More screen time, fewer occasions to shop out of home, and a social life on hold for several months: the global pandemic has undoubtedly completely changed consumption habits, forcing brands to reinvent themselves in order to adapt to these new ways of life. For its part, the beauty industry must address not only a new beauty routine, but also new purchasing habits induced by the successive lockdowns.

Less makeup, more skin care

PowerReviews has surveyed 10,646 active beauty consumers across the United States. The study found that a majority of Americans (56%) are more focused on skincare now than they were before the pandemic. A situation that may be linked to the fact that people are spending more time at home and may have more time to devote to more thoroughly caring for their skin.

Simultaneously, many consumers are cutting back on makeup use. In fact, the survey found that more than half (54%) of consumers indicate they wear less makeup now than pre-COVID, likely because they’re not leaving the house as much, but also because wearing a mask is compulsory in public places. As a result, natural beauty has emerged as a key trend, with people getting back to basics. A trend that should continue in the months to come, even if the pandemic ends.

The rise of online commerce

There’s been a well-reported uptick in e-commerce shopping since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that is reshuffling the cards in a sector where, until then, most consumers had a preference for brick-and-mortar stores. The study confirmed things are changing as more than half of shoppers (53%) buy more beauty products online now, compared to pre-COVID. This number is even higher among younger consumers with 66% of Gen Z shoppers and 58% of Millennials (Gen Y) saying they’re spending more online on beauty products now than they did before the pandemic.

In addition, Americans are also spending a lot more on the internet. Almost half of them (49%) said they spend more than US$ 50 per month, compared to just 16% in the previous study in 2019.

Furthermore, while two years ago, 47% of online beauty buyers said they were typically starting their beauty shopping journey on Amazon, in the last survey they were nearly a half (44%) to say their starting point was a beauty retailer’s website ( or

Changing priorities

The PowerReviews study also confirmed that, while price, brand and quality still matter when choosing beauty products, beauty shoppers increasingly seek out products and brands that align with their values. More than three-quarters (76%) of shoppers said they plan to buy beauty products that are made sustainably. Gen Z shoppers (86%) and Millennials (80%) are even more likely to purchase sustainable beauty products.

However, inclusiveness and racial justice are also emerging as priorities for American consumers. The study tells us that half (50%) of consumers plan to actively seek out beauty products made by Black-owned beauty brands. This number is even higher among Gen Z (75%) and Millennials (58%).