UK women cutting number of products in skincare routine

The latest trend to take the beauty world by storm is a stripped back skincare regime, with 28% of UK women reducing the number of products in their routine over the past year.

Women are moving away from multi-step routines, with the number of those using one product to cleanse their face rising from 25% in 2018 to 28% in the 12 months to May 2019, found Mintel’s Women’s Facial Skincare Report.  

Facial cleansing wipes have also fallen out of favour, dropping from 54% to 43% in the same time period – although this may be a result of the movement to clamp down on single-use plastics, while facial toners are also being removed from routines, falling from 29% to 25%. 

Millennial women (aged 20–29) are the group most likely to have simplified their routines, with more than half (54%) having already removed products from their regime, the report found. Mintel predicts that the women’s facial skincare market will decline by nearly 1% this year, falling to an estimated £1.6 billion from £1.17bn in 2018. 

“A growing number of UK women are turning away from the multi-step K-Beauty routine, hoping to reach the same glowing result without having to put the time in. This need for simplicity has pushed them towards minimalist skincare products with more intense active ingredients, such as serums and oils,” said Alex Fisher, global skincare analyst at Mintel. 

“Disposable wipes have been hit particularly hard as consumers become more aware of the product’s negative effects on the environment. As sustainability grows in importance, many beauty consumers are deliberately cutting out these single-use products.” 

Which products are the most affected? 

Usage of face products in general has also taken a tumble in the past 12 months, the report found, with the number of women using a day cream/lotion declining from 66% to 60%, night cream from 48% to 44%; and blemish balm (BB), colour correct (CC) and daily defence (DD) creams slumping from 21% to 15%. 

The make-up industry has been affected by the simplicity trend as more clients opt for naturally radiant skin – 31% who wear make-up are buying colour cosmetics less frequently now compared to last year, and 19% have spent less on the category in the past 12 months. 

However, face oils and serums are immune to the shift, with 40% of women using facial caring products and associating these items with being “nourishing” and providing a healthy “glow”. As such, 20% of female skincare users think of serums as “brightening”, representing radiance and luminosity.  

Have you cut down your skincare regime? Tell us why below.