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Marketing Matters: Why She Won’t Buy Naturals ...

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: May 28, 2008

Editor’s Note: This article originally was published in the March 2008 issue of Global Cosmetic Industry (GCI) magazine and is being reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

With all the hype about natural makeup and organic skin care and all of the alarms sounding daily about cosmetic ingredients now found to harm instead of help, why aren’t all women jumping on the natural/organic bandwagon? Simply put: They’re not ready yet—but just wait.

Just who are these brash women, still loyal to their science-based cosmetics brands, still daring to slather parabens and artificial fragrances on their faces and refusing to take heed of the headlines or their inner holistic beauty goddesses?

They’re about half the U.S. population of regular female beauty buyers, those who have bought beauty products in the past 12 months—or, to be more precise, 51% of beauty-buying women, according to The Benchmarking Company’s The Age of Naturals Pink Report (January 2008). The differences between how women who’ve so far shunned the natural/organic beauty-buying trend and those who embrace it are intriguing both demographically and psychologically.

Demographic and socioeconomic breakdown

>The Age of Naturals posed numerous questions to women about themselves and their families. Among other facts, it showed 52% of traditional beauty-buying women are employed either full- or part-time, compared to 58% of natural beauty buyers. Traditional beauty buyers claim to hold slightly less stressful jobs, with 44% of traditional buyers indicating they experience “moderate to high” levels of on-the-job stress, compared with 51% of natural beauty buyers. Sixty-four percent of traditional beauty buyers have a household income of less than $50,000 per year, compared to the 54% of their natural beauty-buying sisters.

Traditional beauty buyers are also slightly less educated than those who claim to buy natural/organic beauty products, with 33% of traditional buyers holding at least an associate’s degree, compared to 44% of the natural buyers. Only 56% of traditional beauty buyers say they exercise regularly, compared with 78% of natural beauty buyers. Consequently, traditional beauty buyers tend to wear larger dress sizes than natural beauty buyers, with 41% of traditional buyers wearing a size 16+ dress, compared to 28% of natural beauty buyers.

Psychological breakdown