to achieve a more natural look. How makeup responds to this movement will be key to its revival,” said Jensen in a statement. “Historically, NPD data has detected a shift between makeup and skin care every four to five years. Based on this, and the slowdown in makeup that began to take hold in 2017, I anticipate we’ll see makeup rebound in the next one to two years.”

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Natural skin-care brands represented 30 percent of the prestige skin-care market, according to the report. Natural skin-care sales grew by 14 percent and were driven by cleansers, moisturizers and targeted treatments such as acne treatments, brighteners, exfoliators and lip treatments.

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Perfumes and eau de parfums drove fragrance sales, which reached $4.5 billion. NPD reports that artisanal fragrances remain the fastest-growing category within fragrance, though top-ranked designers brands continue to generate the most sales.

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