Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

Hormonal Skincare: How Infertility and Environmental Stressors Shape the Future of Beauty

by Corinne Rivera

Hello Forecasters,

Welcome back to the Inflection Point. The newsletter tracking 100 million consumer signals to predict cultural shifts relevant to you.

This week we’re covering ‘Skin Health.’


  • Hormonal imbalances are dominating the consumer ‘skin health’ conversation
  • Brands are speaking directly about skin insecurities like ‘pregnancy hyperpigmentation.’
  • Products that help stress-fueled consumers indulge in life’s guilty pleasures stand to gain.

So, like a good moisturizer, let's sink in.

'Skin health’ – it's a super broad topic

Which makes sense, considering it's the largest organ of the body. Front and center, visible to all, skin can cause urgent frustrations.

Ever get a big pimple before a date?

And because skin is tied to how others perceive us, we're more willing to invest in its care. It’s no wonder the skincare industry will reach 187.6B by 2026.

But what are the external factors driving the skincare industry?

Is it to look better? Or has skin health become more about combating lifestyle choices?

We used NWO.ai's microtrends feature to identify parallel consumer conversations. The top ranking with 'skin health' were sensitive skin, infertility, and anti-depressants.

NWO.ai's comparison of the signals for 'Sensitive Skin', 'PCOS', 'Infertility', and 'SSRIs'

A deeper dive:

  • 71% of consumers across 18 countries self-reported sensitive skin. An increase of 55% in two decades.
  • #AdultAcne has 189.5M views on TikTok
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has increased by 65% in the past decade
  • Global fertility rates are decreasing while IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatments are "the new normal."
  • U.S. depression rates have reached a historic high.

Infertility, mental health, and environmental stressors are dominating the skincare consumer conversation

With these in mind, what influences should R&D teams consider for new products?

(1) Hormonal Skin

If you go on an NYC subway this month, you may see a new ad campaign from skincare brand Peach and Lily. A photo of a woman smiling reads,

"I had pregnancy-related hyperpigmentation. As happy as I was to be a mother, I felt disempowered when it came to my skin."

Hormonal skin issues come from many factors:

  • Stress
  • Puberty
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Pregnancy/Childbirth
  • Medications & Treatments

SSRIs and other psychiatric medications often affect skin health

Even before COVID, 1 in 8 American adults was taking an antidepressant. Zoloft is now the 12th most commonly prescribed medication in the US.

More hormones, more acne.

Women also get the short end of the hormone stick each month – whether it's menstruation, ovarian disorders, or fertility treatments, estrogen, and progesterone surge. IVF experience videos are trending, with cautionary tales of newfound adult acne.

NWO.ai's comparison of the signals for 'Pregnancy Hyperpigmentation', 'Hormonal Imbalance', 'Sensitive Skin', 'IVF', and 'Infertility'

Skincare formulations that address hormonal issues are on the rise

The Parisian company Typology released a four-serum kit. One for each phase of the menstrual cycle; its ingredients help balance out the hormonal changes from week to week.

Sian Louise says she developed her brand OBVS Skincare after experiencing adult acne following miscarriages and IVF treatment.

Brands communicating empathy in new ways stand to gain

The "Beauty Without Secretes" campaign by Peach and Lily speaks to the insecurities and empowerment of everyday people. Addressing specific skin-related issues, like hiding your arms during an eczema outbreak, acknowledges the emotional impact consumers are facing. Amid a loneliness epidemic, these marketing tactics are powerful ways for brands to make people feel seen.

(2) Environmental Stressors

And what about the 71% of consumers who say they have sensitive skin?

Why has there been such a sharp increase in sensitivity?


EDCs, better known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, mimic, block, or interfere with our hormones.

You can find them everywhere:

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides
  • Cosmetics
  • Cleaning products
  • Non-stick cookware

Notice how many products say 'BPA' free now? That's because it was really messing with our hormones.

Several studies have now shown the adverse effects of EDCs on fertility.

Just this week, the Financial Times did a spotlight on the correlation between chemicals and the decline of global sperm count. That’s why more brands, like Swiss Sabi, exclusively develop skin formulations free from chemicals and EDCS.

Chemical-induced infertility is driving the fertility treatment market; resulting in new forms of adult skin conditions

The Takeaway:

Hormonal imbalances are shaping a new market for skincare. Products that take into account realistic lifestyle experiences without judgment stand to gain.

Ok, that's all we got for now.

Thanks for spending time with us on this week’s Inflection Point. We’ll see you next time.

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