Consumers are Bringing the Spa Experience Home  2/15/2017

On several occasions I’ve bumped into one of my neighbors (there are six women among the other three apartments in my building) either in the hallway checking the mail or throwing out the trash, with their faces in a bright green or white facial mask, part of their beauty regimens that I learned they do quite often.

So, it wasn't much of a surprise to hear that such masks were among the biggest trends cited by buyers and sellers of ECRM’s recent Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath EPPS, held in Jacksonville, Fla. And while facial masks are certainly not new, and they have been popular for a while, attendees said that they are seeing an explosion in the variety, styles, ingredients, and applications of these beauty treatments.

"Masks are everywhere, and in all different styles," says Kelsey Manning, Communications Director for subscription box company Beauty Box 5 and a buyer in attendance. "Everything from sheet to tub, to overnight, to seaweed, to lip, hand, foot, and even hair masks. They are no longer a once-in-a-while indulgence; they can be used every day."

This proliferation of masks is just part of a larger emerging trend of at-home spa-type treatments. Rather than spend hundreds of dollars and a dedicating a full day to getting pampered, many consumers are now opting to do take the spa experience home, when it’s convenient for them, and they are doing so with greater frequency. And suppliers are stepping up to provide the products and tools that allow them to do so. Here are some of them.

Bath Products
Bath bombs are very popular, especially with teens and Millennials, with one attendee noting that his daughter actually uses one almost every day. There are also bath salts (especially Himalayan), oils, detox baths, and even bath products that don’t actually require a bath to use. "One vendor had a body wash that is actually a foam that you apply to your skin after a shower," a buyer commented.

And of course, to go along with baths, is soap, and there were a variety of soap offerings from suppliers in attendance, particularly soaps that feature natural ingredients and essential oils. Many also have a decorative aspect to them to add to the bathroom décor before being used. Spa life, a Brooklyn-based provider of at-home at home spa products, was a finalist for the ECRM/Drug Store News Buyers’ Choice Award for its handmade fruit shaped soaps. When displayed on a shelf in the bathroom, they actually look like the produce section of the grocery store, and each has the scent of the particular fruit it represents.

Cleansing devices
Affordable electronic devices like Pulsaderm sonic cleansers for deep cleaning, sonic waterproof antimicrobial washcloth, and ACE Blue LED tech, which penetrates the skin to kill pre-acne bacteria.

Applicators and wipes
Tools for putting makeup on – and taking it off, including sponges and blenders. “Sponges have been blowing up for a while, and whether they are whimsically-shaped or infused with charcoal, they are hot across the board,” adds Beauty box 5’s Manning. One tool in particular, called Polish Pal, was the winner of the ECRM/Drug Store News Buyers’ Choice Award (see image above). The Polish Pal enables users to conveniently hold a bottle of nail polish while painting her nails, either at-home of on-the-go.

Complementing the at-home spa experience are the cosmetics categories of matte lipsticks, face contours, highlighting and eyebrow makeup, which attendees said were very popular, and a growing trend noted is color cosmetic products with anti-aging properties aimed at older consumers.

And across cosmetics, fragrances and bath products, you can’t go wrong with gift sets; while they are always popular when it comes to fragrances, we saw an increasing number of bath and cosmetics products bundled into gift packaging that combine everything you need to complete the at-home spa experience – and provided me with some ideas of what to give my neighbors during the next holiday season!

Click here for coverage of the educational session from the EPPS: 5 Trends that Will Shape the Future of Beauty Retailing

To view the full video playlist, click the menu icon on the upper-left corner

Highlights from ECRM's 2017 Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath EPPS

Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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