Older Women: Is there an Opportunity for Niche Brands?


Last year, the UK premium beauty market grew by 6% to reach a massive £2.2bn.

A high percentage of these products will have been bought by women over 45, who represent an increasing proportion of the population.

It goes without saying that this is an immensely important and influential group that the beauty industry should be targeting.

The truth is somewhat different.

Our exclusive research into older women’s beauty habits revealed a growing dissatisfaction and frustration at the lack of products suitable for their particular needs.

The problems it seems begin at point of sale where women are finding it hard to discern which products had been designed with them in mind. 50% of respondents wanted better explanations of which products were meant for them.

Where are the textures and finishes designed for their colouring and skin or hair type?

What’s more, far from being stuck in their ways, we found that women over 45 are keen to try new brands and products. Especially when they could understand the benefits to their specific needs.Tellingly, they avoid products with unbelievable claims.

We noticed that a significant minority are switching to niche brands as they believe they have a better understanding of their needs.

For our forthcoming report, we interviewed 3 niche brands who are focusing on this key demographic. Each are unique in their product categories.Here’s a sneak preview into their approach:

White Hot Hair is based on the principle of real customer need that is specific to grey, white and mature hair.Jayne Mayled, Founder, created the brand because she couldn’t find a specialist range of products that also spoke to her in a way that reflected how she wanted to feel about her hair – positive, upbeat and glamorous.

Our customers, generally 40+ with a core of 50-65+, tell us that they want products that feel more ‘positive age’ than ‘anti-age’ as by our 50s many of us feel that age is something to be thankful for and to celebrate, rather than to battle against.”

Stratum C is the first skincare range scientifically developed with large quantities of active ingredients specifically designed for menopausal skin.

Tim Clover, CEO, Forme Group, spotted a gap in the skincare market dominated by products that patronise 60-year old women by using 29-year old models.

Our research showed that there are huge changes to the skin at the time of the menopouse and there’s no-one else producing skincare to address that. There are two and a half million women going through the menopause. L’Oreal might have a different opinion but we believe it’s a market worth going after.”

Studio 10 is a capsule range of tailor-made products specifically for maturer face and skin.

Grace Fodor, Founder, developed the products because she found there was a lack of coherence when it came to brands and products aimed at mature women.

I think so many beauty brands, especially in cosmetics, do not truly understand the needs of older women, in order to meet them. We worked hard to choose the right texture, pigment, finish and colour, that specifically suits and works for ageing skin.”

These three brands are highlighting and addressing the shortcomings of so many established beauty brands with regard to older women’s beauty needs.

Coming soon: the second edition of our report into what older women really think about shopping for beauty, the products they use and how brands and retailers can successfully target this group.

Do you have a view on how the beauty industry can better target older consumers?

Let us know in the comments section below.