Is the Cosmetics Industry Missing an Important Demographic?

Older Women Are Feeling Ignored

The recent Survey of Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age, and Media by AARP sets out some very specific findings on what Boomer consumers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are looking for in the way of beauty products and cosmetics. The survey gathered information from nearly 2,000 women respondents and the findings were very clear: as women age, they feel increasingly ignored by the beauty and personal grooming industry.

Findings of the survey indicate that women make as much of a financial investment in their beauty and cosmetics products from the age of 55 forward as any other demographic surveyed. Yet as they age, they are finding that they have difficulty finding products tailored to their age and specific issues. Could it be that the industry is missing an entirely underserved market?

Anti-Aging is a Dirty Word

The term “anti-aging” is commonly used in the beauty industry but is that something that Boomer women buy into? In a survey entitled Older Women: The Forgotten Demographic, market researcher Imogen Matthews researched women from 54 to 90 years of age.

She found that because most ads for “anti-aging” products featured young models, older women didn’t buy into the marketing. Although many brands attempt to reach out to the mature woman, these women are turned off by the advertising. Words such as anti-aging don’t resonate well with older consumers. Boomers want to highlight what is good and beautiful about themselves instead of hiding what is bad.


A Golden Opportunity

According to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, cosmetics and beauty products geared to women in their 50s, 60s and older is “a golden opportunity for global beauty companies.” Bloomberg says that the market for this demographic is set to jump to almost $80 billion in the next five years. “The aging population is going to be one of the key areas of focus for all beauty companies around the world,” says Stephanie Gabriel, vice president of business development at Beautystreams, a trend forecaster.