- 2023’s biggest beauty trends include the evolution of scientific skin care, emergence of viral beauty micro trends and advanced hair care regimes
- No7’s Future Renew Serum emerged as this year’s best-selling skin care product at Boots
- The top makeup search term on boots.com was ‘mascara’, followed by ‘concealer’ and ‘foundation’
- Last year’s healthy skin movement will continue into 2024, influencing consumer’s wider beauty regimes
As the UK’s leading beauty retailer, Boots has used its unique customer insights to reveal 2023’s best-selling beauty products and the biggest trends of the year, with smart skin care, advanced hair health and a renewed love affair with cosmetics leading the way.
Grace Vernon, Head of Global Trends & Cultural Insights at Boots & No7 Beauty Company, commented:
“What a year for beauty! From revolutionary skin care science to hyper-feminine cosmetics and elevated hair care regimes, 2023 was the year we all stepped up our beauty game. The healthy skin category has continued to boom, cosmetics have made a comeback, No7 launched a ground-breaking skin care innovation and Boots ended the year by opening a brand-new beauty concept store at Battersea Power Station.
Looking forward to 2024, we don’t see any signs of beauty slowing down and I predict many of the trends we saw in 2023 will continue to evolve. We will see skin care ingredients like peptides and ceramides continue to dominate, and skin protection will advance into skin longevity and damage reversal. Consumers will continue to strive for healthy, glowing skin – and this mentality will influence the rest of their beauty regimes, from hair care through to cosmetics.”
In a year that saw the launch of No7’s revolutionary Future Renew range, which contains a world-first peptide technology, searches for ‘peptide serum’ on boots.com grew by over 55%. It became the fastest selling No7 product launch ever in April1, with one product from the Future Renew collection selling every 2 seconds on launch day2 and over half a million transactions in the first four weeks3. No7’s Future Renew Serum emerged as 2023’s best-selling overall skin care product at Boots, followed by Future Renew Day Cream SPF40 and Future Renew Night Cream.
The next best-selling product after the No7 Future Renew range was La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50 50ML.With over 3 billion views of #SPF on TikTok in the last 12 months, facial sun protection also remained an important skin care step for Boots customers.
The most searched for skin care ingredient on boots.com last year was Retinol, followed by Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen. Affordable skin-restoring brands including CeraVe and Byoma were increasingly popular at Boots in 2023 – with searches for ‘Byoma’ increasing by over 800% on boots.com. Viral skin care brand Bubble is the latest new brand to launch at Boots with a collection of twelve products all priced under £20. One Bubble skincare product has sold every minute at Boots since launching in December 20234.
Grace said, “It comes as no surprise to see key players in skin protection, damage reversal and barrier-repair are amongst the best-sellers in 2023. Our focus has shifted from caring for the appearance of our skin to proactively improving the health of our skin, as well as preventing future damage. This is a trend we will continue to see in 2024, with a particular focus on finding dermatologist-approved solutions for conditions and concerns”.
In 2023, 'mascara’ was the top makeup search term on boots.com, followed by ‘concealer’, and ‘foundation’ – searches for the latter almost doubled year on year. Maybelline's viral Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara was the best-selling self-selection makeup product at Boots (by volume) for the second year running, whilst Elf Halo Glow Liquid Filter was the most-searched-for cosmetic on boots.com. No7 Define & Enhance Mascara is the latest new cosmetic launch at Boots, giving naturally defined and volumized lashes.
With pink emerging as the colour of year, ultra-feminine and girly makeup looks had a strong influence in 2023. Searches for ‘blush’ on boots.com were up by a third and Benefit’s infamous Benetint Rose-Tinted Lip and Cheek Stain was amongst the best-selling premium cosmetics at Boots, with a YOY sales increase of 64% (by volume).
Grace said, “Social media platforms are well-known for their revolving door of viral beauty trends and product recommendations. From Mermaid-core to Strawberry Girl and Espresso Makeup, a flurry of micro-trends inspired us to try new products and reinvent our look, helping us fall back in love with the joy of cosmetics.”
Hair care remained front of mind in 2023, with more than a third of total customers (35%) having purchased a hair care product from Boots5.
Following a surge in customer demand for salon-grade hair care Boots introduced twelve new premium and professional hair brands last year, with OUAI, Kerastase and Redken proving most popular with customers6. Existing premium hair care brands Philip Kingsley and ARKIVE both saw a growth in sales (volume) at Boots in 2023 too.
Skin care continued to influence the hair care category in 2023 with brands famed for skin products seeing sales translate to their hair care lines too. Sales (by volume) of The Ordinary hair care increased by 69% in 2023, whilst sales of Vichy Dercos grew by 58% at Boots compared to last year. A rise in prominence of scalp health saw searches for ‘scalp care’ on boots.com increase by 85% year on year, with ‘scalp serum’ being one of the most in demand products – showing an increase in searches of 57% since the previous year.
Grace said: “As with skin, beautiful hair fundamentally starts with health, and customers are increasingly conscious of the efficacy of the ingredients and products they use on their scalp and hair. As a result, hair-washing routines are advancing beyond shampooing and conditioning, with consumers building in additional steps to enhance and personalise their regimes.”
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Boots insights are taken from boots.com search term data (1 Jan - 31 Dec 2023 vs 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2022), and Boots UK sales data by volume (1 Jan – 31 Aug 2023 vs 1 Jan – 31 Aug 2022) unless otherwise stated.
1 Based on Boots sales data by volume for the first two weeks of a new product launch since current data recording began on 01/09/2016
2 Based on Boots sales data by volume on 12 Apr 2023
3 Based on Boots sales data in the first four weeks following launch on 12 Apr 23
4 Based on Boots UK sales volume data (5th Dec 2023 3rd Jan 2024)
5 Based on proportion of Active Boots Advantage Card holders who have purchased 1 or more haircare product from Boots from 28th March-27th September 2023.
6 Based on Boots sales data by volume 18 Oct – 31 Dec 2023.