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Pro-aging movement warns the cosmetics industry about new consumer habits

The understanding that aging is a natural process that does not need to be fought has led to a growing offer of products aimed specifically to treat the hair and skin of older people - who like to take care of themselves but don’t feel the need to look younger.

People are aging. Thanks to advancements in medicine and a trend of adopting healthier lifestyles, people are now living longer and better. According the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, Brazilians who are 65 years old or older represent over 10% of the population. By 2060, this percentage could be even higher, even surpassing the number of younger people. According to the UN, in some European countries the elderly already represent 25% of the total population.

Beraca's açaí berry extract for pro-aging facial solutions

Beraca’s açaí berry extract for pro-aging facial solutions

Aging is a natural process in life and it shouldn’t be a concern - especially for women, who hide their age and the effects of time on their beauty. This is what the pro-aging movement stands for. "We define pro-aging as a trend consisting of rejecting the idea that beauty is determined by eternal youth," says Maud Merlini, inspirational marketing manager at Seppic, a chemical specialties multinational company.

The movement - aimed at older consumers who like to take care of themselves but do not feel the need to look younger - began in 2007 with a study by Dove, which interviewed 1,500 women over the age of 50 in nine countries. Showing that real beauty does not depend on age, Dove created an ad campaign with older women, replacing the term anti-aging with pro-aging.

"Words like antiviral or antifungal were created in medicine to give the idea of fighting something. However, age is not a disease or a threat to our health that needs to be fought," says Marianna Cyrillo, marketing manager at Beraca, a leading supplier of natural and organic ingredients from the Amazon. "Consumers are changing their views and understanding that aging is part of life, that it is normal to have wrinkles and expression lines. What they need is to have nice skin, not to mask who they really are," she says.

According to dermatologist Fabiane Seidl, mature skin - just like hair - tends to get drier with age, due to a decrease of hormones. "They need specific care, aimed at restoring and moisturizing," she says.

Cyrillo says pro-aging products are developed to moisturize and improve the elasticity of the skin. They are rich in collagen, vitamins C and E, nutritional ingredients and antioxidant actives. Following this trend, Beraca launched an açaí berry extract for facial solutions. "The ingredient can improve the lushness and shininess of skin, repairing and protecting it against external aggressions while also softening the appearance of wrinkles," says the manager of the company, which is part of Sabará and Clariant Group.

Recently, Seppic introduced Aspar’age™ - a red seaweed extract that promotes pro-aging benefits - to the market. "The ingredient shows the advantages of preventative care," says Anna Mommeja, a specialist in active ingredients at Seppic. "Consumers expect more customized products that meet their own definitions of beauty and their needs. That is why I believe the pro-aging trend will coexist with the traditional anti-aging portfolio of the cosmetics industry," she says.

"The sector is adapting itself to the demands and new habits of consumers. Anti-aging products - that give the idea of the ’fountain of youth’ - will not suddenly disappear, for sure, but pro-aging is here to stay," says Cyrillo.

Renata Martins

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