Newfound Nostalgia

Symrise Gci2209 Lead

Nostalgia is a powerful feeling. It evokes sentiments of comfort and joy that are activated by fond childhood memories. As the state of the world feels overwhelming and uncertain, consumers are searching for beauty that helps re-awaken a sense of newfound nostalgia, which provides them uplifting familiarity.

The newfound nostalgia craze is driven by childhood favorites from the ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s. Powered by Gen Z, the trend has also been particularly appealing to millennials who are reminded of this sweet spot in pop culture. A collective love for the nostalgia aesthetic has ignited a youthful exuberance within these generations.

Millennials report the highest average stress level of all generations overall (APA1). Similarly, 91% of Gen Z’s between ages 18-21 say they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom due to stress in the past month (APA1). Overwhelmed with the current state of the world, these two generations are looking to brands for products that provide a sense of escapism, comfort, and self-expression. Turning minimalism upside down, these generations prefer a bright, vibrant aesthetic that mirrors how they see the world.

Nostalgic Beauty Drivers

Beauty brands are hyping this trend by taking inspiration from the 80s, 90s and 00s. Nude lips, bright blush and high gloss are back in fashion. Favorite childhood sweets and snacks are being re-launched with a modern twist to cultivate nostalgic feelings. Soft pastels, animated packaging and fun-to-feel, playful formulas bring this trend to life.


Humans seek familiarity in times of uncertainty. After months of uncertainty about the future, consumers are ready to feel safe again. We see new launches and beauty collections emerging that remind millennials of childhood favorites. From TV shows to familiar foods to childhood scents, these products seem to remind young millennials of simpler times while simultaneously delighting Gen Z’s. To compliment this drive for comfort, Symrise legacy ingredient Frescolat® ML, provides a gentle cooling comfort sensation that leaves you feeling revitalized and refreshed.


Throwback-inspired products remind us of “the good old days” while simultaneously helping these highly stressed and overwhelmed generations relax. Longing for the past can be very comforting and can incite warm, cozy feelings. Vibrant colors, playful stickers and loud aesthetics are captivating to the consumer. As tired eyes and dull skin can result from stress, Symrise has developed the highly efficacious ingredient SymLift®. SymLift® instantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and leaves your skin with a smoother, more youthful complexion.


Consumers’ need for expression and individuality is only growing as they become tired of stereotypes and labels. Increased acceptance, representation and personal expression is making the world a more inclusive space. Experimenting with nostalgic trends of neon colors, positive affirmations and bubbly designs is allowing for timeless joy and boundless self-expression especially in color cosmetics. Primers are becoming a staple in prepping your skin for makeup application. A multifunctional ingredient like Symrise’s SymReboot L19 is excellent for primer products as it is a probiotic-derived ingredient that soothes sensitivity, improves the skin barrier, and provides moisturization. It will leave your makeup application looking flawless, giving you a smooth and hydrated canvas to express yourself in your own unique way.

Want a deeper dive into nostalgic beauty? Email us for the full presentation.

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For more information on ingredients, please visit SymSelect.com.


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