The biggest beauty news stories of 2023

Published 20th Dec 2023 by Ellen Cummings

It’s been an eventful year for the beauty industry – featuring everything from proposed regulations and awards announcements to the return of make-up competition Glow Up and the end of Decléor’s production.

To round up the year, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 biggest beauty news stories of 2023 based on our most viewed articles.

 1. Updates on aesthetic licensing and regulation

At the end of January 2023, the Government confirmed its commitment to the licensing of the non-surgical aesthetics sector in England.

Following this, in September the Government opened a public consultation regarding the parameters of licenses for aesthetic treatment practitioners.

To the concern of many in the industry, several treatments that are currently regularly performed by beauty therapists would be restricted if the licence scheme were to go ahead with the proposed red, amber and green treatment categorisations that were drafted up for the consultation.

Beauty professionals were encouraged to feed back their thoughts on the categorisations and the scheme as a whole during the consultation period, which ended on October 28.

The Government has not yet revealed the outcome of the consultation but keep an eye on our website for any updates. 

Read the article: Government consultation on aesthetic licenses: what does it mean for beauty professionals

2. Sephora opened stores in the UK 

In March, iconic beauty retailer Sephora opened its first UK store after an absence of nearly two decades. 

This store in Westfield White City was followed by another in Westfield Stratford in November.

Much to the excitement of Northern beauty fans, another store has recently been announced for Manchester’s Trafford Centre.

Read the article: Sephora announces Manchester store

3. Decléor ceased production

In October, L'Oréal announced its plans to cease production of spa brand Decléor, with supply to salons and spas ending in December. 

In a letter to Decléor's salon and spa accounts, seen by Professional Beauty, L'Oréal said Decléor had experienced "a heavy impact from the international economic and health crisis of the past years, which has aggravated the fragility of the brand and impacted its viability".

Read the article: L’Oréal to end production and supply of spa brand Decléor 

4. Public concern over gel nails following increase in allergies 

In April, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) reissued a warning about allergic reactions linked to gel nail enhancements following consumer media coverage.

The warning caused concern for some nail professionals who thought clients might be discouraged from booking nail treatments – although the DIY at-home gel kits popularised by consumers during the pandemic were blamed for many of the cases of allergies. 

However, it’s important that professional nail techs know how to protect both their clients and themselves from contact allergies, so we asked nail experts to share their best practice

Read the article: Dermatologists issue fresh warning about safe use of gel systems following increase in allergies

5. Glow Up returned – and you loved it  

The hit make-up competition returned to screens for a fifth series in May, with 10 aspiring MUAs competing to be crowned Britain’s Next Make-Up Star.

The MUAs competed in a host of new challenges, from a day working on the set of Netflix period drama Bridgerton to a challenge that merged make-up with the metaverse.

The series was won by Saphron Morgan, following in the footsteps of series four winner, Yong-Chin Breslin.

Read the article: Meet the cast of Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-up Star series five

6. Professional Beauty Awards 2023 winners announced 

In March we revealed the winners of the Professional Beauty Awards 2023, celebrating outstanding salons, spas, clinics and practitioners in the beauty and spa industry.

The awards were held at The Brewery in London on March 5, with the event hosted by Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke.

Traffic for awards news spiked again in October when we revealed the Professional Beauty Awards 2024 finalists

The 2024 awards will return to The Brewery on March 3, 2024 – get your tickets here.

Read the article: Professional Beauty Awards 2023 winners announced

7. Salon Hygiene and Safety Rating Scheme launched

The Salon Hygiene and Safety Rating Scheme was launched to provide advice to beauty professionals and give consumers confidence that they are choosing a salon or professional that is skilled, qualified, insured, safe and hygienic. 

The scheme was created in a similar model to the well-known Food Hygiene Rating scheme, and was launched to the trade during a seminar at Professional Beauty North on September 24.  

It was created by nail expert Marian Newman on behalf of the Federation of Nail Professionals (FNP), along with Sandra Moore, a registered Environmental Health Officer, plus a team of experts including aesthetic trainer Andrew Hansford, beauty trainer and chief executive of The Hair & Beauty Charity Helen Ward, beauty expert Kim Ford, Sam Blake of The Safer Salon Geek, and therapist and educator Sam Marshall.

Read the article: Marian Newman and team to launch Salon Hygiene and Safety Rating Scheme

8. UK’s most popular beauty and aesthetic treatments revealed 

In April, laser hair removal, builder gel and microblading were among the most searched beauty treatments in the UK, according to new data. 

The study also looked at which areas of the country favour which treatments. It found that Greater London is the city searching the most for beauty and aesthetic treatments, with 109,690 online searches in total each month.

Read the article: UK’s most popular beauty and aesthetic treatments revealed

9. Government reinstated animal testing ban

In November, the Government confirmed a full ban on licenses for animal testing for all ingredients used exclusively in cosmetic products.

Minister of State Tom Tugendhat announced that “legacy licences” are no longer valid, stating, “No animal testing is now authorised in Great Britain of chemicals that are exclusively intended to be used as ingredients in cosmetics products.” 

This followed an announcement from the Home Secretary in May which said that no new licenses for chemicals used in cosmetics tests would be authorised, but that the remaining legacy licenses would be allowed to remain active.

Animal rights campaigners had previously called on the Government to enforce an outright ban on animal testing for ingredients used in cosmetics after it was revealed that, since 2019, the Government had been issuing licences for animal testing of cosmetic ingredients in circumstances where they may impact worker safety.

Read the article: Government reinstates full ban on animal testing for cosmetic ingredients

10. UK ranked 4th in world for annual beauty spend

The UK was revealed as the fourth highest country for average beauty spend, with Brits spending an average of £184.06 each year on beauty products.

The research, from retailer Cult Beauty, examined consumer spending on beauty products and analysed popular product preferences in each country per capita.

Read the article: UK ranks 4th in world for annual beauty spend 

Ellen Cummings

Ellen Cummings

Published 20th Dec 2023

Ellen Cummings is the senior content writer at Professional Beauty, working across the magazine and online. Contact her at [email protected]

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