2020 Skin Care Trends

Women’s use of facial skin care products saw a significant rise in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The NPD Group, a market research company.

This is part 2 of a 2-part series.

Part 1: Paul Nassif, MD: Building a Successful Skin Care Brand

  1. Women’s use of facial skin care products rose in 2020, according to The NPD Group, a market research company.

22% of U.S. women reported changing their skin care routine because of the pandemic.

“Most are washing or moisturizing their face more often than pre-pandemic; one-third have expanded their routine to include more products; and the majority of those using more products intend to stick with their new routine when things normalize,” according to an NPD press release.

Cleansers and moisturizers, and treatments such as exfoliators/scrubs and masks saw the biggest boosts in use since 2019.1

Women are more likely to research skin care products online before purchasing, according to NPD.

Released in 2019, the NPD Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report noted that nearly half of women surveyed prefer to research products online prior to buying them in store, citing online reviews and ratings, as well as social media influencers, as their sources of information.

Engaged consumers are looking at ingredients and want transparency, according to the NPD Group.

“…46% of facial skin care users report purchasing products free of sulfates, phthalates and/or gluten, representing a 6-point uptick over the past 2 years. In addition, more than half of women look for skin care products made from organic ingredients. The report also found that brands making a public commitment to ingredient transparency have become top of mind for consumers, with several of the more well-known transparent brands ranking among the Top 25 in highest awareness-to-purchase conversions,” according to an NPD press release.2


  1. 22% report changing their skincare routine due to COVID-19. NPD Group. Press release. September 10, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2020/more-u-s--women-are-using-facial-skincare-products-today--reports-the-npd-group/
  2. Empowered consumers want clean ingredients and brand transparency from skincare products. NPD. Press release. August 14, 2019. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2019/empowered-consumers-want-clean-ingredients-and-brand-transparency-from-skincare-products/