DSM embraces multicultural beauty, gender fluidity and new aging in cosmetics and personal care

The past 20 years have seen major changes: Thanks to rising education levels in emerging markets and improving employment conditions, more and more women around the world have a greater discretionary spending power.1 On a macro-economic level, new countries, such as Japan and South Korea, are beginning to surface as role models and influence lifestyles and tastes in food, music, fashion and beauty. And on a socio-demographic level, the number of people in the world aged 60 and over has risen exponentially. By 2030, this figure is expected to be double what it was in 2000.2 Aging populations are particularly noticeable in the West, but at the other end of the spectrum, Millennials (born after 1980) now make up the largest proportion of the population in some countries.

Most importantly, there has been a shift in attitude–younger generations have diverse perceptions of the world. Gone is the standardized definition of success. In posts from beauty and style brands on social media, the focus is shifting toward more respect for the individual. Nobody should feel restricted by age, gender or ethnic background: Consumers are looking for unique, customized products and services that maximize their strengths.

This is where diversity comes in. While multiculturalism is nothing new, minority groups have shifted from being overlooked to having major consumer clout. Diversity, however, is so much more than skin color – gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle, individual needs of skin, sun and hair care products, and life choices also matter.

Beauty diversity at DSM

As inclusivity is important to consumers, customers, and to us, we have analyzed our latest in-depth research to identify the ways in which diversity in beauty is expressed. Below you find an excerpt of various beauty expressions that we believe best reflects the diversity of the beauty consumer of today:

Multicultural beauty: The world has become a much smaller place through the wider availability of travel and DSM has seen a growing interest in brands representing the individual’s background. This has resulted in a demand for products tailored to the consumer needs of ethnic minorities all over the world. There has also been a huge growth in the global Halal cosmetics market.3
Gender fluidity: According to a recent study, 52% of women and 44% of men feel that “gender is fluid, and everyone can be what they feel like”.4 Same-sex relationships and the transgender community have become more accepted, and consumers are moving away from traditional gender stereotypes. Androgynous products, traditionally gender-specific lines for the opposite sex, and dedicated sun care products for men are becoming more common in the personal care segment.
New aging: As the latest generation of mature consumers is more healthy, active, and playful than ever before, age is no longer an accurate lifestyle descriptor. Consumers believe you can do whatever you want at any age, so concepts such as down-aging, age-blurring and agelessness have become standard. Among millennials there has also been a shift in focus to preventing rather than reversing the visible signs of skin aging.5 The result: A boom in hybrid products with anti-aging benefits and greater emphasis on the over 50s age group in advertising.

These trend expressions cover the seen aspects of beauty diversity, but there is much more to this than meets the eye. Visit our stand at this year’s in-cosmetics trade show to learn more about the unseen side to diversity.

1 Slide 6 of DSM PC Trends - Diversity only
2 Slide 3 of DSM PC Trends - Diversity only
3 Halal Cosmetics Market 2014-2025 Research & Markets
4 Slide 26 of DSM PC Trends - Diversity only
5 Slide 31 of DSM PC Trends - Diversity only

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