Gen Z is rewriting the beauty industry rulebook and it’s not all tech

In the Eye of the Beholder – a new report by research and advisory firm Gen Z Planet – reveals a dramatic shift in the beauty industry that is being brought about by Generation Z

This influential and dynamic demographic is redefining beauty, and brands that ignore their behaviours and preferences risk losing their relevance.

The report shows that in contrast with previous generations who viewed beauty as a vehicle for social acceptance and external validation, Gen Z consumers view beauty as a means to self-expression and self-care. It is an “inside-out” instead of an “outside-in” view of beauty.

Gen Z is an active beauty consumer. Two thirds (66%) say they use skincare products every day and report an annual average spend of $290 on skincare and makeup. Yet winning a share of their wallet, or their loyalty, seems hard to come by.  Hana Ben-Shabat, Gen Z Planet’s founder, who led the study, said the generation “desires a new kind of beauty, one that is more authentic, inclusive, personalised, purposeful, affordable, and experiential, and brands have to work harder to meet these expectations.”

Some brands have managed to crack the code. Cerave, for example, tops the list of the age group’s favourite brands for skincare.

The report also indicates that Gen Zers, who have been associated with everything digital, love to shop in physical stores. However, only 7% of them shop for beauty in department stores raising important questions about the future of the format that was once the beauty category stronghold.

“Gen Z not only changing the beauty game – they are completely rewriting its rules,” said Ben-Shabat, “to cater to this generation, brands will have to innovate on all fronts. Product development, go-to-market strategies, marketing, and communication. Resonating with Gen Z means securing the customer of the future and being able to shape the future of the industry.”

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