Most European women regard professional treatments as an occasional treat rather than something to be included in their regular beauty regime. According to GlobalData’s 2018 primary consumer research, just 11% of European women have a beauty or grooming treatment at a spa or salon once a week or more, with a further 10% doing the same just a few times a month.
“Nevertheless, within the same survey, almost one quarter of European women said they pampered themselves with lengthy beauty/grooming treatments once a week or more, highlighting the opportunity for solutions which can replicate luxurious spa treatments in the home,” comments Jamie Mills, analyst, GlobalData.
Recent European product launches recorded by GlobalData include:
- Joanna Botanicals for Home Spa (Poland), which includes hemp extract to promote hydration levels in the skin and is formulated to exfoliate dead skin cells.
- Tahe Pola Antarctic Shampoo (Spain) is aimed at professional stylists and is a purifying and moisturizing shampoo with lemon and peppermint oil to revitalize the hair and scalp.
- Tolpa Estetic Microdermabrasion Massage (Poland) is a treatment designed to replicate popular microdermabrasion treatments found in salons. Key actives include plant-based stem cells and rice powder.
British brand Elemis has taken a step into the world of spa techno-beauty with its Biotec x Foreo partnership, which came about after influencers and customers raved about using their Biotec skin energizing cleanser together with its Foreo Luna Play device. The Biotec cleanser combines a potent “bio-energy” complex of encapsulated zinc and copper with a trio of acids, including amber and a powerful phyto-bioactive to help support and maintain optimum skin function and vitality.
In the UK, at least, there has been an increase in the number of people going to a spa, salon or in-store treatment room for pampering services. Mintel estimates the UK professional treatment category at $9.84 billion last year and forecasts a rise to $9.97 billion in 2018. Roshida Khanom, associate director, beauty and personal care, Mintel, regards the availability of more technical treatments such as radiofrequency and LED facials as instrumental in encouraging people to spend more in the category. Meanwhile, the trend for speedy treatments is proving popular with time-strapped consumers who tend to indulge in them more frequently.
The spa category is associated with treats and 36% of UK consumers who book treatments want to indulge themselves, notes Mintel. A further 20% use spas for a special occasion.
“Most people visit spas for some ‘me’ time—often it’s a gift or a special occasion whilst for some, they want to try something new,” states Khanom.
According to Khanom, 76% of people who have had beauty treatments agree that they promote mental well-being while 64% consider them an important part of their health routine.
A recent trend has been the rise of new and more technical treatments for men, with 22% of UK men opting for a treatment because they want to try something new (compared with 14% of women).
“Where once spas were associated with being a feminine thing, it is becoming more acceptable for men to frequent spas and salons, especially as more treatments target them,” said Khanom.
Raised Brows…and Lashes
Brows and lash extensions are proving to be a strong growth area for the spa/salon sector, reflecting modern women’s search for perfection. One of the world’s biggest websites, Pinterest, has declared lashes to be the top beauty trend this year with a reported 152% increase in saved searches for lashes. The selfie culture could well be a driver, with Instagram full of people taking selfies as they want to share what they are doing. Celebrities, too, are instrumental in driving demand for brow/lash extensions. In fact, lash lifts and extensions might be overtaking the mascara category, according to a report by Business of Fashion. The market leader for lash extensions in UK spas and salons is Nouveau Lashes, which distributes in 52 countries and has been instrumental in driving this demand.
Booking a beauty treatment once meant finding the time during a busy work day to go to a salon or spa. All that changed with a new beauty-on-demand concept pioneered by UK beauty services provider blow LTD.
“We’ve effectively inverted the model,” explains Fiona McIntosh, ex editor-in-chief of Grazia and Elle. “At blow LTD we offer professional beauty services at a time and place that suits the customer.”
The concept arose from busy, tech-savvy working women with growing expectations of on-demand services that break traditional models.
“If they can order an Uber taxi or a Deliveroo meal whenever and wherever they want, why not beauty services through our app?,” argues McIntosh. “The difference is although we offer the tech of an Uber, our beauty pros are rigorously tested, checked and vetted and have an average customer satisfaction score of 95% so we only take the best onto our platform. Quality is as important as convenience to our customers.”
One of the biggest areas of demand for blow LTD is for services outside traditional working hours.
“It shows just how busy our customers are—squeezing in a blow dry, a manicure or maybe a wax or lash treatment before or after work; we offer services from 7am till late, or on weekends,” observes McIntosh. “We also come to the customer’s home or hotel room, saving them time and travel hassle, and work with premium brand partners who see us as a new route to market for their products.”
Increasingly, the beauty spa industry is adapting to consumer needs by creating indulgent and pampering spa experiences that fit into modern lifestyles. At-home beauty spa brands are in a great position to take advantage of this trend.
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Imogen Matthews is a respected consultant, journalist and researcher focusing on trends in the beauty industry. She regularly contributes to many of the world’s foremost beauty trade titles. Every year in April, she publishes The Premium Market Report, focusing on trends in the UK premium beauty markets.