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More Than Lipstick

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: June 17, 2008, from the July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

What is beauty care? The answer to this question yields significant insight into the hearts and minds of women throughout the United States. How do females define beauty? What are their must-have beauty products? What beauty products or services can they not live without—and which ones do they use to relieve stress? The answers to these questions will provide spa owners and estheticians insight into the wants and needs of today’s clientele. This information should help guide the spa business decisions that are made on a daily basis to continue to be relevant to today’s female clients.

A brave new world

Women’s lives are very different from those of even several decades ago. More and more they have moved out of the home and into the workforce—most are breadwinners. Their evolving roles are nothing short of revolutionary and have changed everything, including the definition and importance of beauty care. This represents an amazing opportunity for all beauty care and beauty service providers. Understanding how women define beauty care and why can lead to an increased understanding of their needs, as well as a greater share of their pocketbook.

Recent research has revealed several interesting themes that revolve around the female consumer’s definition and use of beauty care. Five major findings are explored in this article in order to share consumer insight and implications for beauty marketers. All the statistics in this article have been provided by the March 2006 edition of the Pink Report, a quarterly research account that reveals what consumers of female beauty products want, what they’ll buy and why.

Key finding No. 1: Beauty care is about taking care. Perhaps the most intriguing finding is the shift from the importance of “looking good” to that of “taking care.” Yes, women still want to look good and appear younger, but the primary focus has moved from solely physical to taking care of skin and hair as the primary effort. U.S. women want great skin and this desire grows daily in importance.

When asked to identify what beauty care means, more than 90% acknowledged skin care as synonymous with it. This was followed closely by body and hair care. (See What Does Beauty Care Mean?)