After a dip in the market during the pandemic, the beauty industry has come back in strides, exceeding previous growth and continuing to climb to an all-time high while shoppers put a greater stress on their overall wellness, inside and out. One of the most popular trends to come out of this development has been an emphasis on feeding the inside to promote beauty on the outside. Consumers are looking to the VMS aisle as the beginning to their beauty routines, making products focused on the health of “hair, skin and nails” a popular choice. The beauty supplements subcategory increased 310% YOY in 2021, with growth winding down and coming to a slight decline of -7% in 2023 as consumers broadened their sights outside of the beauty supplements space.   

Outside of beauty supplements, consumers began to round out their daily rituals and support beauty goals by buying options that support a healthy digestion, promote a good night’s sleep, and improve their mood. Whether through online research, consultation from a doctor, or watching a health influencer on social media, consumers are getting information from multiple sources to build out their regimens and aren’t looking to one health focus to do it all.   

Starting with the Basics 

Societal standards of beauty—and the pressure that comes with it—can weigh heavily on all consumers, starting from a young age. Whether it’s self-consciousness from acne, a bad haircut they are wanting to grow out, or nails that have suffered from years of biting, shoppers are looking to improve their appearance in one way or another, often starting with the big 3: hair, skin, and nails.  

When searching for a beauty supplement, products with the “hair, skin and nails” label claim can be the clearest and most straightforward to understand for any newbie on a beauty journey and serves as their jumping off point. During 2021, shoppers were moving out of pandemic mode and concentrating on their beauty routines, which helped these products grow 250%. Since then, growth on these products has decreased, culminating in -4% YOY growth in 2023 when shoppers began to look around for additions to their regimen.  

Popular ingredients in this space include collagen products (1.4%), biotin (-9.3%) and alpha lipoic acid (-5.5%).  

Moving on to the New Additions 

Consumer interest in “gut,” or digestive health is not new, but the addition of digestive supplements to support beauty goals is a growing trend among shoppers. Research has shown that issues happening in the gut’s microbiome can present themselves on the outside as skin blemishes, hair loss, and brittle nails. Products with digestive health claims are growing at 1%, with prebiotics and probiotics (which are typically the most sought after for digestive health) also growing at 1% YOY. Looking at the latest 12 weeks, these products are both growing at 10%. Shoppers are hoping that by healing their microbiome, they can alleviate some of their beauty concerns; this trend has caused some brands to start including digestive health aids in their beauty-geared supplements. 

Sleep products are currently experiencing a slight decline of -6%, which is to be expected after previous years of unsustainable growth but are still considered to be an important addition to the shopper beauty routine. It’s no secret that most health professionals recommend getting seven to nine quality hours of sleep each night, but the benefits it can have on beauty is what is piquing consumer interest. Researchers suggest that increased sleep time and improved sleep quality can help prevent the appearance of wrinkles, reduce dark undereye circles, and lead to a brighter complexion.   

Similarly to what we are seeing in digestive and sleep products, mood support products are experiencing a decrease of -5% since consumer interest has moved on to other health focuses and the shopper base for these products has changed from new, prospective buyers to primarily repeat customers. Regulating the mood and decreasing the number of extreme emotions experienced throughout the day can affect the appearance of the skin, according to researchers. Emotions mark your face in more ways than one: Increased stress can result in acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and even an increase in wrinkles. Shoppers are adding calmative and mood support supplements to their routines to combat their daily stressors and contribute to their overall beauty goals.  

What’s Next? 

The pursuit in maintaining beauty and extending youthfulness are not new desires for consumers, but the methods of which they achieve these have changed repeatedly over the years. Apart from diet and exercise, shoppers are looking to the VMS aisle to supplement their efforts in achieving their own beauty standards. Beauty supplement brands are starting to take notice of the consumer shift from strictly beauty-tailored vitamins and supplements to products that combat various other factors that can alter appearance. This shift is causing these brands to rethink their formulas and start adding ingredients that benefit some of these additional health focuses. Moving forward, we can expect continued innovation as consumers look for products that can act as an all-in-one and add that important component of convenience to their life. WF