Today’s teens and twentysomethings, Gen Z in short, are having a dramatic impact on the beauty industry - defying the static, one-size-fits-all approach commonly seen in the past.
When it comes to fostering a sense of individualism, nobody does it better than this demographic: steadily forging new and exciting paths and keeping companies accountable by raising environmental and societal issues, inclusiveness, and authenticity.
Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z consumers are unique in that theirs was the first generation subject to the massive effect of ‘influencers.’
This phenomenon changed the beauty industry as we know it, offering consumers a front-row seat to the latest trends and developments shaping the beauty world. Today, influencer marketing, reviews, and tutorials are seen as incredibly powerful, enabling brands to reach a larger and more engaged audience.
It is a major driving force behind Gen Z purchasing decisions,1 whether for ethical beauty brands such as RMS Beauty and 100% PURE to smaller brands like FAACE and Van Norten. Not forgetting popular high-street or luxury brands. With Gen Z's spending power projected at $33 trillion by 2030, this is a great opportunity for all.2
At Oleon Health and Beauty, we understand the unique requirements of this discerning consumer base. We are proud that our focus on ‘a greener chemistry’ means that we can offer ingredients and products that will contribute to a more resilient, inclusive, and transparent beauty and personal care industry.
But to fully understand Gen Z requirements, it is necessary to decode its relationship with the beauty industry. Read on as we unpack some of the key issues that inform and drive these consumers.
Experimental, yet loyal
Raised on a steady diet of TikTok and YouTube videos, Gen Z consumers, more than any other generation, are willing to experiment with the latest trends and products in make-up, hair, skin, and body care. Up to 45% indicate that they try new brands every three to four months. That said, Gen Z brands are more loyal than we think.
McKinsey’s 2023 Global Consumer Survey4 notes that nearly 60% of Gen Z consumers will continue supporting their favorite brands if they, in turn, support goals important to them. When it comes to transparency, 45% of Gen Z consumers will consider buying from brands that focus on sustainability through greener and more transparent manufacturing practices.5
Diverse & inclusive
While Millennials, consumers born between 1981 and 1996, started the conversation around inclusivity, body positivity, sexual orientation, and diversity, mainstream interest has been fueled by Gen Z, as they continue to back companies that reflect these values.
This is seen in brands that champion mental health awareness, products that speak to the aspirations for gender-neutral beauty, and product development for transgender and non-binary models, particularly around cosmetics. The McKinsey survey tells us that up to one-third of men in Asia now use make-up regularly while in the US and key European markets, this is calculated between 5 to 10%6.
Gen Z consumers are heavily invested in building communities that push unfiltered aesthetics as they continue to search for authenticity and relatability in their everyday lives. These shoppers value authentic self-expression with their peer groups and focus on building communities with like-minded individuals.
This also feeds into their expectations around their in-store shopping experience. Gen Z supports brick-and-mortar retailers at far higher levels than previously thought. However, they require a high level of in-store support such as diagnostics, skin screening, and access to highly trained and informed shop assistants. They also place a high premium on the in-store shopping environment.7
Focus on ingredients
But what possibly sets Gen Z consumers most apart is their commitment to researching product ingredients and efficacy. Value and efficacy matter to them and are a driving force in the growth of ‘masstige’ brands8. These products typically offer the best of both worlds: combining the prestige of luxury with the accessibility of mass-market products.
One example is L’Oréal Paris which offers high-quality beauty products at an affordable price. The brand has been successful in creating its ‘masstige’ image by providing products that are of high quality and accessible to a large audience. Its hair care product EverPure is a good example. Marketed as a luxurious, sulfate-free hair care line, it is affordable for the everyday consumer.9
MAC Cosmetics also offers high-end makeup products accessible to a wide range of consumers. Professional makeup artists often use the brand's products, but they are also a hit with shoppers looking for a prestige brand, but at an affordable price point.10.
How Oleon can help
At Oleon Health and Beauty, we know how important it is for your brand to stay in tune with the unique requirements of the Gen Z consumer. Our range of beauty and personal care ingredients is developed with sustainability, transparency, authenticity, and efficacy in mind – offering solutions that reflect the positive societal and environmental impacts that Gen Z consumers bring to the table.
If you need additional information on our range of products, including our sustainably produced ACT range, why not contact the Oleon Health and Beauty team today? Simply click here.