What Older Women Really Want from Beauty


Anti-Ageing. Anti-Wrinkle. Laser-Lift.

These are all terms that are simply meaningless to older women.

They may sound flashy and enticing but they are not what they are looking for from their beauty products.

Not only that but they have also developed a pretty strong immunity to these marketing driven claims, which they know don’t work.

When thinking about how to target this affluent age group, you might decide that the right approach would be to simply change the wording so that it was more engaging and meaningful, right?

Wrong. Marketing puffery aside, beauty products all too often fall down in terms of formulation, because they fail to take into account changing beauty needs as women get older.

Even before they reach 50, women’s bodies are undergoing hormonal changes, which means the skin on their face, hands and legs becomes a lot drier, sometimes becoming more sensitive and starting to lose its tautness. The colour seems to drain from their face, lips, eyebrows and hair.

It’s not surprising that older women complain that they become invisible!Beauty products can help with all of these issues, but few actually do. Instead, they are formulated to work best on younger, smoother, more hydrated skins.

Older women often end up disappointed, because products simply don’t meet their expectations.

With many of the current leading products failing to capture the imagination of the older women we wanted to find out what it was they really wanted. So during our recent survey we asked them and discovered a number of gaps in the market for products aimed at their needs.

Here are a few of the issues women over 50 have with existing mainstream products:

  • Foundations, concealers and eyeshadows that emphasise, rather than hide crepey, lined skin.

  • Eyeshadow formulations containing shine/glitter particles which are highly unflattering to older skins

  • Long-lasting lipsticks that feel too dry and don’t do a good job at masking pale lips for long

  • Moisturisers that make anti-ageing claims, but don’t do enough to hydrate the skin

  • Shampoos and conditioners that leave grey hair feeling coarse and out of control

Now, some niche brands are doing an excellent job at addressing these issues with specialist targeted brands aimed at older consumers. The trouble is they only solve a few of the issues and are not as yet that widely available.

Isn’t it time that mainstream beauty brands looked at their product portfolios and included products suitable for this growing demographic?

In our forthcoming report we examine in detail why most beauty brands are failing older women and what they should be doing to take advantage of this golden opportunity.