The post-pandemic skincare reboot

Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation (Photo: Fleur Kaan via Unsplash)

27 September 2022


Healthy not perfect, is the new skincare mantra, as consumers prioritize care for the long term over short-term beautification.

As consumers shift to a prevention-over-cure mindset, suncare and skin health are at the forefront of our minds, as we explore three pathways to innovation for brands looking to tap the rebooted skincare consumer:


The barrier boom

The interest in the skin barrier has accelerated within younger consumer demographics, largely thanks to the educational content pushed by derma-influencers on TikTok- the hashtag #skinbarrier has clocked over 300 million views. Derma-positioned products are accelerating as consumers become more cautious, moving away from the goal of short term glow toward long term health. In this context, barrier cream is rising on the consumer radar - according to Spate, there are 8.5K searches on average every month in the US for ‘Barrier Repair’, a surge of +67.9% on last year. Pitched at Gen Z consumers, Byoma is an accessible, affordable, and approachable skincare brand that strengthens the skin and boosts the skin barrier with simple, effective formulations. Taking an educational approach, they explain the why and the how behind skin barrier repair on their Instagram.


Hybridised suncare

In the US, more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, and rates of melanoma have been rising rapidly over the last thirty years. With no more Covid restrictions and sunnier days driving Americans to spend increasing amounts of time outdoors, skintellectual consumers are seeking products that double-down on offering UV protection whilst maintaining a healthy biome. This is giving rise to the hybridisation of the sun-skincare categories, with many suncare native brands now widening the scope of their range.

Sun Bum, which was known solely as a surfer’s sun protection brand, launched into the skincare sector in June 2021. The launch of Cay Skin the from Winnie Harlow under the motto "a skincare brand for everyone under the sun," is the perfect illustration of the new generation of suncare products: inclusive - with textures adapted to all skintones, skincare driven - with a custom blend of gentle island-based ingredients and high performance skincare actives and sustainable (silicone free- reef safe).


Skincare takes a trip:

Consumer understanding of ‘health’ now encompasses both mental and physical vulnerabilities, with the skin being the barometer of internal health and general wellbeing. Alternative new wellness spaces and practices are emerging that meet contemporary lifestyle demands, with nature, medicine and micro-dosing converging to challenge conventional thinking. This preventative mindset is fuelling demand for alternative treatments and experiences that are designed to boost mental health, such as ketamine therapy, guided psychedelic trips and micro-dosing.

Speaking to, Sarah Chapman points toward self-care’s important role in maintaining mental wellbeing; “a radiant, clear complexion is a strong indication that the body is in a healthy state.

Delivering an emotional boost through the power of scent, The Nue Co’s The Mind & Body Fragrance is a unisex fragrance supplement that invigorates mental energy and boosts focus, using patented olfactory technology.

The CIC Take:

In the post-pandemic reboot, psycho-biological care presents an exciting new sub-category for skincare brands to merge physical and emotional health. As our knowledge of the effect external aggressors can have on our skin increases, our approach to skincare is changing to one of defense and protection. Hitched to this is a growing understanding of physio-emotional synchronicity, as the skin becomes a barometer of our holistic wellbeing.

For a detailed dive into Rebooted Defense and other key US skincare trends, our extensive report, A New State of Being: Inspiration from the US, is available to purchase now:


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