25% of Gen Z feel left out of beauty ads
- 57% of Americans agree beauty brands have a responsibility to de-stigmatize flaws
- 38% of 18-24 year olds have purchased from beauty brands that promote diversity
- 67% of Americans agree social media has created impossible beauty standards
CHICAGO, May 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — While the beauty industry has made progress in becoming more inclusive, there is still room for improvement. According to the latest research from Mintel, nearly one in five US consumers (17%) feel left out of beauty ads, representing a quarter (25%) of Gen Z* consumers.
Cookie-cutter beauty standards are losing popularity, as nearly half (47%) of beauty product users say they buy from diverse or inclusive brands** and 38% of Gen Z beauty consumers bought from beauty brands that promoted diversity in the past year (compared to 23% overall). Consumers today are looking for inclusive and accessible representations of beauty, as 43% of beauty consumers say it makes them happy to see different types of beauty in ads, with half (50%) of women and 35% of men. It comes as nearly three in five Americans (57%) agree that beauty brands have a responsibility to de-stigmatize flaws.
Although consumers want to see different types of beauty represented and agree that beauty ads should make people feel good about themselves (49%), 30% of consumers say beauty ads should be ambitious.
Claire HenniganSenior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said:
“While the beauty industry has made strides in recent years to be more inclusive, there is still work to be done. Consumers continue to believe there are unrealistic beauty standards and some groups feel completely ignored. by brands. As a result, consumers are increasingly expecting brands to change the narrative and de-stigmatize “flaws”. Autonomy, consumers want brands to also reflect these changes in product development needs of an aging population.
The impact of social networks
Social media pressures have increased insecurities as nearly seven in ten consumers (67%) agree that social media has created impossible beauty standards. As a result, 9% of consumers say they have denounced beauty brands on social networks for their lack of diversity. The importance of social media is further demonstrated by the fact that a quarter (23%) of beauty product users say the type of model/influencer a beauty brand uses speaks volumes about their values. The filters and implications of being constantly exposed have impacted consumers’ mental health and self-esteem, so much so that 33% of Gen Z seek out brands that support mental health causes.
“Social media pressures have exacerbated insecurities, and consumers expect brands to de-stigmatize flaws and strive to quash unrealistic beauty standards. However, there is still a desire for messages and ads ‘ambitious.’ Brands that can strike a balance between being both relatable and ambitious will resonate with key audiences in the space.
“Social media has acted as a catalyst for inclusivity in beauty by amplifying the voices of underrepresented and marginalized groups and is where consumers, especially Gen Z and Millennials, are going to discover such Brands looking to expand and improve DEI efforts, both in terms of ads and product development, can partner with influencers who are members of the community they are targeting to ensure that efforts resonate,” Hennigan continued.
No singular way to define a “diversified beauty brand”
Finally, when asked to define what constitutes a diverse brand, the top three attributes, according to US consumers, include: a brand that creates products for people with different skin/hair types (45%); a brand that creates universal products that everyone can use (38%); and a brand that offers customizable products that can be tailored to each individual’s unique needs (30%).
When it comes to beauty/skincare ads, 86% of beauty product users are looking for realistic signs of aging. This is followed by 82% seeking racial diversity and 79% seeking people of all genders/identities.
“The push for inclusivity will impact the future of the beauty landscape in two ways: price and diversity. More than a quarter (27%) of beauty product users agree that a brand is inclusive if it offers affordable products that most people can buy This suggests that the accessibility of a brand’s products, in terms of affordability, has an impact on consumers’ perceptions of the inclusiveness of the brand. When it comes to diversity, 45% of consumers describe a diverse beauty brand as one that ‘creates products for people with different skin tones/hair types.’ This suggests that brands that develop products that everyone can enjoy while maintaining accessible prices are in the best position to be seen as ‘inclusive’,” Hennigan concluded.
Additional research on American diversity in beauty and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office.
*Gen Z consumers are those aged 18-24 in 2021.
**Includes brands that offer a wide range of products for different skin/hair types, universal products suitable for everyone, or customizable products.
SOURCE Mintel Group, Ltd.