2022 Declining Categories in Luxury Cosmetics

2022 Declining Categories in Luxury Cosmetics

While COVID-19 unexpectedly disrupted the luxury cosmetics market, the nation is gradually returning to pre-pandemic routines as economies continue to reopen. With more places to go and people to see, many are refreshing their beauty and trading in their old products for some new ones. So what’s on the come-up and what’s on the decline? We did the analysis for you.

Using our White Space AI tool, the team here at Simporter analyzed nearly 4 million data points across 22 cosmetics categories to predict 2022 luxury cosmetic trends. Our software analyzes social media mentions, consumer sentiment patterns, and search traffic to make highly accurate trend predictions so that you can make the most informed product development decisions possible.

Data insights like the ones we’ve compiled within this blog help brands get ahead of the curve and de-risk new product development. Cosmetics brands that keep these declining categories in mind will ensure their innovation pipelines have a mixture of both fan-favorite and newly trending categories.

Here are the categories that will not perform as well next year as they did amidst the pandemic.

The graphic below breaks down the 6 cosmetics categories we believe possess the lowest potential for growth in 2022. Category opportunity scores are determined by looking at both share of voice (a leading indicator of market share), as well as year-over-year growth rate. 


cosmetics - toners - clean skin

A number of cosmetics categories are expected to lose momentum going into next year. Toners sit at the top of the list, with the lowest potential for growth in 2022. Toners look and feel a lot like water but there’s so much more to these fast-penetrating liquids. They often contain acids, glycerine, antioxidants, and other anti-inflammatories that quickly hydrate the face and help remove dirt, grime, and other impurities. Despite the fact that Toners routinely contain ingredients that consumers love, they won’t be purchasing Toners at nearly the same rate as we head into 2022. 

Tomorrow’s consumers will be focused on efficiency - “how do I get that same beautiful glow without the hassle?” Toners just won’t fit into that equation in the same way they used to. Instead, consumers will favor categories like Primers, which keep makeup looking vibrant and fresh all day. They’ll opt for products, like this La Mer Primer, that are just as hydrating as Toners but also prepare the skin for makeup and enhance the skin’s natural beauty. 


cosmetics - spa - scrubs

Scrubs rank second on the list with the smallest share of voice and a predicted 35.33 percent negative growth rate. Aside from making your skin feel silky-smooth, scrubs help prevent ingrown hairs and allow the skin to better absorb moisturizers and other hydrating products. Scrubs have become popular because they’re available in a variety of fun, colorful, and unique options, for example, this Monoi Salt Scrub from Elemis.

Scrubs were one of those products that helped carry so many - and their at-home self-care routines - through the pandemic. As people close the doors on their DIY spas and attend to daily activities, Scrubs won’t be as popular as they once were. 


cosmetics - cleansers - beauty

Cleansers have a considerable share of voice at 6.75 percent but aren’t predicted to perform as well in 2022. Consumers love cleansers like this Charlotte Tilbury Cleansing Balm because they keep the skin hydrated and prevent the build-up of dead skin cells. Throughout 2021 and the heart of COVID-19, Cleansers performed well relative to other luxury cosmetic products, but 2022 is shaping up to look much different.

As the pandemic takes a backseat and our lives return to a sense of normalcy, our obsession with Cleansers should follow suit. Predicted to see 34.62 percent negative growth, Cleansers will struggle to compete with all-in-one and multi-purpose skincare categories. 


cosmetics - serums

Serums, like the other products on this list, help unclog and clear dirt from pores. Beauty staples like this Estée Lauder Serum deliver concentrated versions of active ingredients to the skin, which helps with everything from shrinking pores to reducing acne to reducing wrinkles and so much more. Serums are formulated with up to 70 percent active ingredients (other skincare products typically contain 5-10 percent) like vitamins, antioxidants, skin acids, and more that penetrate the skin and immediately get to work. Serums are a go-to product that’s helped so many achieve flawless skin with little effort.  

However, there’s been considerable debate about whether or not Toners are needed in daily beauty routines. With this in mind, consumers will opt for products with concrete benefits and usage as they look to get more done with less time. 


cosmetics - eyes

With the largest share of voice at an impressive 21.11 percent, Eyes are expected to see right around 13 percent negative growth next year. Eye care products include creams, treatments, and eye masks (like this eye cream from Lancôme) that address eye puffiness and reduce dark circles. 

As the world opens and people adjust to their pre-pandemic routine, consumers will be looking for all-in-one or multipurpose solutions over niche products like eye creams. While this industry giant certainly isn’t going away anytime soon, its expected performance reinforces that consumers will be focused on general skincare over eye care. 


cosmetics - masks

The 6th spot on our list is Masks, a category that spiked in popularity in 2019 and only continued to bask in the spotlight in 2020. Before becoming a pandemic staple, masks have claimed to deliver a number of benefits like reducing the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, clogged pores, dry skin, and so on. 

While the actual benefits of facemasks are debated, they do effectively moisturize the skin, like this caviar-based facial mask from La Prairie. With people returning to work and resuming their regular routines, there simply won’t be as much time for face, eye, and lip masks as there was in 2020 and early 2021. So, as we look to 2022, brands should focus on categories with more direct benefits, like Creams and Sun Care, that address evergreen skincare needs. 

Takeaways for 2022

It’s evident that consumers have moved beyond self-care and will be interested in categories that better align with their post-pandemic routines. We’re no longer confined to our homes in the same way that we were. So, consumers will be looking for ways to achieve that natural, beautiful glow without having to buy (and apply) niche solutions for every skincare need they have. 

For more insights on luxury cosmetics trends, check out our recent webinar here. If you’re ready to see Simporter AI in action and learn what it can do for you, request a demo on our website.

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