New Report Forecasts Which Beauty Industries Will Thrive Or Take The Hardest Hit

beauty products
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We often joke that Black women will keep the beauty industry going no matter what is happening in the world. Hairstylists and nail techs are like doctors: there will always be a demand.

[SEE ALSO: 10 Hair Do’s & Don’ts While Social Distancing]

But, with social distancing and sheltering at home the new normal, our beauty go-tos are closed and everyone wants to know what is going to happen next in the beauty industry.


A new report, Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Cosmetics & Toiletries Market, shares that the $75 billion “U.S. cosmetics and toiletries market is on track to experience the sharpest decline ever recorded” in the past 60 years. The last two drops, .8% and .3%, were during the 2009 and 1991 recessions, respectively.

New forecasts anticipate a decline of 2.5% in 2020, with the best-case scenario reflecting a 1.5% gain and the worst-case scenario at an 8.1% drop.

“Given the unprecedented situation that is unfolding globally as both a health crisis as well as a financial one, it is not surprising that the beauty market should experience its worst performance now,” said Carrie Mellage, vice president of Kline’s Consumer Products Practice. “Even our worst-case scenario of ‑8% probably does not feel steep enough given the dark days we are all living, but there are enough essential categories in the mix to keep the market stable.”

The good news, however, is that it is slated to bounce back faster than other industries. “Compared to other industries, the beauty market is fairly recession-proof, and its products will continue to be desired by consumers—both for meeting basic needs as well as an indulgence,” added Mellage.

In fact, lipsticks performed exceptionally during well during the four recessions from 1973 to 2001 — and eye makeup in the most recent 2008-2009 recession.

The report also broke down the industry into four categories, sharing which ones are expected to thrive and which ones will suffer the most:

  • Rescue categories, such as hand sanitizers and liquid hand soaps, will continue to experience spiked levels
  • Everyday basics, like shampoos and deodorants, are expected to keep consistent sales
  • Soothing solutions such as facial skincare and nail polishes are expected to decline in the near term. The report says those items, however, may benefit from consumers turning to them as a treat and/or to maintain or establish a part of their routine they can still control
  • Can-wait categories including fragrances and color cosmetics are expected to decline sharply and continue to suffer during the economic fallout in the years to come

Click here to view the report and full forecast for all 20 product categories.

About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is digital media director for Hype Hair and founder/Black beauty director for Sadiaa Black Beauty guide, the top hair and beauty directory for women of color.