From Z to A: Gen Alpha is beauty’s new super consumer
One of the more intriguing trends to emerge over the holiday season were the beauty wish lists of Generation ‘Gen’ Alpha. Specifically, the skincare obsession among teenagers and tweens has garnered significant attention, with coverage in the likes of Vogue Business, NPR, and CNN. It elicited a mix of amusement, confusion, and dismay from parents and beauty retailer employees.
The beauty routines, showcased in a barrage of “Get Ready With Me” (GRWM), “BeautyTok”, and “ShowerTok” videos, are unlike those of previous generations. They involve extensive involvement and utilise active ingredients traditionally targeted toward an older demographic.
Gen Alpha, comprising children born since 2010, are now more clued up than their predecessors on the benefits of hyaluronic acid, vitamin C’s skin-brightening benefits, and the best ingredients for repairing the skin barrier.
Demographer and social researcher Mark McCrindle, who coined the term Gen Alpha, predicts that this cohort will be the largest in history, with an estimated population of around 2.5 billion this year. Furthermore, McCrindle forecasts that Gen Alpha will have the greatest spending power yet. According to his research cited by Harvard Business Review, they are projected to spend over $5.39 trillion by the end of 2024, surpassing millennials’ $2.5 trillion as of March 2023 and Gen Z’s projected $3 trillion purchasing power by 2030.
For Gen Alpha, beauty is not solely about appearance. It’s also about self-expression, enjoyment, and self-care. There are arguments on both sides of the coin. Some express concerns about the connection between unattainable beauty standards, the pressure to buy to keep up, and mental health. On the other hand, there are positive arguments, like the fact that sunscreen has never been cooler, encouraging earlier adoption of sun protection habits.
Regardless of one’s stance, it is undeniable that Gen Alpha beauty enthusiasts reflect a transformative era in the beauty industry.
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