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What the Different Generations Want In Personal Care Products

Natural, sustainable beauty and personal care products are, it’s safe to say, becoming mainstream. But the lack of federally set standards has allowed for a good deal of greenwashing, creating confusion that affects one’s health just as much as one’s dietary choices. Orbis Research has found that beauty is now a $523 billion business globally, and natural brands have the upper hand in terms of building trust with conscious, connected consumers. With respect to this, here are four generations’ buying behaviors when it comes to natural personal care. Which generation do you fall under, and do you align with the characteristics of your generation as it relates to your personal care priorities?

Gen Z

A survey from Mintel shows that most members of Gen Z actively seek out verifiably clean and organic makeup and personal care products that make them look like themselves. They are more experience-focused than Gen Xers or baby boomer, which is why an in-store event that allows them to interact with personal care products is so important for them. Further, Gen Zers have found trust in established natural health and wellness influencers as a go-to resource for reliable natural personal care products.


A recent survey from Alix Partners shows that millennials—who now have the largest spending power of all—are leading the demand for transparency, traceability and sustainability in personal care. This age group is also the most willing to pay more for clean-label, ethically sourced products. Not only that, they’re increasingly buying them from smaller, purpose-driven brands that put authenticity at the fore as opposed to big players in the business.

Millennial loyalty has been garnered through the importance of storytelling via social media-these platforms show people where their products’ ingredients originate from and how they are processed. By demonstrating ethics through behavior to shoppers, brands foster the kind of value-sharing intimacy that is no longer exclusively the domain of friends and family.

Gen X

Gen X consumers care less than millennials do about how the ingredients in their personal care products are sourced and more about the removal of potential allergens and ingredient recognition. But the two generations have a mutual appreciation for simple, natural, multitasking products. The often-overlooked Gen X demographic is high-earning, high-spending and brand loyal, which makes them less likely than millennials to test out the continual stream of new brands—but a new report from Ipsos shows that if anything can get people to switch from conventional beauty products, it’s brands that clearly emphasize their natural, clean and sustainable attributes.

Baby boomers

Baby boomers are the toughest generation for new brands to convert, because they often have an established set of brands they repurchase from for all their personal care needs. Baby boomer women aren’t looking to reverse the aging process; rather, they appreciate companies that emphasize feeling good as much as looking good. They are in this way a good target for the beauty-positioned supplements that support a healthy glow from the inside out. This generation looks for detailed and transparent labeling in their personal care picks, but all-natural ingredient claims are not a top priority. As with other generations, trying out certain products in stores is the most effective way to procure new personal care sales from baby boomer shoppers according to Ipsos.

Author Credit: Kira Hunter is a content producer with New Hope Network.

Art Credit: New Hope Network

This post (or portions of this post) was provided by New Hope Network. I am a member of the New Hope Influencer Co-op, a network of health and wellness bloggers committed to spreading more health to more people. #newhopeinfluencer

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