What Consumers Want from Skin Care

Most consumers say their current skin care needs are not met by their existing routines.
Most consumers say their current skin care needs are not met by their existing routines.

For most consumers, a skin care routine is a positive part of her everyday rituals that makes her happy. Thirty-eight percent see it as “me” time, and say the more steps, the better. Sixty-three percent wash their face at least two times per day, and 57% apply moisturizer at least twice daily.

When asked to tell us their thoughts on their skin care routine and skin care in general, here were the top responses:

  • 97% love to try new facial skin care products
  • 89% willing to spend more on higher quality facial skin care products
  • 89% always on the lookout for new facial skin care products
  • 88% share knowledge of facial skin care products with friends and family
  • 81% seek out advice/recommendations from friends on facial skin care products
  • 80% are always on the lookout for something better, even if satisfied with her current skin care

Generational Concerns

Most consumers (65%) are not skin care newbies, meaning they are already using anywhere from three to five skin care products each day to address their main skin concerns and issues.

Considering a generational viewpoint, the top two skin concerns are, unsurprisingly, acne and fine lines/wrinkles (see T-1). Younger consumers (Gen Z and millennials) cite acne as their number one skin concern, while Gen X and baby boomers reveal that fine lines and wrinkles are top of their concern list.

Skin Care Not Meeting Needs

Surprisingly, even though most consumers are using a fair number of skin care products on a regular basis, their needs aren’t necessarily being taken care of, with 71% of consumers saying their skin care needs are not being met! By age, here are the top concerns consumers told us aren’t currently being met by their skin care:

  • Gen Z: acne/breakouts
  • Millennials: dark eye circles
  • Gen X: fine lines/wrinkles
  • Baby boomers: fine lines/wrinkles

Personal focus group research backs this study up. Whenever The Benchmarking Company conducts skin care focus groups in cities across the United States, the elimination of dark circles (throughout all generations) surfaces as a need that current products are not addressing to consumers’ satisfaction.

What She’s Using Now

When it comes to her skin care routine and the products she’s currently using, basics (cleanser, exfoliator), along with targeted topical products (eye cream, anti-aging treatments), were among the top products used by consumers across all age brackets (see T-2).

However, if you take a deeper look by age, it’s easy to see how usage of anti-aging products is less frequent among younger consumers, and more popular among older consumers who ostensibly are more concerned with addressing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness.

Brand Opportunity: Meeting Her Unmet Needs

Nearly three-quarters of consumers don’t feel their skin care needs are being met. This presents a huge opportunity for brands to rethink how to address her needs while also giving her access to new, exciting products and benefits that are unique from what’s currently available.

A good place to start would be to take a look at the products consumers say they currently aren’t using but would like to give a try (see T-3), which include cleansing balm (the number-one pick of all consumers), detoxifying treatments, devices and neck creams.

Up Next

Coming in the April 2019 issue: Part 2: What consumers are willing to spend, on what and where; key purchase influencers; consumer-approved trends; retail category picks.

Denise Herich is co-founder and managing partner at The Benchmarking Company (www.benchmarkingcompany.com), which provides marketing and strategy professionals in the beauty and personal care industries with need-to-know information about its customers and prospects through custom consumer research studies, focus groups, its annual PinkReport and consumer beauty product testing for marketing claims.

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