2021 Beauty and Health Innovations: Why consumers are craving personalization


2021 Beauty and Health Innovations: Why consumers are craving personalization

The “personalization” trend continues to pick up steam in the beauty and health space, as consumers seek out tailored products to fit specific needs, catering to hair or skin type, gender, age, and more. Mainstream products are unlikely to satisfy all their unique concerns, so innovations that add a layer of customization can be a great way to earn a loyal new buyer.  

Innovations in personalization can look like online quizzes that match consumers with their perfect solution, customizable product formulations that can be mixed together, or products for unique hair or skin types that aren’t widely catered to. The key for brands is to make sure consumers feel their specific needs are met and that their voices are heard.  


Nielsen IQ’s 2021 Health and Beauty Innovation Report, an annual compilation and celebration of innovation successes, recognizes brands that offer meaningful category innovation and are representative of key trends observed across health and beauty. Broadly, we considered new innovations that: 

  • Sell either in-store or online 
  • Represent a new brand or sub-brand 
  • Started selling in July 2020 or later 
  • Reached over $5mm in sales in their first 12 months on the market 

For online launches, we considered brands that were new to selling online and experiencing rapid growth (the analysis looks at year one sales and does not include any analysis of the long term potential​).

Tailor-made solutions

These in-store product launches offered personalized benefits and recorded impressive sales in 2021.

Maesa Mix:Bar

This brand allows consumers to mix up their own fragrances, for a personalized scent. Year-one sales reached $13.6MM.

Walmart Inc. Time and Tru

A range of mix and matchable hair accessories that are designed to accommodate any hairstyle. Year-one sales reached $13.6MM.  

L’Oréal Le Color Gloss 

The toning gloss lets consumers customize hair color to meet their needs. As a result, year-one sales reached $9MM.  

Unilever Find Your Happy Place 

Scented bodycare in a variety of fragrances that change with the season. These products were a winner with consumers and year-one sales topped $24.8MM.  

Custom-made e-com stars

These e-commerce brands successfully drew in new fans with their personalized products. 

Black Girl Sunscreen

Sunscreens specially created for women of color, by women of color. In 2021, sales were up an impressive 296% from the previous year and reached $4.7MM.


Press-on nails in a huge range of colors and styles to suit all tastes and needs. Sales in 2021 reached $10.6MM, growing by 202% from 2020.

1 NielsenIQ RMS, Product Insider, powered by Label Insight, Total US xAOC L52W ending 5/21/22; Beauty & Personal Care 

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