The days of bathroom cabinets packed with an array of skincare products...

The days of bathroom cabinets packed with an array of skincare products could be over as British women grow tired of complicated facial skincare routines, according to the latest research from Mintel. (Photo: © Goodluz /

Over the last year [1], almost three in ten (28%) women have reduced the number of products in their facial skincare routine, with young Millennials aged 20-29 most likely to have simplified their routines.

Less cleansing products

For instance, the proportion of women using just one product to cleanse their face has risen from 25% in 2018 to 28% in 2019. Meanwhile, the proportion of women using four or more products to cleanse has fallen sharply from 26% in 2018 to 18% in 2019. The biggest facial cleansing casualties include facial cleansing wash (from 55% to 50%), as well as facial cleansing wipes (from 54% to 43%) and facial toners (from 29% to 25%).

Less facial care

Usage of facial care products has also taken a tumble in the last 12 months. The number of women using day cream/lotion declined from (from 66% to 60%); while night cream/lotion fell from 48% to 44% and blemish balm (BB), colour correct (CC) and daily defence (DD) cream slumped from 21% in 2018 to 15% in 2019. 

Overall, the women’s facial skincare market is expected to decline by nearly 1% in 2019, falling to an estimated £1.16 billion from £1.17 billion in 2018.

Less make-up

This comes as Mintel research [2] reveals there has been a decline in the purchase of make-up, potentially led by reduced usage following the trend for naturally radiant skin. Indeed, some 31% of women who wear make-up are buying colour cosmetics less frequently now compared to last year, and 19% have spent less on the category in the last 12 months.

A growing number of UK women are turning away from the multi-step K-Beauty routine, hoping to reach the same glowing result without having to put the time in. This need for simplicity has pushed them towards minimalist skincare products with more intense active ingredients, such as serums and oils,” said. Alex Fisher, Global Skincare Analyst at Mintel. “Disposable wipes have been hit particularly hard as consumers become more aware of the product’s negative effects on the environment. As sustainability grows in importance, many beauty consumers are deliberately cutting out these single-use products,” she adds.

More face oils and serums

In such a context, one bright spot in the UK facial skincare market is face oils and serums. Penetration amongst women has remained at 24% from 2018-19, while usage of other treatments (i.e. eye cream, exfoliator, peel or wash-off masks, sheet or leave-on masks, overnight treatments) have declined.

According to Mintel, some 40% of women who use facial caring products associate serums with being nourishing. Serums also have an association with ‘glow,’ as 20% of female facial skincare users think serums are brightening, representing radiance and luminosity.