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Jan 26, 2022
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U.S. prestige beauty sales surge 30% on fragrance, hair products in 2021: NPD

Published
Jan 26, 2022

U.S prestige beauty industry revenues surged 30% in 2021, driven by strong sales gains across fragrance and hair product categories, according to a new report from NPD Group.

The market research company said U.S. prestige beauty sales reached $22 billion in 2021, on the back of a 49% revenue uptick in fragrance sales, ​followed by hair products (up 47%), makeup (up 23%), and skincare (up 18%).


U.S. prestige beauty sales reached $22 billion in 2021, on the back of a 49% revenue uptick in fragrance sales,​followed by hair products (up 47%), makeup (up 23%), and skincare (up 18%)


In 2021, U.S. prestige beauty industry sales continued to highlight pandemic favourites including perfumes, scented candles, facial exfoliators, nail care, and hair care products. Meanwhile, makeup foundation and hair styling products started to recover as consumers began returning to workplaces, events, and other social activities, NPD Group said a press release.

Sales of perfumes, colognes, and other fragrance juices increased by 61%, year-over-year, as sales of candles, reed diffusers, and other home scents grew by more than 20%. The fourth quarter accounted for 45% of fragrance category sales revenue in 2021, growing by 35% during the critical holiday selling season, said the NPD.

“The beauty industry is unique in its ability to instill self-confidence and change the way people feel,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor at NPD.

“These timeless abilities keep our industry relevant and important in the minds of our consumers — regardless of circumstances or lifestyle changes. As was the case across the retail world, the beauty market faced hurdles in 2020 but proved its resiliency in 2021.”

In 2021, core skincare product sales, including facial cleansers, creams, and serums, grew between 15% and 24%, compared to 2020. Sales of targeted products, such as eye and lip treatments, also increased, while clinical skincare brands contributed the highest revenue gains to the category. Interestingly, clinical surpassed natural as the largest brand type in skincare, based on revenue, added the NPD.

“As we move through 2022, the beauty companies that will thrive are those that harness the industry’s unique ability to spread joy, while also recognizing the opportunities of a changed consumer and retail environment,” added Jensen.

“We can expect more change to unfold in 2022, but, along with these changes, new opportunities for the beauty industry will present themselves.”

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