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Self-Care Essential for Millennials, Gen Z


According to a recent analysis, Millennials and Gen Z view self-care practices as essential to overall health, a departure from previous generations.

Recently, Fullscreen, a social content company, compiled a beauty and skincare culture trend analysis that shows an increase in the connection between health and beauty for consumers.

The term “self-care,” used throughout media to describe activities that bring people joy and comfort, has been on the steady rise for years, but the millennial generation and Gen Z now view the practice as a health essential that encompasses everything from fitness to skincare and mental health.

A Skincare Shift

Consumer spending has shifted from makeup to skincare, with brands adjusting their messaging and incorporating more wellness products for health and beauty, reports Fullscreen.

“Consumer spending has shifted to skincare, which further cannibalizes makeup sales by reducing the need for cosmetics,” according to the analysis. “Makeup sales from beauty giants have declined, with skincare-adjacent products like tinted moisturizer the only products seeing growth.”

Along with these findings, the younger generations are research-driven consumers who are focused on overall wellness vs. appearance and seem to be redefining traditional standards of beauty.

“Now that beauty and self-care are part of the same team, beauty rituals have become less superficial and more intertwined with kindness, compassion and therapy,” Fullscreen writes. “In a time when mental health issues are affecting so many, there is a profound movement in the beauty industry towards being less focused on appearance and more concerned with holistic well-being.”

Consumer Connection Opportunities

Notably, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine increased the volume of conversations related to beauty, with a more than 88% increase in skincare social chatter and 1.07 million beauty-related conversations happening when data for the analysis was pulled from March 15 to April 15, 2020, according to Fullscreen.

Consumers are using the pandemic as the perfect opportunity to “cocoon” inside and adopt or adapt multi-step skincare routines. This practice is seen as an investment to become the best version of themselves. Cementing this idea, social conversations related to adopting intense skincare routines rose more than 88% in the 30-day period.

Consumers are also using beauty to create instant mood improvements. Fullscreen reports that there has been a nearly 3-fold increase in social conversations related to using cosmetics to uplift mood in those 30 days.

“By focusing on providing consumers with ways on how to cope and lighten the mood, beauty brands have the power to build a stronger bond between beauty and wellness that goes beyond skin-deep,” according to the analysis.

Notably, Millennials and Generation X, which Fullscreen groups into ages 25 to 44, are reported to be 1.13 times more likely to talk about skincare compared with the average user.

“Consumers are holding on to a vision of the future to make the present time bearable,” writes Fullscreen. “Brands should focus on providing consumers with attainable beauty goals they can look to accomplish.”

Fullscreen identified five micro-trends that can be used to inspire and inform marketing messaging for the aesthetic practice:

  1. Beauty SOS: With salons and barber shops closed, consumers are looking to become more self-reliant. Provide value in consumers’ time of need by offering beauty DIY virtual classes & online resources.
  2. Mood Booster: During these uncertain times, show consumers how the simple act of playing with beauty products can help them cope by uplifting their mood and making them feel better.
  3. Face as Canvas: With the pressures and judgement of the outside world out of the equation, encourage consumers to unleash their inner creativity by using the ultimate canvas (their face) to make art.
  4. Markers of Time: As night and day seems to be morphing into one, give consumers the structure they seek by educating them on healthy habits and beauty routines to follow right now and gain a sense of control back.
  5. Cocooning: This time of isolation is an opportunity to go on hibernation mode. Empower consumers with the tools and resources they need now to emerge more confident once this period is over.
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