Toilet paper isn’t the only thing that people are hoarding during coronavirus; skin-care enthusiasts are stocking up on larger-than-usual quantities of their favorite products.
According to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by beauty data collection site Poshly, facial skin care rated third among categories people said they planned to stock up on during the coronavirus crisis, with 51% saying they would do so. This percentage followed personal care, which 70% of respondents said they would stock up on, tied with hair care products. Plans to increase quantities per order is likely due to a fear of not being able to access products in the future. Most e-tailers have slower shipping times, and some California brands have been forced to stop shipping altogether. Both Sephora and Ulta have notices on their websites warning of shipment delays due to coronavirus safety precautions.
For skin-care brand Peace Out Skincare, the number of customers spending more than $500 at a time doubled year-over-year in March, and the brand has seen an increase in customers purchasing four or more products at a time. This is up from an average of one or two before the quarantine period started in the U.S., according to a spokesperson for the brand. Meanwhile, The Ordinary is seeing an uptick in customers buying its larger-sized bottles, according to a spokesperson, with a 35% sales increase in its 60-ml bottles, including its hyaluronic acid, buffet, niacinamide and squalane cleanser formulas.
Luxury skin-care label Vintner’s Daughter, which sells a serum that retails for $185 and an essence that sells for $225, saw more customers stocking up on five bottles at a time during the start of the quarantine period in California. “In the first couple weeks of quarantine we saw that, but now sales are back to one to two bottles at a time,” said Vinter’s Daughter founder April Gargiulo.
“It won’t be the first time that we’ve sold out, if, in fact, we end up selling out,” said Gargiulo, who noted the brand has calmed customers as it has product in stock and is continuing to ship, despite manufacturing in California. “People are trying to control what they can. It’s human nature.”
Members of beauty enthusiast groups on Reddit have also been discussing their skin-care-hoarding habits. One user on the popular Reddit group SkincareAddicts posted a photo of eight boxes of The Ordinary’s products, stating that she had bought products instead of food when she went out.
Many other commenters on Reddit also said they have been hoarding skin care. “I was extra worried about this, so I stocked up. Some people got toilet paper, I got hyaluronic acid,” said another.
But not all were impressed. “Worldwide pandemic, people are encouraged to be rational and take precautions and the answer is to…hoard skin-care?” said another commenter.
With the economy in free-fall, consumers may scale back from hoarding in the future. Poshly found that, if respondents’ budgets were cut, 40% would buy both fewer and cheaper products, and 34% said they would buy fewer products at the same price point they’re used to spending.
Another group of beauty aficionados is using this time to embrace the #shopmystash challenge previously popularized by anonymous Instagram beauty account Estée Laundry. It calls for users to stop binge-buying new beauty and use the products they already have. This has been a common thread in the Reddit community MakeupRehab, a 83,000-member strong group of users who are addicted to buying products and trying to embrace a “no-buy, low-buy” mentality. The group has a Covid-19 megathread dedicated to providing support for people who feel they are over-buying beauty products due to anxiety.
“Besides foundation/concealer/setting spray, who has enough makeup to last for the foreseeable future when Covid is finished?” one member asked, with commenters agreeing that they already had enough products to last the year before the quarantine set in.
In the words of one member, “I have enough makeup to tie down a sorority for all of Covid.”