Trends & Insight
October 24, 2022

UK Cosmetics Sector Trends and Insights

This blog provides key insights to the UK cosmetics sector in 2022, as well as the trends that AM+A predict will impact the sector in 2023.

The UK beauty and cosmetics market is continuing to recover from the effects of the pandemic. However, in comparison to other markets, beauty and cosmetics are growing more than ever. On average, the market has grown 1.2% between 2017 - 2022 with the cosmetics retailers industry expecting to increase 16.6% in 2022, totalling a revenue of £2.1bn. 

To make sure you have the latest information regarding trends and insights of the UK cosmetics and beauty sector, AM+A have compiled some of the key insights into the industry below.


Sustainability and conscious consumers

A young woman enjoying facial beauty treatment

In a report discussing British beauty trends post pandemic, Kantar states nearly 50% of consumers avoid products which are damaging to the environment. Consumers are willing to spend more for a product which is eco-friendly, sustainable or naturally produced; including organic, natural, or vegan products. Kantar’s study also shows that the focus on recycling schemes, particularly local recycling schemes for cosmetic products such as, Recycle at Boots, are on the rise. 


A young woman having make up applied to her face

Although health and beauty spending in the UK will rise to 8.8%  by 2024, consumers are now using less products on their faces, and are more conscious about which one they apply. Hollywood Mirror’s report on world-wide beauty insights argue that consumers in the UK desire quality over quantity, and want to focus on quick and effective makeup products for a more natural look. Statistics further show that only 35% of women buy makeup to subtly enhance their features. Other reasons why consumers are more inclined to ‘skinimalism’ are: 12% use it to experiment with different looks, 41% to conceal tiredness, 39% to cover blemishes and 25% to look youthful. 

Wellness and self-care

A young man applying a skin care product to his face

Self-care, wellness and health have become a large part of the cosmetics sector since the COVID-19 pandemic. As face coverings became a standard, our focus on having flawless skin became highly important. New beauty and wellness trends emerged from this.  Companies House, an executive agency, sponsored by the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, saw a big increase in consumers purchasing self-care products, such as face masks, skin care, vitamins and bath products, suggesting ‘home-spas’ are on the rise. Wellness has become more synonymous with beauty over the past year, and we can expect these markets to convolute further.

Boom in Beauty E-commerce

Someone scrolling through beauty products on their phone

A report from Internet Retailing shows that UK consumers shop cosmetics and beauty products on average 5% more than European consumers. A third of consumers buy cosmetics online, which is above the European average of 28%. This has led to innovations in customer experience online, from the use of Livestreaming on social media platforms like Tiktok to omnichannel services integrating into physical stores. Business Wire continues this argument in their report and emphasises that social media is instrumental to the growth and stability of the beauty care market. Social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, have seen an extreme rise in beauty industry influencers as this kind of content is popular. In turn, Influencers use live streaming events on different platforms to appeal to younger cosmetic buyers and drive sales directly through the ‘Tiktok Shop’ function. Key brands that prioritise digitalisation are ASOS, Estée Lauder, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic and BEAUTY BAY among other.

With the help of a boom in beauty e-commerce, the annual percentage change in revenue for the online beauty care market in the UK will stay stable between 2023-2025, with 11% for cosmetics and other beauty products whereas fragrances land on 9-8%.

The UK cosmetics and beauty market is set to expand with 16.6% in 2022, focusing especially on online innovations. Social media platforms will continue to allow for a new boom of beauty e-commerce to take place, as millennials and Gen Z drive sales directly through these platforms. Whereas traditionally, brick-and-mortar sales are expected to become influenced by ‘skinimalism’ and ‘greener’ products, creating space for conscious and sustainable consumers.

Are you interested in learning more about trends and insights, or get in contact with AM+A? Please contact

Latest News & Insight