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How BIPOC Young Consumers Are Driving the Skincare Trend, In 4 Stats

Oct 21 2021

YPulse’s recent personal care and beauty shopping research shows that young BIPOC consumers are driving the skincare trend, but how does it compare to their White/non-Hispanic peers? 

YPulse’s recent personal care and beauty shopping survey looks at how young consumers’ personal care and beauty routines were transformed by COVID and explores their beauty habits, purchases, the trends they’re into, and their ever-changing beauty routines.

During the pandemic, young consumers’ relationship with beauty has changed as they prioritized skincare over wearing makeup, and our research found that the skincare trend has grown even bigger during during this time, with the majority of young people saying their skincare routine has become more elaborate in the last year.

But our data also shows that some are investing in skincare even more than others. When we looked at the skincare habits of BIPOC young people  compared to their White/non-Hispanic peer’s, we discovered some key differences. This is a valuable consumer group for the skincare industry, so taking diversity and representation into account when creating products and marketing is crucial. Here are four stats that highlight how BIPOC young consumers are fueling the skincare movement:

BIPOC young consumers are more likely to have a structured, deliberate skincare routine.

We already told you that young consumers’ relationship with beauty has changed in the last year as they prioritized skincare over wearing makeup—and BIPOC young consumers are especially serious when it comes to taking care of their skin by coming up with more concise and organized routines. Forty-four percent of 13-39-year-old BIPOC consumers have a structured, deliberate skincare routine compared to 36% of White / non-Hispanic consumers. The difference is notable for females too, with 57% of 13-39-year-old BIPOC females saying they have a structured, deliberate skincare routine compared to 50% of White / Non-Hispanic females. Emerging beauty brands from all over the world are coming up with ways to help young consumers devise their own optimal skincare routines. For instance, Dutch beauty startup Routinely launched 13 unisex serums in Europe across Belgium and the Netherlands, along with an app that gives users ongoing, real-time guidance for getting their unique routine just right. Meanwhile, Hims & Hers has expanded their customizable skincare offerings, while brands like Atolla and Proven Skincare are known for creating personalized skincare routines for their customers, with the latter “collecting around 47 factors about a shopper and running those through its skin genome database.” According to the company’s CEO and founder Ming Zhao, Proven is “the largest personalized skincare brand in the industry, with over 100,000 customers, 70% of whom are repeat shoppers.”

The majority of BIPOC young consumers’ skincare routines have become more elaborate in the last year.

BIPOC young consumers’ skincare routines have become more elaborate during lockdowns, with 69% of 13-39-year-old BIPOC young consumers saying their skincare routine has become more elaborate in the last year compared to 58% of White/non-Hispanic consumers. In the last year, new skincare brands like Topicals have emerged to reach and target BIPOC young customers with skin conditions like acne, eczema, and other flare-ups, who have been trying to take better care of themselves. Co-founders Claudia Teng and Olamide Olowe told YPulse last year: “We’ve entered into an era of wellness where people no longer want to cover up their skin. They’d rather get to the root of why their skin is flaring up and I believe that has led to the boom in skin care. Also, the idea of skincare as self-care has now been ingrained into our minds. Skincare offers a mini-escape from reality.” And during COVID, cosmetics brands have been integrating skincare features  to meet that demand and to rally from the declining sales: Becca Cosmetics launched a “no pigment virtual foundation” to appeal to those who prefer a more natural look, while Ami Colé and MAC Cosmetics have been releasing skincare ingredient-infused items that offer a natural makeup look for BIPOC consumers. When looking at both genders, BIPOC females who wear makeup are more likely to say their skincare routine has become more elaborate in the past year compared to White/non-Hispanic females. But it’s not just BIPOC females: one in three BIPOC males have a skincare routine compared to 21% of White/non-Hispanic males—and beauty and skincare brands are already blurring gender lines by launching products that tailor to men too.

Over a quarter of BIPOC young consumers say they watch skin tutorials online.

As BIPOC young consumers focus on structured, deliberate skincare routines and create more elaborate ones, they’re turning to skin tutorials online to help them out. Twenty-nine percent of 13-39-year-old BIPOC consumers say they watch skin tutorials online compared to 23% of White / non-Hispanic consumers, with 30% of 13-39-year-old BIPOC females saying they watch skin tutorials online compared to 20% of 13-39-year-old White/non-Hispanic consumers. “Skinfluencers” have emerged as young people’s go-to source for all things skincare, and while subcultures like #SkinTok have played a big part in how young skincare enthusiasts access skin tutorials and advice, the space has been criticized for not being diverse enough. But Black influencers have been leading the skincare conversation on other social platforms like Twitter. We told you about what the BIPOC influencers that brands should know about, and many of them, including Patrick Starrr, Bretman Rock, Nyma Tang, Jackie Aina, and Monica Veloz, are known for sharing skin tutorials with their followers. For years, Tang, Aina, and Veloz have been vocal about the need for beauty tutorials for dark skin, and have been creating their own content to fill that void. According to one expert, there are women with richer skin tones that most companies are overlooking, and Tang told the New York Times: “I think everyone looks for someone that looks like them. I was definitely looking for that, especially on YouTube, and it was hard to find tutorials on products for women with deeper skin.”

Nearly half of BIPOC young consumers are more likely to buy personal care or beauty products that are BIPOC-owned.

No7 found that 63% of women of color in the U.S. don’t feel seen by the skincare industry and don’t feel like there are enough skincare offerings for them. But as BIPOC young consumers amp up their skincare routines, not only are they looking for skin tutorials by influencers who look like them, but they’re more likely to support brands owned by people who look like them and know how to develop products for skin like theirs. Forty-eight percent of 13-39-year-old BIPOC consumers are more likely to to buy a personal care or beauty product that is BIPOC-owned compared to 34% of White/non-Hispanic consumers, while our Representation in Action trend report found that 80% of 13-39-year-old BIPOC consumers say brands that create products for skin have a responsibility to represent all types of colors/tones, even if it isn’t economically profitable. And more brands are paying attention to BIPOC young consumers’ needs. We’ve already told you about Topicals, but other new skincare brands are addressing important skincare issues and concerns when it comes to melanin-rich skin. Eadem (founded by Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover), Unilever’s Melé (founded by Esi Eggleston-Bracey and Sarah Irby), and Ustawi (founded by Natacha Paugam) have created products specifically formulated for those type of skin tones. Their slew of products offered by each brand are designed to treat darker skin without lightening it or leaving a white cast—an issue many mainstream skincare products like SPF and dark spot correctors currently face when they’re only created with white skin in mind. Following last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, fashion designer Aurora James launched the 15 Percent Pledge to call on major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf life to Black-owned brands, with popular beauty and skincare retailers including Sephora and Ulta Beauty taking the pledge. During an interview with YPulse last year, James told us that young consumers “are fighting for transparency and they are using their purchases as power transactions.” Other retailers are following suit in their own ways: JCPenney recently announced their JCPenney Beauty venture and is teaming up with BIPOC-founded Thirteen Lune, led by Patrick Herning and and Nyakio Beauty founder Nyakio Grieco, to showcase beauty brands created by founders of color, and their partnership is expected to feature more than 30 beauty brands created by founders of color and allies across skincare, hair, and other categories.

YPulse Business users can access the full personal care and beauty shopping behavioral report and data here.

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