millennials’ self acceptance is messing up the beauty industry

Bad news big business: we're not interested in anti-aging products anymore.

by Wendy Syfret
29 April 2016, 1:58pm

Beauty today is a lot more varied than it was a generation ago. Sure we're not perfect, but we do increasingly see the appeal of gap teeth, grey hair, and a variety of body shapes. But while our growing desire to accept ourselves and celebrate various interpretations of beauty might make us happy, it's really bumming out the beauty industry.

Apparently amid all this soul searching, we've abandoned our parents' love of anti aging products. Karen Grant -- the global beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group -- told WWD that "For the last 10 years, it's been lines, wrinkles, lines, wrinkles," but last year the sale of age-specialist products declined or the first time in years.

The drop is caused by a couple of things: firstly, as a growing and active consumer market, millennials are not massively in need of anti-aging products, but we also don't really care that much. "It's less about giving up and more about embracing who you are and what you are and how you look, and not feeling like you have to fit any mould," continues Karen.

Additionally, what we want in our products is changing. Our parents were in for the long haul -- dedicating themselves to products for years and waiting patiently for results. You don't need to be told again that millennials don't like to wait. Rather, our focus is on natural or clinical products that deliver immediate results. Obviously that's hard to do in the form of skincare, and as a result we're looking to cosmetics for our beauty solutions. WWD reported that while skin care saw a dip last year, the make up category was up 13 percent.

Hey, we might not totally be ready to embrace barefaced beauty -- and why would we when they've come so far with eyebrow gel -- but at least we're not as scared of aging as our parents.   


Text Wendy Syfret
Image from The Street Issue, i-D No. 326, Pre-Fall 2013