Trend report: The rise of the DIY consumer in beauty

September 10, 2020
Cynthia Nakad


Though the beauty industry has proved its resilience in the past, the global coronavirus pandemic was bound to impact it in more ways than one. From salon closures to social distancing measures and suspended in-store testing, consumers were forced to quickly reinvent their usual beauty and self-care routines—and we wanted to find out how they did it. We surveyed over 3300 Sampler users to take a closer look into their self-care regimens in a post-Covid era and here’s what we found:

There’s a leap in DIY culture

Two people with face masks on sampling DIV beauty products sitting on a couch looking at each other.

Perhaps one of the most striking trends we’ve noticed is consumers’ intent to take a do-it-yourself approach in beauty and self-care. When asked how they feel about their at-home beauty and self-care routine, 47% of consumers said they’ve actually found it enjoyable and therapeutic at home and will continue to do it themselves even after social distancing measures have been lifted. After sheltering at home for prolonged periods of time, not only have consumers become increasingly self sufficient when it comes to their beauty routines, but it seems to have become a joyful pastime. In addition to this, at-home self-care is offering consumers peace of mind when it comes to health and safety -- one they don’t plan on giving up anytime soon. In fact, 37% of respondents said that although they prefer getting beauty and self-care services done professionally, they feel safer doing it themselves at home. In contrast, only 16% of respondents said they prefer getting it done by a professional and plan to go back to salons upon reopening.

If the majority of consumers don’t intend to rely on beauty professionals as they once did, brands are faced with a new opportunity to cater to their new home-based needs. From DIY kits to online tutorials and at-home beauty boxes, brands should look to offer their savvy consumers the tools they need to replicate the salon experience at home. Getting products that promote self-care and wellness in front of their consumers is a unique opportunity for brands to connect with them in new and memorable ways - even more so at a time when beauty and self-care are becoming a way to ease stress and anxiety during uncertain times.

Consumers are more health-conscious than ever

Toothbrushes, soap bars, body scrubs, serum and beauty products all pictured on top of a marble countertop.

Fears of health and safety amid the pandemic have also impacted consumers’ priorities when it comes to product attributes. In fact 72% of respondents indicated that COVID-19 has strengthened their preference for healthier and cleaner ingredients in their beauty and skincare products. Consumers seem to be placing a much larger emphasis on health amid the pandemic and these numbers indicate that cleaner ingredients and healthier products are quickly becoming the minimum standard in beauty.

If consumers are shopping more consciously post pandemic, brands should pay close attention to the types of products they’re gravitating towards. 57% of respondents said that all natural and clean ingredients are the most important attributes to them in beauty and skincare after COVID-19 while 27% answered cruelty-free is of most importance to them when shopping for products. If brands want their products to form part of consumers’ self-care and beauty rituals moving forward, they need to consider ways to complement their ethical and healthy lifestyle.

The era of the minimalist

Someone testing makeup product samples in front of a personal mirror sitting down on a chair in front of a window.

With fewer places to go, consumers have unsurprisingly embraced a more simplistic approach to their beauty and self-care. We asked consumers how their routines have changed since COVID-19 and 55% said they are wearing less makeup than before and 62% said they are paying more attention to their skincare. With makeup being placed on the back burner, skincare seems to be booming as consumers seek ways to pamper and comfort themselves through stressful times. Encouraging spa-like home treatments and indulgent routines will go a long way in resonating with consumers. Beauty routines that were once focused on a fast paced and on-the-go lifestyle, are now replaced with slower, more relaxed rituals.  


Consumers are demonstrating in more ways than one that they’re reinventing their approach to beauty and self-care. Wellness is now a top priority, do-it-yourself is becoming the new norm, and clean ingredients are no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have. Now more than ever, brands need to find ways to foster a direct relationship with their targeted consumer if they want to keep up with their ever changing needs.


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