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beauty business

Lately, I’ve been spending too much time searching for the best makeup for “mature,” dry skin. Apparently, according to The 2019 AARP Survey of Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age, and Media , I’m not the only boomer in search of beauty solutions. But as the BeautyMatter blog points out, while beauty’s importance to women “doesn’t diminish with age” there’s been a “proliferation of brands created by millennials for millennials” with many “trying to capture their share of the coveted millennial mindshare.”

But BeautyMatter warns, “Marketers who dismiss older consumers do so at their own risk.” Why? The AARP Survey shows:

  • Nearly 90% of women say beauty and personal grooming are either very important (43%) or somewhat important (47%) to them.
  • As women age, the increased importance of “inner beauty” reflects the decreased importance of external motivations—92% of Gen Z, 88% of millennials, 92% of Gen X, and 95% of boomers agree that inner confidence is more important than outer beauty.
  • Being healthy is a stronger motivator for women 50+ than for younger demographics.
  • On average, women use six beauty and personal grooming products every day, spending more than 30 minutes on their daily beauty and personal grooming regimens.
  • Women spend $40 a month on beauty and personal grooming products.
  • Older women are more likely than younger women to feel ignored by the beauty and personal grooming industry—53% of boomers feel the industry doesn’t create products with people their age in mind, compared to 39% of Gen Z women, 24% of millennials, and 40% of Gen X.
  • Women 50+ have difficulty finding products tailored to their age (hence my personal experience), leading to boomers feeling more underrepresented than other generations. Boomer women also think the beauty and personal grooming industries treat them as an afterthought.
  • Women under age 50 are more likely to use home remedies.
  • Women under 50 are more likely to turn to social media to “find new methods” for their beauty routines.
  • Women 40+ have unmet needs, with 70% of women ages 40+ wanting to see more perimenopausal and menopausal beauty and personal grooming products. The top product “want” for all women over 40 are skin-care products for the face. Gen X women rank “products for hot flashes” second, while boomer woman put hair-care products in second place.
  • Most women of all generations believe older adults are not adequately represented in advertising. They feel media images, in general, are ageist (69% total women, 64% millennials, 70% Gen Xers, 74% boomers).
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All women, regardless of age, feel better about and will more likely buy more from companies that show women of different ages in their marketing and advertising. But, each generation shows loyalty to the specific brands that represent people their age.

There’s obviously a lot good reasons for entrepreneurial beauty companies to target older women. It’s not all that often that such a sizable market segment practically begs businesses to create more products. But that’s not the only demographic small businesses in the industry should target.

Beauty industry breaks gender barriers

Masculinity is getting a makeover,” according to The Guardian newspaper. A chain of British department stores (John Lewis) recently announced it was opening a permanent makeup counter for men, following a successful pilot program in its London store. The test program showed “demand for War Paint for Men, a [line] of male-focused cosmetics, was 50% higher than expected.”



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