What do Lady Gaga, Diane Kruger, Bella Hadid and Fan Bingbing have in common? They all love to pose for a sheet mask shot. Yes, 2018 is apparently the year of the sheet mask selfie – everyone’s at it and consequently this skin care product has become the star of the home spa market with sales sent stratospheric.
Yes, according to NPD Group, the #spaathome trend (because if it doesn’t have a hashtag, did it even happen?) is on the up; UK sales of prestige face masks rose 43 percent in the first eight months of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016 and the sector is now valued at £10 million. Sales of sheet masks alone were up 34 percent. Transparency Market Research pegged the global sheet mask market at a value of US$160.4 million in 2015 and expects it to reach US$336.7 million by the end of 2024, growing 8.7 percent year-on-year.
“The sale of cleansers, masks, facial oils, hair masks and overnight masks all reported impressive growth as the nation embraces the dual Instagram trends of the Sunday Facial and spa-ing at home,” reads NPD’s report. So what’s driving this? Of course, the spa-at-home concept is nothing new (as Helen Duxbury, Senior Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty points out). What’s changed is the fact that we’re now broadcasting our facial skin care rituals all over social media. There’s even mask bars for those who want to take their grooming routine truly public.
“What is different is how this trend is being driven by social media,” explains Duxbury. “We are seeing huge growth in skin care products that are central to any spa facial in the home. Influencers, bloggers and beauty editors alike are sharing their stories as part of the Sunday Facial trend, where participants share their skincare facial regime and results online. This is boosting the sales of face masks, hair masks, facial oils and overnight treatments.”
And, if a report published by The Guardian is anything to go by, sheet masks feed right into all the must-haves on the millennial tick list. Experiential? Check. Instant results? Check. Small initial outlay? Check. Social media-friendly? Check, check, check. Yes, while the millennials may be having none of the £70+ pots of luxury anti-wrinkle cream, they are more than happy to shell out £4 for a single-use mask and enjoy the double selfie-appeal of both wearing the mask and the after-glow it’s designed to create.
But is the sheet mask a flash in the pan? Not in the West, says Mintel, where penetration is still relatively low (just 12 percent of UK consumers used a mask in the 12 months to March 2017 and only 8 percent of US consumers regularly use masks).
And what’s next for the novelty-hungry millennials? Well, according to Harper’s, the jelly mask is the Next Big Thing. Meanwhile, Elle is predicting big things for the ‘sleep mask. And our bets are on the latter – with overnight-ing already firmly adopted in Asia, the hotbed of mask innovation. Mintel reveals that some 75 percent of Chinese consumers use a sleep mask. Sweet dreams all round.