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The State of Cosmetics in 2011 With Exclusive Commentary About Becoming a Socially Conscious Spa

Posted: January 12, 2011

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Role of ‘emotional bond’ in consumer loyalty to cosmetic brands. Cosmetic brands scored high on a Brand Keys “Loyalty Leaders” report, which found that, even in a bad economy, consumers stick with their favorite premium cosmetic brands alongside cheaper ones, also noting that the emotional connection forged with cosmetic brands is due to impact on self-image.

Why cosmetics top the list of shoplifted goods. "Health and beauty care items" accounted for 20% of all items stolen from supermarkets in 2008, according to a survey from the Food Marketing Institute, with Oil of Olay skin creams topping the list of swiped items.

Youth and cosmetics. According to The NPD Group Inc., in 2005 the average age a woman began using beauty products was 17; today it is 13.7. Experian Market Research shows that 43% of 6- to 9-year-olds are already using lipstick or lip gloss, 38% use hairstyling products and 12% use other cosmetics (J. Bennett: Newsweek article “Generation Diva”).

Cosmetic buying habits related to perceived health and safety concerns. According to Datamonitor, 28% of consumers currently deliberately avoid certain cosmetics or toiletries because of fears about certain ingredients, and 39% are somewhat or extremely concerned about parabens or petrochemicals used in beauty product formulations. U.S. Food and Drug Administration statistics confirm that cosmetics are one of the safest categories of products used by Americans: With more than 11 billion personal care products sold each year, only 150 adverse experiences (mostly skin rashes or allergies) have been reported.

How being ‘green’ affects consumer spending in the cosmetic category. According to Grail Research, a full 93% of consumers feel that a company being green is important to their purchase decision, with 80% of consumers citing “natural” as the most important green attribute for cosmetic/toiletry products. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 Annual Survey, manufacturers of beauty products consumed less than a third of the kilowatt hours of electricity relative to the average of other U.S. manufacturers. However, most are either not aware or cannot recollect companies' green initiatives.