From skinimalism to customised skincare: 5 beauty trends for 2021 from Forest Essentials' Mira Kulkarni

The founder of the luxury beauty brand talks about why luxury beauty products and hair masks will continue to see an uptick amid stressful times, and how customers are evolving after living through a pandemic

Published: Feb 20, 2021 09:00:00 AM IST
Updated: Feb 19, 2021 02:16:05 PM IST

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While most industries suffered in the pandemic, the beauty industry gained more consumers. Demand for different product categories such as scalp care and hand care went up, opening up new business opportunities for the players in the luxury beauty industry. Driven by the desire to look good and feel good in difficult times, consumers have been wanting more, and beauty brands have been creating newer products--make-up that nourishes the skin, sanitisers that moisturise your hands and fragrances with wellness benefits.  

Forbes India spoke to Mira Kulkarni, founder of Forest Essentials, a luxury Ayurveda skincare, cosmetics and perfumery brand, about 2021’s big trends in Indian luxury beauty sector and its future. Founded in 2010, Forest Essentials retails from 100 company-owned retail stores and online. It is the only Indian brand that is involved in the conception, formulation, manufacturing, bottling and sale of products, and is the supplier to luxury hotels of the Taj and The Oberoi Group of Hotels.

What are the five biggest beauty trends of 2021?

Skinimalism and the rise of natural makeup

Skinimalism is all set to be one of the biggest trends of 2021. The trend focuses on reducing the steps and products for a minimal beauty ritual. 

A huge gap has existed between skincare and beauty products, and this year, consumers are looking for natural, everyday make-up that not only enhances, but also heals the skin from within. People are more inclined to keeping their skincare routines much simpler with quality products that cater to their concerns. Marrying skincare with make-up, we have launched our very first range of make-up that accentuates while also benefiting the skin.

Customised skincare

We have witnessed a huge spike in the demand for personalised skincare in the luxury beauty business. People are looking for more options for customising formulations that are tailor-made for their skin type. Bespoke beauty is going to be highly prevalent in the coming years.

Nourishing hygiene hand care

The year 2020 displayed a huge potential for luxurious and nourishing hygiene products. The scope was especially felt in the hand care industry, owing to the rising demand for sanitisers and hand washes. In the wake of the new year, the demand has only increased. As sanitisers and washes can often be rough on the skin, people are looking for options that moisturise and nourish their skin while also purifying and sanitising them on a regular basis. 

It’s safe to say that 2021 will see a huge market for hand purifiers, luxury soaps and hand-care products such as serums and polishers.

Sustainability

The beauty industry has been quite infamous for its heavy use of plastics for storing and packaging. As most consumers are supporting eco-friendly companies, the beauty industry has a huge potential to shift towards a sustainable approach in 2021. At Forest Essentials, we have introduced eco-friendly packaging with paper wraps, reusable glass jars and recyclable plastics.

Scalp care is the new skin care

In the pandemic, as the demand for hygiene and homecare products is on the rise, hair and scalp care has become one of the mainstream categories. Before the pandemic, most people only focused on skin care, but they are now starting to become more conscious about caring for their hair. Especially with the shift towards at-home hair care rituals, this trend will continue this year as well, exploring the myriad options like hair masques, serums, and sprays for optimal care. 

In what ways has the consumer changed? 

When it comes to the beauty industry, consumers want to know everything -- starting from the process of production to the ingredients used in its formulation, from their packaging to the best way of optimising its usage. Also, with an increase in eco-conscious customers, people are not only looking at eco-friendly packaging but also sustainable, natural and plant-based beauty products.

They want the quality of the products to be such that they fully benefit from it. Many consumers have shifted from focusing on quantity to quality of the products they use. 

How is the Indian beauty business faring currently?

Over the past year, the Indian beauty industry has gone through a huge makeover. The industry has definitely gained more consumers, of whom many are still in the experimental or beginning stages of exploring skincare.

When we resumed sales, first in India and later internationally, it became clear that the demand for skincare products was higher than before as people were spending more time taking care of their skin and hair. People want to look and feel good and consumers are looking for moments of self-care to feel better in this stressful period. The beauty category is well positioned to support this type of feel-good indulgence that consumers are seeking today.

In India, Tier-2and Tier-3 city consumers are fast catching up with consumers from metros in purchasing personal care products encouraged by the exposure to international fashion and fascinated by the easy availability of hitherto inaccessible luxury products. They are now ready to pay for it. We too have registered an unforeseen uptick in Tier-2 and Tier-3, especially on social media, driven by the millennial workforce, internet penetration, and higher per capita consumption.

Click here to see Forbes India's comprehensive coverage on the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy‚Äč

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