Consumer trends in facial skin care are very different from that in body care. That’s according to a report from Influenster, the digital destination where consumers research and review products.
Influenster analyzed more than one million organic and non-incentivized reviews about skin care written by members on its site and app in 2017, and conducted custom research with more than 11,000 members about their daily skin-care habits. Notably, reviews in facial skin care soared by 44 percent, while reviews in body care declined by 57 percent on Influenster’s platform versus 2016.
Within the facial segment, categories that received fewer Influenster reviews in 2017 compared to 2016 are moisturizers, facial sunscreens and face wipes, while masks shot up to become one of the most reviewed formats. Within the body segment, all key formats declined in review volume. “One hypothesis is that the body category is becoming more commoditized. So, while shoppers may still be buying body skin care products they are not talking about it or sharing on social as much,” suggested Susanna Goldfinger, director of Insights at Influenster. However, there are game-changing brands in the body-care category. One such brand is Sol de Janeiro that experienced a surge in buzz because of its focus on Brazilians’ favorite body parts — butt, feet and body hair — that people don’t usually talk about.
Another reason for the uptick in reviews on facial skin care is the buzz generated by indie brands in that category. In fact, indie face skin-care reviews soared by 659 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. While indie masks led the growth in the category, face oils also emerged last year, with Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil as the standout product in terms of generating buzz.
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Not surprisingly, South Korean beauty items got chatter going on Influenster last year. K-beauty products grew by 245 percent in talk on Influenster’s platform. Almost all K-beauty brands grew in reviews including TonyMoly, Dr. Jart, Skinfood and Too Cool for School.
Review growth in luxury face skin care outpaced that of mass face skin care. Buzz about premium face skin-care brands rose over 100 percent from 2016 to 2017. Once again, masks led in growth and volume of reviews with the top review-driven luxury masks coming from Glamglow, Origins and Fresh.
Reviews of luxury makeup removers declined in 2017 compared to 2016, a fact the Influenster team attributed to the stepped-up usage of oils and balms and other cleanser options.
Digging into mass statistics, face skin-care reviews were only up 7 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. Facial cleansers and masks led the small growth in mass face skin-care reviews while face wipes and facial sunscreen experienced a decline. Apricot, charcoal and grapefruit were the ingredients driving the top mass cleansers.
Shifting gears into body skin care, luxury products generating reviews were those with specific functions, such as Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Clinique Body Crème SPF with Solar Smart and StriVectin-SD. As far as indie brands are concerned, the review count in 2017 was highest for Lush Ocean Salt and Body Scrub, Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub and Lush Dream Cream Body Lotion. While Gen X and Gen Y were buzzing about body skin care less in 2017 compared to 2016, Gen Z was surprisingly talking more about this category. This uptick in interest may be attributed to Gen Z’s selfie game in the bathroom and the generation’s love for showing off their bath time rituals on social media.
Even though mass body skin care is the largest segment within body skin care in terms of review volume, it did experience a decline in review volume by 59 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. In fact, all drugstore body brands except SheaMoisture declined in reviews in 2017 compared to 2016. There are a few products that have staying power, according to reviews on Influenster’s platform, such as Dove Beauty Bar and the venerable Vaseline Jelly. Influenster singled out a bright, albeit small, spot in mass body skin care — belly balms that include products like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula and Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy. The headline takeaway is that consumers are excited and talking about facial skin care, especially in luxury and mass, but they seem to be losing a bit of interest and desire to chat about body care.
One other interesting trend emerging from the data is that shoppers could be veering out of the skin-care department for products. For example, coconut oil typically found in a vitamin or food aisle in a grocery store gets frequent reviews attributed to various usages for the skin, including as an eczema treatment and moisturizer.