35+ Skincare Consumer Psychographics
The Generation X skincare consumer is motivated by authentic, eco-conscious brands that positively improve their over-scheduled and under-budgeted lives, is a discerning and research-based shopper, and is more concerned with aging gracefully than fighting the process with products. The Baby Boomer skincare consumer is attached to long-standing skincare routines, is highly brand-loyal and less adventurous in trying new products, and has more money to spend on top-shelf products than other generations.
- Generation X includes individuals born between 1965 and 1980, and is noted for the long hours they put in at work, the depth and breadth of their time spent in online activities, and their varied approaches to purchasing products.
- The majority of individuals in this demographic work full-time (and often part-time at second jobs), and have children or elderly parents at home. They are better educated than any other generation, and their lives “are defined by constant multi-tasking,” thus making efficiency (in everything) a necessary requirement for them.
- The characteristics that make this generation unique are their high adoption and willingness to use technology, their high work ethic, their education and intelligence, and their respectful attitudes toward others/everything.
Generation X: Buying Habits & Motivations
- Experts note that Gen Xers are “shrewd online shoppers who possess a keen understanding of marketing and media.” These characteristics, combined with their love and dedication of searching all aspects of a product/service before purchasing it and comparing it across multiple aspects with its competitors, should be kept in the forefront of all brands wishing to reach this group. Presenting information to them through subtle persuasion – with facts and data to back it up – will “educate them into buying,” and be more likely to appeal to their sense of loyalty.
- They search for genuine and realistic approaches in brand messaging, and most prefer brands that reflect their own values and lives, completely eschewing brands with “over-the-top claims.” They want authenticity, sustainability, and brands that are good for the environment or community at-large.
- This group has often been found to be “both cynical and sophisticated about products, ads, and shopping.” If something about a particular brand (or brand’s approach to them) shakes their confidence, they will lose faith in the credibility of the brand, and it will be tough (if not impossible) for that brand to restore their loyalty. Treat this group “like family,” or risk losing their business forever.
- Generation Xers use technology intuitively and are “truly omnichannel.” They research brands they follow or are interested in, and seek to “stay informed about new products and services” by checking reviews and watching “tutorials carefully before buying.” Notably, the category of “beauty and personal care” is among the top five most-watched categories for Gen Xers on Youtube, to which 73% of this generation “regularly tunes into.”
- Although they make purchases regularly in brick-and-mortar stores, many prefer to shop online for their needs. Additionally, they want to be wooed by brands differently than those brands woo other generations of consumers; they want “to be acknowledged, courted, and catered to.”
Generation X: Attitudes & Beliefs on Skincare
- For beauty and skincare products, one expert analysis divided the group into two segments, each with a somewhat-different profile. The first segment, called the “practical professionals,” includes those balancing busy work and family lives. They are “the caregivers and multi-taskers, with barely any time left over for themselves.” This consumer segment prefers “good quality basic beauty products and are more interested in aging gracefully than ‘anti-aging.’” They prefer to purchase quality off-brand (generic) products, but will also splurge on “the occasional trusted luxury beauty product.”
- The second segment, the “urban hipsters,” includes many from the youngest cohort of this demographic – individuals “who curate their own look and lifestyle.” These dare-to-be-different/unique folks don’t follow the crowd, but instead “celebrate uniqueness,” even in their skincare and beauty routines. They tend to be highly eco-conscious, and prefer to purchase brands made from more-natural/organic ingredients. They are “drawn to eclectic brand stories and customized beauty products.”
- This generation came of age in the 1980s, when powerful, glamorous women who ruled their respective worlds – and did so with perfectly coiffed hair, full make-up on perfect skin, and a stylishly put together outfit. These “beacons of beauty” helped define the self-expression of GenXers (most notably women), as well as helping to shape how they “viewed the role of beauty” in their lives.
- This generation views itself “as having youthful-ish skin” and opts for “skincare products that will maintain our skin’s youthful appearance.” As they continue to get older, they are “edging toward products that address our concerns about wrinkles and skin elasticity.” Notably, this group spends more on plastic surgery and appearance-related injectables than any other generation, and will happily spend “money on age prevention vs reversing the effects of aging.”
- This generation cites “fine lines and wrinkles” as their top overall skincare concern, with 71% of all consumers (across all demographics) noting that “their [skincare] needs aren’t” being fully met. The majority of Gen X consumers use between three and five skincare products every day, with the most commonly used products including the “basics (cleanser, exfoliator), along with targeted topical products (eye cream, anti-aging treatments)”.
- Different from younger generations, 70% of Gen Xers prefer skincare and make-up products that are the correct color/shade for their skin over products that provide a “natural look.”Other research identified the most important factors to these consumers (in skincare/make-up products) as: having a short list of ingredients, being hypoallergenic, being all-natural, being cruelty-free, and being a fair trade product.
- For skincare and make-up products, Gen Xers see the quality of the product as the most important factor in determining which products to buy. This is followed by (in order of importance) positive reviews from other consumers, price point, and the variety of shades/options offered.
- Nearly three-quarters (70%) of women aged 40+ “want to see more perimenopausal and menopausal beauty and personal grooming products” on the market.
Generation X: Marketing Insights
- Since they are constantly plugged in to their work and personal emails and generally respond positively to email marketing tactics, this is one of the best ways to reach this generation. Gen Xers are less prone to following trends, and “more likely to buy a service or product that somehow benefits society or the environment.” So, highlighting the ways a brand gives back to the community at-large is how to reach these folks.
- This generation spends an inordinate amount of time online, especially on various social media channels (like Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter), and providing ways to make their lives easier (through a product or service, like subscription programs, for example) via targeted marketing through these channels is highly recommended by experts.
- If a product/service offering helps Gen Xers by adding much-needed breaks of enjoyment to their lives, then it’s more likely they will purchase that brand. As an example, since a huge percentage of these individuals take yearly vacations, running a sweepstakes that offers a chance to win a get-away trip, or offering solutions for addressing the concerns they experience related to taking these vacations, is recommended. Especially significant is that these vacations (or options or solutions) should be “family-friendly” and not just for two, since many in this generation have children (and/or elderly parents) living with them.
- Baby Boomers includes individuals born between 1946 and 1964, and is noted for being slower than other generations to adopt and use technology. Surprisingly, however, Boomers spend more than other generations in purchasing technology-related products (like the newest versions of smartphones and premium cable, as examples). This may due, in part, to the high discretionary spending funds that many in this generation have available to them.
- This demographic “represents a largely untapped market for beauty companies,” especially as more and more of them continue to retire.
Baby Boomers: Buying Habits
- Boomers hold the “highest value as consumers in the market today” and are more inclined than other generations to “splurge on items that aren’t on the grocery list.” Additionally, they are more likely to purchase high-end or “top-shelf” products – and have the money to do so.
- There are notable differences between younger and older Boomers, especially as related to drivers for purchasing products. Younger Boomers are more adventurous than their older counterparts, and are very likely to be brand-loyal. Older Boomers are “less brand-focused and are open to items under different labels,” though they are less likely to try out a new product (preferring to stick with tried-and-tried products they know and love).
- On the whole, most Boomers have very “health- and wellness-centric attitudes,” and this translates into the products they choose to purchase, especially those related to personal care (like skincare products).
- These consumers like to have clear understanding on the personal value of a product they might purchase, as well as how that product will make their lives easier – without being pushed to make a specific purchase.
- With 48% of Boomers relying on and regularly using credit cards for purchases, and with this generation’s preference of spending “more as opposed to leaving money on the table,” cash-back rewards programs work very well as an incentive for them.
- Notably, and different from other generations, Boomers are “least likely to make a purchase on their smartphones.”
Baby Boomers: Attitude & Beliefs on Skincare
- Baby Boomers generally have a long-established “go-to skin and hair care regimens,” and are less likely to “explore new brands and products.” They are not impulse buyers and are highly unlikely to buy a beauty or skincare product “on a whim.”
- For Boomers, the most important factors to consider in skincare and make-up products are that the products are hypoallergenic, that they’re all-natural, cruelty-free, and fair trade products (in order from most to least important of top considerations). The biggest drivers of their skincare and make-up purchases are the brand name of the product, the variety of shades/options offered, the quality of the product, the price point, and consumer reviews/ratings of the product (in order from most to least important of the top factors).
- This diverse group “redefined beauty and didn’t let anyone define it for them.” They are dichotomous in their skincare and beauty choices as they “love efficacious skincare – products that make their skin look and feel good,” and they will seek out products that “make them feel pretty.”
- The women especially in this demographic do not particularly focus on products designed to “turn back time” with their anti-aging properties, as they would rather purchase products that “directly address skin, hair care, and health concerns, while also emphasizing feeling and looking good.” They have shifted the focus of their skincare needs from “anti-aging products and practices to pro-aging ones,” and prefer to be “empowered by products that they see as positive and, from a health and wellness perspective, preventive and proactive.”
- Well over half (60%) of this demographic “look for products with moisturizing and hydrating properties,” and a surprisingly-low 38% are more focused on the anti-aging claims and properties of the products. This group prefers brands that clearly define the “beauty and health benefits of their products.”
- Notably, over half (53%) of Boomers believe they are largely “ignored by the beauty and personal grooming industry.”
- Although surprising for this generation, a “growing number of Baby Boomer men are embracing and consuming” beauty, body, and skincare products, and they have the discretionary income to spend a lot on these types of products.
- More than half of consumers in this demographic stated they would be willing to try skincare products that included therapeutic cannabis (like CBDs, about which this group holds an 83% positive feeling). Additionally, a whopping 41% of all social media posts related to CBDs (and products with CBDs in them) are posted by those in this demographic.
Baby Boomers: Marketing Insights
- Boomers are highly loyal to products, especially those they’ve used for a long time and are of high quality.
- Boomers are not as receptive as other generations to things like Facebook remarketing ads, but have proven to be quite “receptive to direct marketing/sales tactics.” Additionally, upsell tactics work on those in this generation, especially if they can see the immediate value the additional purchase would add to their lives, so those techniques are recommended by brands wishing to get and keep Boomers as customers. Offering free samples is another way to catch a Boomer consumer’s eyes (and wallet).
- Traditional sales and marketing tactics work best with this generation, and the majority of them want to “talk to a real person before they make a purchase,” though not so much on the phone, and not so much during times considered to be set aside for family (like dinnertime). They also respond well to “traditional television and newspaper ads.”
- Boomers are less likely than other generations to read long blog posts, so ensuring posts targeted to this group are a maximum of 300 words long is important to keeping them active with the post (and brand).
- A whopping 69% of consumers ages 50+ believe that “media images are ageist,” and 70% “would consider switching to a brand they feel represents people in their age” group. A full 80% also believe that most marketing portrays people in their demographic “based on stereotypes,” rather than reality of who they actually are.
To identify the psychographics of skincare product consumer aged 35+, we broke down our search into two distinct groups – Generation X and Baby Boomers. For each demographic set, we then pulled expert findings from a wide variety of sources that outlined the buying habits, attitudes/beliefs on skincare, and other relevant details, and synthesized them into our findings.