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This Spring we surveyed nearly 700 women from the Truth in Aging community and beyond. We were overwhelmed — and heartened — by the surprising results of the survey. Read on to find out the truth about the beauty and skin care habits of older women, learn what they really think about beauty and what they know now that they wish they had known when they were younger.
When we think about aging skin, we usually think: wrinkles. Surprise! Wrinkles are NOT the top concern of the women surveyed. The top skin care concern of older women is actually sagging skin. Wrinkles and fine lines rank second and third.
To combat sagging skin, wrinkles and a variety of other skin concerns, older women are committed to spending significant time — and money — on their skin care routines. Some 58% of respondents spend more than 10 minutes per day on the skin care regimens. And six percent dedicate an hour or more. What do they do with that time? Well, over two-thirds use some kind of skin care device, such as a brush, ultrasonic or LED. Beyond that, about 80% of respondents report using four or more skin care products each day. And those products don’t come cheap. Nearly 60% of women surveyed are willing to spend as much as $100 on a single skin care product. And 13% will spend $200 or more.
Given the amount of time and money older women are prepared to invest in skin care, you would think the beauty industry would be falling over themselves to understand what drives these power consumers and market to them. Think again. While big brands invest millions in celebrity spokesmodels, only 2% of respondents were likely to try a new product based on celebrity endorsements. On the other hand, some 86% were likely to buy a new product based on online reviews.
What’s more, these women are looking for a reason to try new products. A full 70% of women said that they were interested in trying something new, twice as many as said they wanted to stick with their existing routine.
Get more survey results: 5 Marketing Mistakes the Beauty Industry Is Making Right Now
When it comes to basic skin care, older women agree on some things. Over 80% say they never go to bed with makeup on and 70% say they never use bar soap. What DO they do religiously? A whopping 88% say they ALWAYS wear SPF, 85% exfoliate at least once per week, and 78% wear an eye cream.
Asked at what age they looked their best, some 65% of respondents said they looked their best in their 20s or 30s; however, 70% say they didn’t realize it at the time. So what advice would they give their younger selves, looking back on a lifetime of beauty experience? It’s obvious: Stay out of the sun!
When asked about the one thing that makes an older woman look younger, very few respondents said hair color or wrinkle-free skin. In fact, the most popular answer to this question was some variant on happiness and zest for life. Responses that focused on physical attributes included healthy hair and an up-to-date hairstyle, clear, bright, firm skin and not wearing too much makeup.
Likewise, when asked “What makes you beautiful now?” few respondents mentioned physical attributes. Health, gratitude, confidence, wisdom and connections with others were some of the top answers. Here are some of our favorite responses to what makes women feel truly beautiful:
"The inner complexity, sensitivity, and hard-earned confidence that radiate from my eyes."
"Having the freedom to be myself. I rarely wear makeup, and enjoy my skin just as it is. I also think I look best when their is joy in my life. There is a permanent smile on my face."
"Myself, loving who I am as a woman and knowing that I can still grow every [day]. And I just do not really care what others think any more."
"Knowing that it is not only the outside that makes you beautiful but also the inside."
"My sense of humor; caring about people, being a good listener; taking care to look 'put together' even when I'm in jeans and a tee."
"My attitude. I just survived breast cancer. I am capable of anything I put my mind to."
"I love life and every day is a brand new day."
Get more survey results: What I Wish I Knew Then: Beauty Secrets of Older Women
Let us know what you think about the survey and tell us about your anti-aging beauty secrets in the comments!