Is skincare still booming?

moisturising cream
In May we uncovered the huge surges of interest in skincare online, we called it “COVID’s skincare boom” and you can read all about it here. But how does it look so many months later? Are the trends still pointing towards a skincare boom? Keep reading to find out.

Skincare topic in general.

Google Trends ‘skin care’ graph for the last 12 months

As analysed in May, the surge in skin care searches online began late-March, increasing 100% in terms of topic popularity (from 50 to 100). And although there has been a small decrease in trending searches for skin care (-30%) since the end of May, the level is still much greater than the average, evidencing skin care is still very much a trending topic.

When analysisng 371 skin care keywords, for example ‘skin care products’ and ‘beauty skin care’, the year-on-year search trend shows a whopping +60% search increase for these related search terms in August (2020 v 19). We also know that for most of the keywords analysed, the cost-per-click is hovering around the £1.50 mark.

What does this mean for marketers?

Trending topics are increased opportunities for brands to get their products noticed, shopped and purchased.

For example, with sound technical and onsite SEO and an SEO strategy that targets a handful of the 371 keywords analysed – or on the flip side – a PPC strategy that again targets the same keywords, the increased number of searches provide more opportunities for your brand/products to be visible in the search results.

However, the ‘skin care’ keywords analysed are incredibly broad with little purchase intent, therefore ranking for them organically could be a challenge. So let’s dig a little deeper…

Skin conditions. The search trends.

Likely to be the research phase of a buyer journey, an increase in skin condition searches indicates consumers are interested in learning about their skin. Again, there’s likely little purchase intent here, but if researching skin conditions is a growing trend, it suggests ingredient/product searches are too!

Dry skin

We reported in May that searches for dry skin followed a seasonal trend (repeating annual patterns), however, ‘dry skin’ search volumes had peaked at its highest in Apr/May of this year; around 33% of an increase in popularity. What’s happened since then, isn’t very exciting at all.

There has been a dramatic fall in the volume of searches which has led to the ‘dry skin’ trend falling back to its usual seasonal state which is repeated annually, but there’s still a slightly greater search volume of dry skin keyword as compared with August last year (+20% 2020 v 19).

Google Trends ‘dry skin’ graph over 5 years

Red skin (or rosacea)

These keywords follow the same trend as ‘dry skin’; a soar in popularity in Apr/May and a decline back towards average in early Jul, though still remaining ever so slightly above average when compared with last year at 417k topic searches, an increase of 31% (Aug 2020 v 19)

Oily skin

It appears oily skin is still having a moment.

Google Trends ‘oily skin’ graph over 2 years

With no evidence of seasonality, since early April ‘oily skin’ has been a very popular search term and remains a trending keyword and topic. The latest stats show a +50% increase in keyword searches and a whopping +75% increase in oily skin topic searches in comparison to August last year.

If your products target consumers with oily skin, consider these numbers in your strategy.

Acne, spots and blackheads

These common skin conditions (including pores!) have minor seasonality as evidenced in the graph with trends spiking around Jun/Jul, so it is abnormal to have such large surges in early April that have continued into September. Especially spots (yellow) and acne (blue) which have the greatest search volumes.

Google Trends (from L>R) ‘acne’, ‘blackheads’, ‘spots’ and ‘pores’ graph over 2 years

Product search trends.

Does the slight increase in skin condition searches still stipulate growth in general product searches, too?

These latest figures compare August 2020 v 2019.


Again (similar to our May report), we are seeing a greater level of growth for products in comparison to the skin condition the product is associated with. However, these figures, whilst still high in comparison YoY (year-on0year), have dropped on average -36% since April.

From a small survey carried out internally, people are less worried about how they appear on video calls, and whilst they welcomed the opportunity to go makeup-less and care for their skin in a bid to return to the office blemish-free back in early April, those cares have slowly diminished as lockdown continues and there’s no “returning to the office” on the horizon.

Search trends of skincare brands.


In comparison to May’s COVID report, there have been many fluctuations. A large percentage of the brands listed experienced an 80% increase in branded search volume four months ago, with only three brands seeing no change/decrease.

The stats from August show x17 brands have seen no change or a decrease in their branded search volume in comparison YoY.

But it’s not all bad, many brands are still experiencing over a 20% increase of branded search volume YoY, which is a big difference when the early figures are in the ten-thousands. Again, this could be for many reasons. For example, increased marketing spend, or new product launches whereby brand awareness plays a role. Either way, having this volume of branded searches is pivotal for growth.

How to take advantage of the still high levels of skincare searches?

  1. Make sure you have a clear and easy method for funneling consumers through from browsing to purchasing.
  2. Use automated bidding on PPC campaigns to make sure that your ads are adapting to ever-changing browsing habits.
  3. Ensure that your shopping feed is set up correctly – there are many instances of products appearing in shopping ads that are out of stock or not available in certain areas.
  4. Update your body ad copy to reflect what is in stock or available for quick delivery, as this is a key concern for people when shopping. 
  5. Social media browsing is up and costs for ads are down, so now is a great time to drive further traffic to your website and engage with users.