Fairness and greenness seem to be the features of well-being for Gen Z as a new report highlights Zoomers' view on everything beauty.
UK students are taking a stand against animal testing and harmful ingredients in the beauty products they purchase. This is according to a new Beauty Report from UNiDAYS, the world’s leading student affinity network.
Gen Z And Beauty Shopping: The Report
The UNiDAYS Beauty Report, which surveyed 4,845 students last June, reveals what Gen Z wants from beauty brands, providing crucial insights into a demographic that is set to spend most of their holiday shopping budgets on beauty and fashion this year, with 60% of UK students planning on purchasing fashion items and 40% planning on buying beauty products as holiday gifts.
The report found that UK students are willing to spend 10-20% more for ethically sourced and vegan beauty products and 37% refuse to buy products that include harmful ingredients. Of all the famous cosmetic companies, The Ordinary, MAC Cosmetics, and Benefit Cosmetics – all of which do not test on animals and advocate ending animal testing globally – are the most popular beauty brands with Gen Z.
The (Beauty) Awareness Issue
While UK students’ intentions are clear, there is an issue when it comes to awareness. While 7 in 10 have checked if a product has been tested on animals, 2 in 5 have never checked to see if a product contains microplastics or palm oil. But when asked about the most important factor when deciding which beauty brands to shop for, students ranked environmentally conscious and sustainability among the top three factors they consider.
Gen Z, Beauty And The Socials
Beyond the ethics of the products they are purchasing, the report highlights the value of social media. 62% of UK students said social media is the primary platform used to keep up with the latest beauty trends, news and tips, with Instagram being the go-to destination for the majority (80%). Video tutorials prove popular among students: 3 in 4 watch tutorials to find beauty recommendations and see the products in action, with YouTube, Instagram and TikTok as the most commonly used platforms.
In addition, influencers play a crucial role for Gen Z when it comes to beauty purchase decisions. A third of UK students (34%) use influencers to keep up with the latest in the world of beauty, with nearly two-thirds (63%) of these respondents more likely to purchase a beauty product that uses influencers in their advertising.
Shopping Time Preferences
The online experience is not proven to be everything. UK students are ready to hit the high street this Christmas, with nearly half (47%) preferring a mixture of the in-store and online shopping experience, and over a quarter (28%) opting for mainly in-store.
Several factors fuel Gen Z’s desire for in-store experiences. Namely, students like the opportunity to see the item before they buy it (81%), test the item (65%) and take their purchases straight home (57%).
During the current economic uncertainty, students are looking to spread their cash further where possible. While most buy beauty products when they run out, over half (52%) will wait until they see an offer or discount before making a purchase.
Despite these restraints, Gen Z still likes to make an extra effort on special occasions. A quarter of those surveyed typically wear 10+ beauty products on a night out.
Alex Gallagher, Chief Strategy Officer at UNiDAYS said: “UK students are ready to find their next favourite beauty product, but they have conditions that must be recognised.
Our report found that Gen Z actively looks for brands that maintain the highest ethical standards, they are passionate about sustainability and environmental issues and expect brands to reflect this.
Brands should take the above into account when considering their business practices and product ingredients. Moreover, it’s beneficial for brands to clearly communicate their cruelty-free and environmentally friendly practices in their brand messaging. These efforts are key to earning the trust and loyalty of this hyper-aware, hyper-connected demographic.”
Brands can learn from Gen Z as Gen Z can study more about beauty. On the bright side, UK students are on a good path to making good decisions also for their beauty time.
See the full report here.