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7 Top Nail & Hand Care Trends for 2023

Female hands next to nail and hand care products

Nail and hand care are key parts of beauty and wellness. Driven by both function and aesthetics, the two sectors are seeing an uptrend as people embrace nail and hand care as a means of self-expression as well as maintaining health and hygiene.

This article will explore what is behind the growth in nail and hand care. It will analyze the global nail and hand care markets, providing data on the current market size and projected market growth. The article will then highlight the top nail and hand care trends that retailers should look out for in 2023, along with key products to add to their catalogs.

Table of Contents
What is behind the growth in nail and hand care?
Overview of the nail and hand care markets
Top nail and hand care trends to look out for
Key takeaways to nail it this season

What is behind the growth in nail and hand care?

Fashion and beauty consciousness has seen an upsurge over the past few years, with nail care emerging as an integral part of women’s fashion. One of the key trends observed within this sector is nail art, which has grown in popularity as a result of party culture, influencer culture, and social media.  

Behind this growth is the increase that has been seen in disposable income across the global population. This is particularly expected to have an impact on premium segments within nail care as more consumers will be able to afford higher-grade nail products and services. 

When it comes to hand care, consumers are beginning to seek out products that encourage skin health as a result of wellness and self-care cultures that are gaining force. This has led to greater demand for nutrient-rich hand creams and lotions. 

Distancing measures also had an impact on the growth of the sector as public health measures that encouraged frequent handwashing led to increased demand for hand washes and hand sanitizers. To mitigate the adverse effects that chemical handwashing had on the skin, more consumers sought out soothing and moisturizing hand creams. 

Overview of the nail and hand care markets

The global nail care market value was estimated at US$ 9.9 billion in 2020. It is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% to reach US$ 11.6 billion by 2027. The top-performing segment within the market is nail polish, which is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 2.6% to reach US$ 7.5 billion.

The U.S. remains the largest nail care market, with an estimated market value of US$ 2.7 billion. China is expected to be one of the fastest-growing regional markets, reaching a market size of US$ 2.3 billion by 2027.

Concerning the global hand care market, growth is predicted as the global hand cream and hand lotion market is expected to hit US$ 9.33 billion by 2026, while the global hand wash market is set to reach US$ 4.29 billion by 2028.

1. Ancient ingredients

Female hands next to lavender plant and aromatherapy oil

One of the top trends within nail and hand care has been the rise in the use of ancient or heritage ingredients in formulations for hand care products and the materials used for nail art.  

Consumers are gravitating toward natural ingredients such as fermented Japanese pastes, extracts from organic plants, and traditional Korean finger and nail dyes made from crushed flowers.

More premium products are being created that blend these heritage ingredients with technological innovation. The result has been innovative products that maintain and enhance the skin while being chemical-free

Retailers can stock organic hennas, natural hand creams and soaps, and non-toxic nail polishes.

2. Expansion and expression

Smiling man with colorful nail art

Nails, like hair and clothes, are one of the ways that people showcase their individuality. Over the past few years, nail art culture has become more normalized, leading to increased creative expression being seen from people of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, and abilities.

Nail and hand care have also expanded to men, with menʼs manicures and gender-neutral nail art growing in popularity. Expansion of the market has also taken place in terms of greater accessibility thanks to universal product designs and easy-grip packaging that makes it easier for people of different abilities to handle products.

There is certainly an opportunity for retailers to capitalize on creative nail art, gender-neutral nail polishes, male manicure sets, and accessible product design for a wider customer base.

3. Family friendliness

Adult applying handwash on a child’s hands

Another key trend within the nail and hand care sectors is the growing consumer preference for family-friendly products. Families are seeking out nail and hand care solutions that are safe for everyone, from parents to children.

This means there is an increased focus on multi-purpose products that can work for all. The growing cost-of-living crisis is driving a significant proportion of consumers to seek out cost-efficient solutions that are useful for everyone. 

Eco-minded parents are also looking for alcohol-free formulations that cater to sensitive skin. These include products such as hypoallergenic sanitizing hand serums and antibacterial hand gels with naturally soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, lavender, and rosemary. 

4. Eco-nails

Nail art with plant imagery

A growing proportion of consumers are looking for clean and sustainable solutions that are in line with their preference for sustainability. This means that from the ingredients used in the products to the materials used for packaging, consumers are seeking eco-friendly solutions.

This presents an opportunity for businesses to offer halal and vegan-friendly products, permeable wudhu-friendly formulations, sustainable nail kits, products that are sustainably sourced, water-based products, and plant-derived ingredients.

For the packaging, businesses should opt for keep-sake packaging that extends beyond the product lifespan and can be reused.

5. Skinification of hands and nails

Smoothing product being applied to hands

The growing “skinification” trend involves consumers focusing on the health of their hands and nails just as much as they focus on aesthetics. These consumers are looking to buy products that offer protection while repairing the skin. 

These can come in the form of hand-specific sunscreens, UV-protectant gloves, masks and microbiome care, cuticle oils, hand and nail serums that hydrate hands and strengthen nails, and barrier repair products with probiotics. The best options are multi-tasking products that offer multiple benefits. 

Science-backed technological innovations such as red-light, LED, and vibration hand and nail devices are also being used to promote hand and nail health. 

6. Reusable nails

Hands of a person applying press-on nails

The rise of sustainable beauty is driving interest in reusability as consumers opt to use less single-use plastics in their everyday lives. In line with this, sustainable solutions that are reusable and help to reduce waste are growing more popular.

Reusable nails are not only an eco-friendly solution, but they are also a money-saving solution, as they do not require consumers to make costly trips to salons and spas to get their nails done. They also enable greater self-expression as people can change them as often as they change their outfits. 

Some great options to stock include: press-on nails, nail sets with multiple nail shapes and sizes, handmade luxury nails, and biodegradable or plant-based nails that are re-paintable.

7. Olfactory hands and nails

Aromatherapy treatment being applied to hands

Another key trend within nail and hand care is novelty nails that use kidult scents to deliver multi-sensorial experiences in the form of scented hands and nails. The trend draws from aromatherapy by using products with aromatic properties that have mood-boosting effects.

Hand and nail products that come with stimulating perfume-inspired aromas can help add comfort and playfulness, reduce stress, lower the heart rate, and improve the immune system. These include aromatic oil blends, handwashes, and hand creams that are inspired by bathing traditions.

Retailers can stock products that are infused with peppermint, patchouli, mandarin, and eucalyptus, which help with relaxation. Earthy notes such as cedarwood, black pepper, and oakmoss deliver forest-inspired scents that bring nature to the user. 

Key takeaways to nail it this season

Nail and hand care products have become more sought after as more consumers embrace beauty, self-care, and wellness. The top trends within the nail and hand care market are pointing to increased demand for products that enable self-expression and creativity. Businesses can gain a wider customer base if they target traditionally under-served markets such as men.

Sustainability is also a key trend to consider as it is driving consumers to seek out products that are natural and chemical-free, making sustainable manicure kits, organic hennas, natural hand creams and soaps, non-toxic nail polishes, and multi-purpose products great options to stock.

Finally, as more consumers are starting to see nail and hand care as therapeutic, retailers can take on the olfactory hands and nails trend by adding scented nails and aromatherapy hand creams to their product catalogs. 

Consumers in 2023 will be looking for nail and hand care experiences that deliver functionally, aesthetically, and sensorially. Find out the top-trending nail colors and textures to stock here.

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