Over-50s women are now biggest buyers of beauty products: Rise fuelled by older brand ambassadors including Helen Mirren


Once the beauty industry was defined by 20-somethings copying the coltish models of the day, but now its most important customers are women twice their age.


The Daily Mail reports that the over-50s have become the biggest buyers of beauty products in the UK – fuelled by the rise of older cosmetics brand ambassadors such as Dame Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda.

Total average expenditure on cosmetics products for women from the age of 50 to when they turn 70 is now up to £43,446 – which makes this age group the biggest spending for the first time.

Women over 45 account for 58.14 per cent of the beauty market, while the over-60s are behind a quarter of all beauty sales in Britain  – more than double that of a decade ago. The 45 to 54 age group now spends £2,238 a year on beauty products – up 4.1 per cent on previous years. The 55 to 64 age group now spends £2,190 a year, which at an increase of 4.9 per cent makes it the UK beauty industry’s biggest growth area. The boom has been put down to cosmetics companies such as L’Oreal and NARS taking on older stars to sell their products. Escentual.com beauty director Emma Leslie said: ‘The peak age for women to take care of their beauty is now 49 – this is the tipping point age now when many women realise they have to try harder to keep their looks. Back in the 2000s the peak spending age would have been around the late 30s.

A lot of this shift is also down to the use of older brand beauty ambassadors such as Helen Mirren and Tilda Swinton, but women over 50 now tend to have more active social and work lives and so are more inclined to make sure they keep their looks.

‘‘They are much more likely nowadays to pay for premium products to help maintain a more youthful appearance.’ In the past year, beauty brands have chosen to use ambassadors such as Dame Helen, 69, and Miss Fonda, 77, who both promote L’Oreal age perfect day cream.

Miss Swinton, 54, is the brand ambassador for NARS, while Charlotte Rampling, 69, and 65-year-old Jessica Lange have been picked to promote Marc Jacobs beauty. But while middle-aged ladies are spending more on cosmetics, the young are.

The 19 to 24 age group now spend £1,759 a year on cosmetics (a fall of 12 per cent), the 25 to 34 age group spend £2,045 (a fall of 5 per cent) and among 35 to 44-year-olds, there has been just a slight increase of 1.2 per cent to £2,183 a year. The Escentual.com market research also found that younger women tend to buy cheaper brands than more mature women.

Dame Helen – who showed her fashion credentials by briefly dyeing her blonde bob pink for the Baftas in 2013 – was asked to model for L’Oreal in January this year. She said she was ‘surprised’ yet ‘flattered’ to have been picked and spoke of her obsession with make-up even as she approaches her 70th birthday in July. ‘I love make-up,’ she said. ‘I’m often seen prowling the aisles of various chemists all over the world looking for a new lipstick or a new mascara, so to become a spokesperson for a major cosmetics firm is very exciting. ‘I think L’Oreal’s slogan “Because I’m worth it” really strikes a chord with women. Self-esteem is such a hugely important thing and it’s so difficult for all of us.’

Despite the rising number of older models, surveys suggest that most women believe their looks have faded long before they reach 50. A 2013 poll of 2,000 women by US beauty magazine Allure found that most consider their beauty to ‘peak’ at the age of 31. And most said they think they stop looking ‘sexy’ at 53.

(Article source: The Daily Mail)

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