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Markets & trends

Senior consumers want much more than just anti-aging cosmetics, research reveals

Companies looking to reach out to this target audience, which will account for one-third of the Brazilian population by 2050, need to develop new marketing strategies and move away from stereotypes.

Looking good is a major motivator for Brazilian women throughout their lives. In an unpublished survey conducted by Brazilian-based market research firm REDS with women over 55, 83% of respondents revealed they see beauty as an important aspect, but only 44% claimed to be happy with their appearance.

REDS' CEO Karina Milaré

REDS’ CEO Karina Milaré

According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), by 2050, one-third of the population will be over 60 years old. The world’s fourth largest market for personal care, cosmetics and fragrances will be largely driven by senior consumers.

The REDS survey found that 80% of Brazilian women over 55 use personal care products on a regular basis. “In addition to having an important market share, this market segment is particularly valuable for companies because that generation was the least affected by the financial crisis. Also, cosmetics and personal care products faced the least budget cuts if compared to other categories,” says REDS’ CEO Karina Milaré.

When looking after their appearance, 78% of respondents revealed that using cosmetics and personal care products was the most important part of their beauty routine. A balanced diet is a priority for 55% while having their manicure done was mentioned by 43% of respondents.

The challenge, says Milaré, is to create customized products to address the issues raised by this population. Nine out of 10 respondents find it important to have specific cosmetics for their age group. "However, a common complaint is that products for senior consumers only take into account the age factor, as if everyone had the same needs. Product customization as we see today doesn’t fully meet the needs of this target audience and also contributes to creating stereotypes,” she says.

Among the 56% of respondents who reported being dissatisfied with their appearance, face (50%) and hair (43%) were the main concerns. Fine lines and wrinkles were the most commonly reported skin problems, while gray hair and hair fall were the main hair issues, followed by dry, frizzy and damaged hair. Fat deposits, sagging skin and varicose veins were mentioned among the body concerns of the aging population. Lipstick, eye liner, concealer, BB cream, face moisturizer, sunscreen and facial toner were pointed out by the respondents as being essential products.

Founded in 2005, Maturi was one of the first Brazilian beauty companies to take a holistic approach towards mature consumers and move away from the ‘anti-aging concept’, says sales manager Rodolfo Gosi. “No other company had the same philosophy and it wasn’t easy to get credibility. Cosmetics have historically been associated with youth, and for that reason, the younger generation has always been at the core of marketing campaigns for beauty products and services.

Gosi says the main challenge for the company was to find a way to tap into this target market. “Consumers look for high-performance products designed to meet the needs of their age group, but often move away from the anti-aging claim.” The REDS survey showed that six out of 10 women don’t relate to beauty advertising. “We see mature women featuring in cosmetic ads in the U.S. and some European countries, but in Brazil this trend is still largely unexplored. Unfortunately, companies are still afraid that their brand will “age” if it is associated to older women,” Gosi explains.

Operating for over a decade, Maturi has pinpointed some essential features for beauty products designed for mature consumers. From a sensorial point of view, the lotions must be lightly scented to avoid perfume overload. From a clinical point of view, aging is associated with transepidermal water loss, and for this reason, all formulations must have high moisturizing properties, yet a non-greasy feel.

When it comes to packaging, Maturi has prioritized the use of larger fonts to allow for easy reading, the application of anti-slip films on packaging that often gets wet, a comfortable grip, and the use of soft colors, making it easy to differ products that are used together, such as shampoo and conditioner. Maturi products are manufactured by third-party company Anna Haven in the city of Guarulhos, and available through the company’s e-commerce, drugstores and compounding pharmacies.

Amanda Veloso

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