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The Skincare Boom in WE, In 3 Charts

Young Europeans are increasingly using skincare products. Here are 3 charts to help you understand the trend…


  • More Gen Z and Millennials are using skincare products as part of their beauty rituals
  • The trend can be seen for both genders, confirming that genderfluid beauty products have a bright future
  • The fastest growth is among young European males, with 57% now buying skincare products

Last year, YPulse observed that young Europeans are using beauty products as an act of self-care. During the long months (ok, years) of the global pandemic, young consumers in this region turned to beauty care products to improve their well-being, not just to enhance their physical appearance for video calls.

One key finding of this year’s WE Personal Care and Beauty Shopping is that Gen Z and Millennial in Western Europe are even more interested in using skincare products than they were in 2021. The fact that skincare use isn’t decreasing, even as young people get back to pre-pandemic routines, shows that the trend has a long-lasting hold on them. But just how popular has it gotten? These three charts will help you understand the skincare boom happening in Western Europe.

A vast majority of Millennials use skincare products, and Gen Z is catching up

Seventy percent of young people now use skincare products, a ten point increase from last year. Millennials are a lot more likely than the younger gen to use these beauty products. And the gap between the two gens is widening:

Last year, there was only four point difference between the two gens, but this year 11 points separate Gen Z and Millennials. That being said, brands should not misunderstand Gen Z’s interest in skincare products. It’s not that Gen Z is not interested. In fact, a growing proportion of Gen Z is using these beauty care products (more than three-in-five this year). It’s that Millennial demand has grown faster, outpacing the younger gen.

This might be because Millennials are older, and increasingly turning to beauty products (skincare specifically) in order to take care of their, well, aging. It is also possible that seeing many of their old pop icons—think Jessica Alba, and Justin Bieber—creating their own skincare brand is influencing them. Hollywood veteran Brad Pitt recently joined the list, with an anti-aging skincare line Le Domaine developed in the French region of Provence—hence the French name—where the movie star has a wine chateau.

Young female Europeans are overwhelmingly using skincare products, and males are catching up

 More than four-in-five young females in Western Europe tell YPulse they use skincare products, an eight-point increase from 2021. But male Europeans are also very interested in products to help their skin look better. In fact, this population reached a significant milestone this year: the majority of young male consumers now use skincare products.

Males are also more interested in personal care products for their beauty rituals in general. They’re also more likely to use makeup, and nailcare products compared with last year. Brands are catching on to this shift: Tom Daley recently became Rimmel’s first-ever male global ambassador.

Young consumers—who have redefined the gender norms—want gender barriers to be put down. And with both young males and females increasingly into skincare products, brands can address both genders at the same time by selling genderless beauty products. In the U.K., actor and celebrity Idris Elba and his wife just launched a skincare line named S’ABLE Labs. The new brand offers skincare products for people of all ethnicities and—you guessed it—all genders. Another great example is pop culture singer Lil Nas X, who recently became the U.S. brand ambassador for Yves Saint Laurent, the famous French beauty products brand. The American cultural phenomenon is known for his defiance of gender norms—remember his genderless gown?—and is incredibly popular among Gen Z.

Young Europeans from all five countries have an increased interest in skincare products, with German consumers becoming the top users

Finally, our data shows that the growing interest in skincare products is happening in all five countries in Western Europe:

In France, the growth has been the most modest since last year, with only a three-points increase from 2021. This comes as a surprise since the country is host to some major beauty brands, such as the giant L’Oréal, La Roche-Posay, and Avene. Germany is experiencing the biggest interest among their young consumers for skincare products, with a 17 point increase from 2021. An example of the boom in skincare products in Germany is the manufacturer Beiersdorf. The company that makes Nivea products has joined the DAX stock market—the German version of the NASDAQ—last summer, a good sign for the industry.

There is clearly only growing interest for skincare products among young Europeans . Brands should pay attention to the boom happening across Western Europe and take advantage of the increased use of skincare products can be seen for both gens, both genders, and all five countries.