Hands-free beauty in India: COVID-19 worries may spur demand for beauty products with contactless applications

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Skin care brands in India have an opportunity to create products in contactless application formats. (GettyImages)
Skin care brands in India have an opportunity to create products in contactless application formats. (GettyImages)

Related tags: Packaging, COVID-19, India

Skin care brands in India have an opportunity to create products in contactless application formats to help Indian consumers avoid touching their face during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, healthcare professionals are urging people not to touch their faces in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

Kshama Raj, consumer analyst at GlobalData believes the intense fear of the virus will make this a lasting habit even after the pandemic passes in India.

“A person is most likely to change their habits when faced with intense emotions and the feat felt during the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be doubted,” ​said Raj.

As such, there is an opportunity for skin care brands in India to respond by creating contactless formats such as sprays, sticks and roll-ons for a post-pandemic market.

Currently, the most common packaging formats in India are tubs, tubes, pump bottles and droppers, all which typically involve first dispensing the product on to the hands before applying to the face.

Among all the hands-free applicators, the spray format is most common in India but can mostly found in select categories such as face mists, toners and make-up setting sprays.

However, Raj believes there is room in the market for experimentation.

She noted that there is a growing interest in beauty devices among Indian consumers.

“There is interest in facial cleanser or massage devices that you see in the US or Europe but there’s not many available in India and they tend to be on the expensive side.”

According to Raj, a local Indian beauty brand launched a facial cleanser with a built-in brush head and gathered a lot of interest from consumers.

She said beauty brands can follow this example and create products that have in-built applicators.

“I think brands can take this kind of inspiration, especially in the moisturising category. I think an in-built face or eye massager will be good, because most people love massagers.”

The health and wellness factor

Another trend that is growing in the Indian market is the use of facial rollers made from semi-precious stones like jade and rose quartz.

“This concept has picked up in the last one or two years, a lot of it is thanks to social media influencers and celebrities. Brands can use this idea and move it over to packaging. This will definitely be very interesting for the consumers who are looking for new things,” said Raj.

She believes they will be even more demand for facial rollers or applicators that are made from semi-precious stones due to their connection to health and wellness.

Many brands and influencers have touted the benefits of using facial rollers to facilitate lymphatic drainage.

“Health is going to be one of the big topics in beauty after COVID-19. Facial rollers are associated with removing toxins and consumers believe doing so will result in having healthier skin,” ​said Raj.

Additionally, having an in-built massager is relevant to today’s consumer which is focusing more on self-care.

“During COVID-19 we are seeing more consumers engaging in wellness activities and there’s a lot of content on social media about self-care. It helps for brands to promote the wellness aspect of a product. If a product can help consumers with their stress levels or help them sleep better, there’s an extra appeal factor,” ​said Raj.

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