Mintel: Beauty product usage begins young among both males and females

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Mintel: Beauty product usage begins young among both males and females

By Store Brands - 08/09/2016

As many as 80 percent of all 9- to 11-year-olds in the United States use beauty and personal care products, states global market researcher Mintel in its May report "Teen and Tween Beauty and Personal Care Consumer — US." More than half of 12- to 14-year-olds use mascara (54 percent), as well as eye shadow, eyeliner and eyebrow pencils. Meanwhile, some 45 percent use foundation/concealer; 30 percent use blush/bronzer; and 10 percent use hair coloring products.

Beauty product use is not limited to young girls. While 90 percent of girls aged 9-17 are beauty product users, seven in 10 boys (69 percent) of the same age enjoy a touch of beauty as well. In the United States, more than two in five boys aged 12-17 using facial cleansing products (44 percent), perfume/cologne (42 percent) and lip care products (41 percent), while three in 10 (29 percent) use hair styling mousse, gels and creams, Mintel said.

And Mintel research indicates that a love of beauty starts early. One-quarter (25 percent) of boys and two in five girls (39 percent) aged 6-8 use body spray/perfume/cologne, while 27 percent of boys and 35 percent of girls use hair styling creams, gels, lotions, spritz and tonic. And 5 percent of boys and 45 percent of girls aged 6-8 use lipstick/lip gloss.

Although more than half (56 percent) of U.S. teens* say they use makeup to express themselves and their style, confidence is a major driver behind beauty and personal care product usage. Some 42 percent of U.S. teens aged 12-14 who use beauty and personal care products do so because it makes them feel more confident, Mintel said, rising to well over half (56 percent) of those aged 15-17. One in seven U.S. teens (16 percent) aged 12-14 use personal care products to look older/more grown up, with young boys (19 percent) more likely than girls (14 percent) to feel the pressure to look good.

When it comes to advertising, Mintel's research indicates that teen girls are looking for relatable spokespeople. More than one-third (36 percent) of all 12- to 17-year-old beauty product users are eager to see people who are not "Photoshopped" or airbrushed in beauty and personal care advertisements. What’s more, half (51 percent) of teens are looking for a spokesperson who is “like them.” Teenage boys are particularly interested in seeing celebrities (40 percent) and athletes (33 percent) as the spokesperson for their products; however, teen girls are considerably less moved by the use of celebrities (26 percent) and athletes (17 percent).

“Beauty awareness starts at an early age, and tweens/teens are becoming increasingly savvy due to the popularity of YouTube beauty tutorials,” said Margie Nanninga, beauty analyst, Mintel. "The saturation of film and TV stars and celebrity athletes, as well as the use of Photoshopped imagery in beauty and personal care advertising is driving many younger consumers to prefer more authentic representations, experiences and communication.

"Teen girls are especially likely to seek authenticity, preferring those who aren’t airbrushed and those who are strong role models," she added. "A preference for relatable spokespeople is likely driving interest in YouTube vloggers and reality TV stars, who teens likely see as more relatable."


*Mintel defines U.S. tween girls and boys as those aged 9-11 and teen girls and boys as those aged 12-17.