U.S. Beauty Sales Rebound After Coronavirus Slump

U.S. prestige beauty sales are looking pretty.

The category strongly rebounded following a slump caused from the coronavirus pandemic for the second quarter of 2021, according to the NPD Group.

For the quarter, U.S. prestige beauty sales neared $4.9 billion, a 66 percent increase over the prior year, and a 6 percent increase from 2019, before the pandemic took hold.

This year, makeup brought in $1.7 billion for the quarter, a 71 percent uptick from the same period in 2020. Gains were driven by foundation and concealer, with the strongest growth coming from tinted moisturizer. NPD attributed the gains to consumers starting to “venture out into the world.”

The lip category has benefitted from fewer mask mandates — though recommendations are shifting — and nearly doubled sales for 2021, from the prior year.

Skin care sales totaled $1.5 billion in the quarter, a 32 percent year-over-year increase, according to NPD. Sun care did well, and products aimed at face protection saw an 80 percent increase in sales compared to both 2020 and 2019, the group said.

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NPD said that at-home treatment trends continue, and that facial skin care continues to benefit. Sales of facial serums and exfoliators are both still strong.

In the hair category, which gained 70 percent year-over-year to $346 million, hair coloring and care remained strong, NPD said, and styling products posted a resurgence, growing nearly 100 percent from the prior year.

Fragrance, which has been on a roll, grew 123 percent in the quarter, to $1.3 billion in sales. Compared to 2019, fragrance sales were up 40 percent. Consumers are buying stronger concentrations of fragrance juices, including eau de parfum and perfume.

NPD also noted that retail sales are coming back as consumers returned to stores during the quarter. In-store purchases were up 284 percent compared to the prior year, when many stores were shut down because of the pandemic, and online sales dipped 19 percent.

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