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Skin of Color in the United States

By: Daphne Kasriel-Alexander
Posted: August 23, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Significantly, one of SpaFinder’s Top 10 Global Spa Trends to Watch in 2010 is “Diversity at a tipping point.” Analysts of this spa resource believe that this year in the United States, diversity—which includes new ethnic audiences as well as nontraditional clients, such as teens, seniors and men—has reached a tipping point. Spa-going has become so mainstream that the face of the spa-goer already mirrors, and will continue to reflect, the wider population. “Spas are taking note, with offerings that cater to these diverse groups’ needs and wants,” according to the report. SpaFinder argues that the growing non-white U.S. population is a force partially responsible for putting fresh new faces not only in the White House, but also in the spa.

Affluent consumers of color

Luxury marketers are starting to think of new ways to segment and target consumers, and many analysts are pointing to a cohort of comfortable-but-often untapped consumers—affluent consumers of color. This group is an under-the-radar-but-overtly-influential consumer segment offering opportunity for luxury purveyors. According to Merill Lynch, approximately 40,000 Hispanics are physicians, and Packaged Facts indicates that Asian-Americans now total about 13 million people in the United States, representing between 10–25% of elite university enrollments.1 Within this group, Asian Indians are the fastest-growing and wealthiest ethnicity, with almost 40% of them holding a professional degree.1 In the United States, companies, such as New Jersey-based Diversity Affluence are seeking to help brands understand and market to affluent consumers of color.

Tomorrow’s U.S. consumer of color

U.S. consumers overall are increasingly more vocal and aware of their importance to companies. The same applies for consumers of color, who choose which beauty standards they follow and set. They change without giving notice and demand that their beauty needs be respected. It may be time to ask the question: How is your spa serving multicultural clients?


1. (Accessed Jul 12, 2010)