Skin Care Industry Analysis - US Millennial

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Skin Care Industry Analysis - US Millennial (Demographics)

The average millennial skincare product consumer is a 26-year-old woman with a bachelor's degree and an income of about $44,000.


  • The average skincare consumer began using skincare products at age 26.
  • According to Stella Rising, 28% of women under age 25 and 42% of women between the ages of 25 and 34 say they "regularly worry about signs of aging" and care about the effects of aging on their skin.
  • Women between the ages of 18 and 34 are the "heaviest buyers and users of skincare" products.
  • Additionally, 47% of women between the ages of 30 and 34 have tried injectibles for their skin and 20% of millennials consider plastic surgery to reverse the impact of aging.



  • While there is no information available on the average income of a millennial skincare product customer, the average income for a 26-year-old in the U.S. in 2019 was $43,940.47.
  • Since the average age of a millennial skincare product customer is 26, it is assumed that this age would also have an average income of $43,940,47.
  • This roughly aligns with the income level for niche cosmetics, mass cosmetics, and prestige cosmetics, which is between $30,000 and $39,999.


  • Stephan Kanlian, head of a think tank at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, stated, "I don't think that we've ever seen consumers, certainly in the beauty industry, at such a high level of education and sophistication," suggesting that skincare customers are highly educated.
  • In a study of consumers between the ages of 18 to 34 and with an average age of 27.8 who were influenced to buy beauty products based on YouTube videos, 45% of respondents had a bachelor's degree and 29.3% had some college.

Research Strategy

While the age and gender of millennial skincare product consumers were readily available in a slightly older publication (2017), the income and education levels were not. We began our search with official surveys that include statistics from sources such as Deloitte, Statista, NPD, and others, but all we found was data for older generations or for the cosmetics or beauty industries instead. Our search was expanded to media sources such as Forbes, CNN, Vogue, and more, but demographics for skincare customers remained elusive. We did find some hints in a CNN article of the education level, which was that beauty customers in general and skincare customers specifically have a high level of education, but this was not for millennials in particular. Due to the lack of information on skincare for income and education levels, we expanded our search to the beauty and cosmetics markets. In reading through Social Standards, we found that these two markets have similar demographics in terms of age and gender. Therefore, we felt comfortable using them as proxies for skin care products. The average income for 26-year-olds in the U.S. was also provided to show that the income for most millennial cosmetics customers is about the same as the income for people who are the average age of skin care customers.
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Skin Care Industry Analysis - US Millennial (Psychographics)


Millennials were the most frequent buyers of skincare options of any demographic in the US. However, their purchase habits, motivations, and attitudes about skincare varied significantly from previous generations. Millennial skincare product consumers in the US tended to be more informed about ingredients, more aware of the overall impact of their purchases on health and wellness, more likely to do product research, and more purpose driven and environmentally conscious in their purchase decisions than previous generations. They were also heavily motivated by influencers and peers on social media in their skincare product choices, while being focused around product design, peer reviews, and value.

Focused on Skincare Ingredients & Impact on Health

  • Millennial skincare product consumers tend to be more informed about ingredients than other demographics.
  • They also have strong beliefs that skincare product ingredients impact their health, with 43% stating they look for natural ingredients when purchasing skin care items.
  • It's noted that millennials see a clear connection between the skin as an organ and its impact on well-being, as well as an increased focus on their health compared to other generations.
  • The wellness angle is also a big selling point for millennial skincare product consumers, who are looking for product ingredients that will improve skin health over the long term rather than just short-term solutions for problems such as blemishes.
  • Nearly half of millennials surveyed focus on skincare products that are free of certain chemical ingredients, specifically parabens, silicones, and sulfates.
  • Natural ingredients preferred by millennials include vitamin C, fruit based ingredients, oatmeal, and honey.
  • CBD is also trending product in skincare, with 48% of millennials interested in beauty products containing this ingredient.

Increased Access to Information

  • Millennial skincare product consumers tended to have a great deal of access to information about product choices, with many of them willing to sort through hundreds of products online to find exactly what they prefer.
  • Given that, this demographic expects a great deal of choice, and tends to know what they want when buying skincare products.
  • It was also noted that millennials are likely to research an individual product extensively before purchase.

Purpose Driven & Environmentally Conscious

  • Millennial skincare consumers are fueling growth for organic, sustainable, and plant-based skincare products.
  • In fact, one third of millennials surveyed report that they already buy hair and skin products that are organic, sustainable, or plant-based, and another third plan to buy these products in the future.
  • Millennials also tend to prefer products that support or convey an image that aligns with their values, and favor purpose-driven skincare brands.

Motivated by “Skinfluencers

  • Social media is a big motivator in skincare choices for millennials.
  • Millennial skincare consumers use social media to learn about new products, read reviews, and learn skincare tips from their peers.
  • Skincare related content has seen exponential growth on social media partly because millennials are so obsessed with skin health, and love sharing products and tips on social media. This trend is projected to continue in the next ten years.
  • Skincare related products that millennials are drawn to on social media include products that prepare the face for makeup, such as social-media-friendly masks, lip treatments, and exfoliators, mostly designed to prepare the face for 'selfies'.
  • The visual element of the packaging of skincare products is also valued highly by millennial skincare product consumers.

Focused on Value

  • Millennial skincare consumers are also value conscious.
  • Lower priced box store products are now more popular than prestigious and high end products amongst this demographic, due to an increasing price consciousness of millennials who are often on a budget.
  • Lower price products also appeal to a demographic that likes to be able to try out many options.
  • Millennials are also motivated to purchase products that perform many functions, and many have veered away from beauty regimes and three step skin care lines, instead favoring simple or multifunction options.

Research Strategy

In order to provide a psychographic profile of millennial skincare product consumers in the US we complied data from industry reports, market reports, beauty news outlets, and other relevant media sources. We honed in on data and information that focused only on millennials, and how their purchase habits and motivations specifically related to skincare products. We then determined this data fell into five key categories; Focused on Skincare Ingredients & Impact on Health, Increased Access to Information, Purpose Driven & Environmentally Conscious, Motivated by “Skinfluencers”, and Focused on Value.