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05 November 2020 | GSAM Connect

Love and Beauty – Part 2

The millennial demographic, made up of 2.4bn is a generation raised on the iPhone, YouTube and reality TV, with instant-access and transparency as expectations, not luxuries. They move seamlessly across platforms – from smartphone to laptop to tablet, connected every waking minute of every day. In this two-part series, we look at how companies grapple with disruptions across all industries from housing to groceries, and napkins to motorcycles, understanding the role that millennials play in forcing this innovation has become increasingly important.

But Trust Me on the Sunscreen

Consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, are now more concerned than ever about the ingredients they are putting on their faces. Millennials are selectively choosing brands that not only anticipate their needs, but those that support their ethos and are consistent with the image they want to convey. People want to celebrate natural skin and all the “imperfections” that traditional societal standards hurry to conceal, like freckles and birthmarks. This is a generation that is trading in thrills of fragrance and luxury for the benefits of the life-saving sunscreen. Many of the buzzworthy brands are now built on the premise of focusing on healthy skin and using makeup only as a tool for self-expression.

Companies have been forced to eliminate the heavily criticized parabens, sulphates, petroleum or preservative chemicals that can be harmful to the body and hormone levels, bringing in the era of natural ingredients, like sunflower seed oil, olive oil and beeswax. There is an emphasis on simplicity, right from the ingredients all the way to the finished “no-make-up” makeup look. 

Ethics in makeup production, including organics, veganism, animal testing, fair trade are also increasingly important to the younger generation. As “clean beauty” evolves to become a way of life, we could see science-led beauty brands and products dominate the market.

The Inclusion Solution

While the mainstream media has historically targeted women when it comes to beauty and grooming, there is an emerging disruptor in the beauty industry as companies now turn their attention towards one of the largest untapped consumer cohort to expand the half a trillion-dollar market — men.

The male grooming industry is seeing something of a revolution in the West as the barriers around traditional gender stereotypes are being broken down in unconventional ways. Make-up for men is becoming more mainstream, buoyed by popular television and an expansive attitude toward masculinity. The millennial generation, that has often been characterized as experimental and individualistic, has been the key driver of this change. This rejection of traditional gender stereotypes that has been catalysed by the millennials is likely to create room for more gender neutral, inclusive, and interchangeable products on the market in the future.   A growing number of companies are starting to offer makeup for men, while some brands have launched gender-neutral makeup lines.


Men's Skincare Regimen

Source: YouGov. Based on a survey using YouGov Profiles as of September 2017 with responses from more than 12,753 adult men (18+), including 1199 men ages 18-34, 2066 men ages 35-49 and 9485 men ages 50 and older.

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