Home Beauty Trends Design for Distance and the Returning Beauty Shopper

Design for Distance and the Returning Beauty Shopper


Beauty businesses are reopening their doors worldwide, but their success will depend on an ability to provide hyperhygienic environments that still serve and engage the shopper.

Innovative sampling solutions, autonomous services and touch-free consultations are now an urgent priority.


Designing for distancing will be essential to create in-store and salon environments where shoppers  feel safe and comfortable to shop.

Providing excellent customer service with little or no human contact will be the challenge for retailers when lockdown restrictions ease and shoppers return to their stores.

Scrupulous hygiene standards and social distancing are now non-negotiable for beauty retailers and salon environments. Beauty businesses will need to redesign their physical spaces, setting up hand hygiene stations and integrating screens and zoning to keep staff and customers apart.

Providing PPE for staff, introducing reassuringly visible and frequent cleaning protocols as well as limiting footfall will also have an impact on costs and operations.

However, while pre-pandemic these safety features would have had a negative impact on profitability, they are now essential to a business’s survival and will drive recovery and success.

High-visibility hygiene

Establishing stores and service environments as trusted safe-havens of cleanliness will ensure shoppers feel con dent about entering, and enable staff to feel secure in working in them.


Every aspect from floor layout, checkout, antimicrobial displays, testers and protective shields are being looked at by store designers and retailers.

UK health and beauty retailer Boots is rolling out including additional Perspex screens to cover all counters, and its staff will continue to use plastic visors alongside other PPE equipment.

Skincare beauty brand Dermalogica has introduced heightened global service safety standards. Its new Clean Touch certi?cation programme will help salon owners reassure their customers when they reopen.

How you can action this:

Ramping up hygiene protocols is a priority in the short term.

Ulta’s stores will reopen with elevated cleaning throughout and as well as wearing face coverings, staff will have mandatory wellness checks before shifts.

Signage and floor decals will ensure six feet of separation, occupancy will be limited, cash desks will be safely spaced behind protective barriers and for the immediate future, testers will be for display only. Longterm, borrow technology and aesthetics from healthcare settings, with sterilelooking spaces and equipment such as IsoClean sanitisers.

Dr Jart+’s Gangnam Flagship Filter Space Seoul welcomes visitors through an airlock that blows off dust, germs and other pollutants from the outside.

Clinically clean spaces

Science-backed tech innovation will be essential in creating safe environments where shoppers feel safe and at ease enough to browse once more.

Increasingly borrowing from the medical industry and food industry, beauty businesses are using bacteria-killing technology to ensure peace of mind in the store.

In the US, the Georgia-based Oribe hair salon installed the Synexis biodefence system into its ventilation to reduce airborne bacteria and virus microbes, and keep clients and staff safe. UV light devices that kill bacteria are emerging as an alternative to liquid sanitisers.

Consumer electronics brand Bestek has launched the M-Care Electric Toothbrush with a UV Sanitiser charging station that is proven to kill 99% of all germs.

PhoneSoap countertop devices use UV-C light to destroy 99.9% of common household germs. While devices such as the PurePod phone sanitiser kills E coli, salmonella and Staphylococcus while charging phones.

UV light sanitisers are already being adapted for larger electronic devices and items as well as make-up applicators and hairstyling tools where liquid sanitisers can’t be used.

How you can action this

Looking to the long term, business strategies should be revised to include provision for the installation of sanitising technology. These safety measures will enhance customer confidence and help future-proof business and speed recovery if future outbreaks occur.

NPDs should consider integrating the same technology into products.

French cosmetic raw materials manufacturer The Innovation Company’s Photonflow MK technology uses the photon energy of daylight in its skincare to control the microbiome that harbours viruses, including Covid-19, as well as the common cold.

Special thanks to WGSN. For more information please write to riccardo.carducci@wgsn.com