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Beauty Serum Trends : A British Taste for Ingredients

In 2023, the world of skincare is continuing to evolve with exciting and innovative trends. As people increasingly prioritise self-care and well-being, skincare has become a cornerstone of daily routines. Hence, the growth of trends around the subject (sustainability, inclusivity, transparency of the product, etc.).. Nowadays, people get more interested about what’s inside their favourite product and want to get the best formulation and target their main skin issues.

What are the next trends around the subject of beauty serums ? Let’s dive into the topic in the United Kingdoms.

Using Search Listening to explore consumer preferences concerning Beauty Serums

These days, any questions a consumer has about a product or brands usually begin with a search on Google to gather information and compare to prepare his purchase.

We are evolving in a society where consumption is in constant progression. It is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to stand out, for retailers to select the “correct” products to offer and for consumers to select them.

Understanding and analysing customer behaviour and expectations become straightforward and accessible when using search listening, which refers to the process of gathering search engine queries at scale.
Thanks to Trajaan, our search listening platform, you will be able to access the largest pool of search data accessible to your brand and actionable insights in no time thanks to our pro service team.

One of the concepts of Trajaan is to cluster search queries into meaningful topics : think macro not micro !

A New Interest about the Composition of Beauty Serums

Searches mentioning a serum ingredients over the last 2 years in the UK

In the skincare landscape, it seems very clear that consumers are more attentive about the composition of their beauty serums. They search for the greatest combination of molecules to fit their skin type.

The topic really gained interest over the last few years, especially with the growing number of skincare influencers in the UK, presenting more products and raising the awareness of consumers by making explanation videos about cosmetic products (their compositions, their effects, the brand story, their values, etc.).

That is why the most popular topics seems to be components: 

  • Hyaluronic acid for its moisturising property
  • Retinol has become popular since 2021 and used for its anti wrinkles property and regulation of acne. 
  • Niacinamide that helps with hyperpigmentation and the appearance of dark spots, seemed pretty popular in 2020 and lost the interest of the consumers in comparison of our last component
  • Vitamin C has been going on strong since 2019 and keeps growing interest for the consumers.

Vitamin C : The Main Character

Without any doubt, the world of skincare has opened to the consumers thanks to social media and the world of influence.Indeed, the variety of components searches shows without saying the growth of interest on the subject and the work of demystification done by social media around the subject, hence the searches of quite specific components like Kojic acid.
Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, used in the fabrication of sake, even though the subject stays quite niche.

However, one component stands out quite clearly : Vitamin C. In a landscape where the quest of youth and smooth skin seems to be the most important in skincare, Vitamin C is quite the main character, followed closely by Retinol, to smooth out wrinkles, or even Hyaluronic Acid, praised for its moisturising powers. 

Some brands followed the trend and this is well illustrated by the versatility of vitamin c serum on the market. Interestingly, the Asian brands caught quite the interest with the brand Joseon for example.

Since 2023, the Korean skincare brands have gotten pretty popular in Europe. Thanks to influencers, Korean brands were able to get highlighted to the world around their expertise, the strength in their product composition and the “natural aspect”, almost medicine like of the brands.

A New Era for Skincare Brands

Indeed, European and American brands caught up the trend around “expertise and medical-like” products to build trust with their consumers.

That is why the Ordinary got an outburst during the covid period and since then, other brands understood the opportunity on this part of the market with brands like Cerave, la Roche-Posay etc.

But one brand really took a new share on the market in the last trimester of 2022 and understood the assignment : Drunk Elephant. Even though some other brands positioned themselves with a medical-like image, like Cerave, it didn’t get as much popularity.

With their colourful packaging, they have caught the attention of the consumers and keep growing in the skincare landscape, especially with a lot of representation by influencers.

Effects with Beauty Serums : the Quest of Youth

On another perspective, even though Vitamin C seems to be quite the star component, when consumers looked for specific effects in skincare, the hydration seems to be one of the most important characteristics of a product.
Also, consumers are looking for anti-wrinkle effects specifically helped with Hyaluronic Acid for example but also Vitamin C. Overall, the consumers are interested in primarily those effects that allow the skin to be preserved longer in this trendy quest of youth.

A duality between the North and the South

On a local scale, the properties of hydration and moisturisation are the most important searched subjects in almost every part of the UK. Surprisingly, in the Midlands, even up Scotland, the anti wrinkle effect is the most explored one, in comparison to the South of the United Kingdoms. Is it because of their pretty windy weather up there ?

As we noticed earlier, the Ordinary got quite the popularity and the Canadian brand became pretty popular in England and even exploded in London.

Year-over-Year search volume evolution

Year-over-Year (YoY) search volume evolution (Sept.’23 vs. Sept’22) – The Ordinary

Their secret ? Being a medical-like brand, very transparent about the composition of their product, and their affordable prices. But the cherry on top ? They got all of their skincare components in Korea : the circle is complete !

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