Research Outline

Skin Care in the COVID-19 Era


To determine whether and to what extent women in the US are concerned that alcohol-based hand sanitizers and harsh anti-bacterial soaps, combined with the frequent washings recommended in the COVID-19 era, are causing skin damage. As possible, we will also supply demographic data which will aid in targeting a new, alcohol-free hand lotion to its best audience.

Early Findings

There appears to be broad agreement between both healthcare professionals and major media sources that dry, cracked skin is a concern that needs to be addressed, but our initial research did not find any survey data to back up the assumption. For just a sampling:

We hypothesize that the lack of any survey data backing these articles is because it is well-known that healthcare professionals often suffer from hand dermatitis due to how frequently they wash hands. Ergo, the article writers simply assume that the general populace would wash hands frequently enough during the pandemic to require similar treatment. Therefore, we looked into alternative avenues that might provide the required information:

  • Google Trends shows that there has been a long-term growth trend over the last five years for terms like "moisturizer," "lotion," and "dry skin." However, apart from a slight surge in searches for "lotion" in May and June, we do not see these search terms spiking in response to COVID.
  • Our initial research found two market report abstracts which purport to provide information on how the global pandemic has impacted the global lotion and moisturizer market; however, the public abstracts do not provide any details from which we can glean the requested information.
  • Statista indicates that the skin care industry's revenue is expected to drop in 2020, from $18.5 billion to $18.1 billion.
    • The facial care segment (dropping from $12.6 billion to $12.4 billion) seems to be the worst effected. We hypothesize that beach and pool closures have resulted in a large drop in the need for sunscreen.
    • The skin care industry's 2.2% drop ((18.1/18.5) - 100) is slightly less than the 2.4% overall GDP loss caused by COVID.

However, there are other indicators that there is a COVID-driven market for hand moisturizing products:

  • Despite the lack of growth in the industry, at least one company, Kabana Skin Care, has launched a moisturizing hand sanitizing product to great success: "[Kabana's owner] can't keep his shelves stocked," according to Fox Denver News.
  • At Fulton & Roark, an e-commerce health & beauty company that sells both men's and women's products, year-over-year sales have increased 100% and hand & body lotion have increased 125%.