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Millennials & Teens’ Top 10 Beauty Brands

In June, we asked 1000 13-32-year-olds all about their health and beauty preferences, behavior, and products. We took the opportunity to ask them their favorite beauty or personal care brand, and culled down their responses into top ten lists for guys and girls.

Our most recent topline and data had Millennials and teens weighing in on health and wellness, physical activities they engage in and what fitness classes they’re taking, as well as the apps they use to track their activity. We also take a look at the personal care and beauty products they’re using, and what exactly influences those purchase decisions. We know that in an average day, eight percent of 13-32-year-olds overall and 10% of females 13-32-years-old spend money on personal care products/beauty products and cosmetics. But we wanted to know what their favorite beauty and personal care brands to buy are—so we asked them to tell us.

This is a qualitative look at the question, which was left open-ended. As with any qualitative question, it’s important to keep in mind that the responses will include those that are top of mind, those that are used most often, and those that are actually viewed in a positive light. That being said, the list of their top 10 brands can tell us a lot about young consumers’ tastes.

Because the majority of personal care and beauty brands are marketed according to gender, we’ve split up their favorites according to males and females. Ladies first:

So who came out on top? Though you can see it was a close race, Dove was the top mentioned favorite beauty/personal care brand among females 13-32-years-old, with Neutrogena trailing very closely behind. MAC is their third place pick, and Aveeno and Bath and Body Works almost tied for fourth place. You might notice there are actually 11 brands in the cloud, because Olay and Bare Minerals tied for tenth place. While the majority of their top 10 brands are drug store aisle tier, the fact that MAC and Bare Minerals made the list show that Millennial females are willing to spend a bit more on beauty if they believe it is quality and they love the brand. “Anything Sephora” was also mentioned by several respondents, showing that the Sephora stamp of approval means alot to those who are budgeting a bit more on beauty. Their top three beauty brands, Dove, Neutrogena, and Aveeno, have a few things in common. For one, they are not breaking the bank, but are still viewed as higher-quality than some other affordable brands. At the same time, all three brands have a reputation, and the occompanying marketing, for being more pure, natural, or authentic. 

Now for the guys:

Here the front-runners were much more clear. Dove also won out amongst males 13-32-years-old, with Old Spice as the very-close runner-up. Axe was the third place pick, and all of the top three were mentioned significantly more times than the rest of the list. Old Spice’s high ranking speaks volumes about their brand turnaround, Millennial appeal, and smart marketing over the last ten years. Axe’s appeal to Millennial guys and teens is another marketing success-story, and they’ve managed to maintain their hold on your male consumers. We should note that while some male respondents gave answers like “toothpaste” or “my shampoo,” the vast majority named a specific brand that they could name as their favorite. While gender stereotypes about young guys “not caring” about personal care brands may still linger, the reality is that they have clear preferences, and aren’t afraid to express them.