The millennial generation has become the heaviest buyers of skin care products. This article explores the possible reasons behind the generation’s sudden fixation with the process of getting perfect skin.
If you want to make a random millennial’s day a little brighter, complimenting them about their glowing and “popping” skin almost always works. After their face lights up from the compliment, chances are they will then proceed to excitedly tell you about the new moisturizer they started using or their ten-step skin routine.
Seemingly overnight, every twenty-something developed a liking for skin care. If you want to see the craze for yourself, all you have to do is open Twitter and Instagram and read thousands of millennial women passionately talk about their skin rituals, go-to serums, and favorite moisturizers.
To put things in perspective, 972,000 people are currently subscribed on the ‘Skincare Addiction’ board on Reddit and they are one of the most active communities in the platform. According to The Cut, its subscriber base increased 100 percent in just a span of six months in 2016. Millennials’ love affair with skincare goes beyond the online world. In fact, according to TABS Analytics’ 2016 beauty buying survey, millennials have become the highest and heaviest buyers of skin care products. Another study, this time from Dermatology Times, found that more millennials are getting preventive cosmetic treatments such as injections for platelet rich plasma and stem cell rejuvenation.
With all these numbers, you can’t help but wonder why and how this all started. What made millennial women develop this fixation on skin care and what made it one of their top concerns?
It’s a self-love movement
Self-love is a state of enjoyment and affection with yourself, and millennials are collectively dedicated to this mindset. Coming after Gen X who are dubbed as the ‘low esteem generation’, today’s generation is the complete opposite. This generation knows how important it is to prioritize themselves and are actively doing ways to invest in their own well-being. Millennials spend twice as much as boomers for self-care and self-improvement tools such as gym memberships, therapy, diet plans, and yes, you guessed it: skincare.
For millennials, a task as simple as washing your face or applying a soothing cream under the eyes is a ritual that demonstrates self-love. While this self-love movement is also the exact reason that gave them a bad rep of being entitled and self-obsessed, the commitment of this generation to personal improvement and their regard for their own happiness is admirable.
It’s a coping mechanism
If there’s one thing that millennials are more concerned with than treating their skin well, it’s their social responsibility. According to Millennial Impact Report, millennials are becoming more engaged with activism and concerned with philanthropic causes. From political to environmental causes, they are either actively playing their part on the streets or passionately spreading awareness online. And let’s face it: that can get tiring.
On December 2017, The New Yorker published an article about skin care as millennials’ newest coping mechanism. The said article cited how feeling good with your skin can improve one’s mood and can result in happiness and relaxation. Sure, this may sound absurd, but when you’re constantly discussing issues of gender pay gap and racism or trying to fight the destruction of the environment, thinking about what kind of face mask you will use tonight is a great distraction from these harsh realities. It’s a form of escape and pleasure at the end of the day. To put it simply, skin care has the power to make you feel in control and make you feel like you have your life together, no matter how true or not that is.
This skin care phenomenon is more than just finding some sort of fountain of youth and preventing wrinkles. The skin is a six-pound organ in our body, and treating it well does more wonders than we realize.