‘Fun to use’ – study reveals what teenage beauty consumers want

Young beauty consumers want products that change colour, more beauty tutorials and multisensorial experiences, according to a new report from Mintel, a market research company.

Kylie Cosmetics

As Kylie Jenner and Zoella’s cosmetic brands demonstrate, the teen beauty market is becoming more lucrative and beauty brands and retailers have much to gain if they learn how to approach these consumers.

In fact, eight in ten UK consumers aged 16-20 have bought beauty products in the last year, according to the survey. However, the results reveal that people in this age group are still exploring and learning their own preferences, and are interesting in learning more about themselves and the products they use.

Indeed, 61% of 16-20s are interested in having their skin/hair analysed and 60% would like to take a personality quiz to identify their beauty needs. Meanwhile, 58% like to watch videos of other people using the beauty/grooming products they own. Notably, just 10% have bought a customisable beauty product, suggesting a lack of confidence in knowing their specific beauty needs.

Mintel analysts have developed a name for this generation: AVID, an acronym that stands for Approaching adulthood, Video driven, Influencer aware and Digitally native consumers.

“AVIDs’ beauty knowledge is still growing and their tastes are constantly changing, so they need guidance and expertise to help them navigate the beauty market,” says Charlotte Libby of Mintel.

“Brands that are able to take teenagers by the hand and help them in their journey of self-discovery can win these young consumers’ trust and earn their loyalty in the long run. However, learning has to be a fun and pleasurable experience.”



Fun retail experiences are indeed what 16-20s want. 53% of those surveyed are interested in attending a special event at a beauty retailer, such as an exercise class or an expert talk, and 37% are interested in using vending machines for beauty products.

“We’re increasingly seeing retailers turn stores into beauty playgrounds where consumers can experiment with products and new technologies. For example, to celebrate its 20th anniversary later this year, Sephora will host ‘Sephoria: House of Beauty’ in the US. The two-day beauty convention will bring together brands, consumers and influencers and offer a range of social media-friendly experiences in interactive rooms,” Charlotte continued.

AVIDs also want stimulating elements in their beauty products, with 64% of them excited about products that are ‘fun to use’. Special effects seem to resonate particularly well with this age group, with 38% interested in colour-changing or texture-changing products and 28% intrigued by heat-activated products. Additionally, 24% would like products that include music playlists.

“Capturing the attention of AVID consumers is no easy task: they are hard to impress, they have a short attention span and they have seen it all before! They demand a product that works, but also one that is stimulating. For example, we’ve seen companies bring new music elements to engage with teenagers. This includes music streaming services partnering with beauty brands and recommending products based on consumers’ musical tastes, or playlists of just the right length for consumers to listen to while applying skincare,” says Andrew McDougall, global beauty analyst at Mintel.

“Meanwhile, the link between food and beauty is getting stronger”, McDougall continued, referring to a DIY face mask maker launched earlier this year by Lidl which allows consumers to create their own custom-made hydrogel masks using fruit juices, milk and yoghurt.

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