Cosmetics tipped as “essentials for daily life”, European study reveals

By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics tipped as “essentials for daily life”, European study reveals

Related tags study Personal care grooming

According to a new study published by the trade association for the cosmetics and personal care industry, Cosmetics Europe, 72% of European consumers see cosmetics as an important or very important part of their daily lives.

The Personal Care Association, Cosmetics Europe, has released the results of its European Consumer Perception study, highlighting the impact of cosmetics on consumers’ lives in 2022.

Over 6,000 consumers across 10 European countries took part in the research which was carried out in March 2022 on behalf of Cosmetics Europe by market research group Ifop.

The study showed that 72% of European consumers see cosmetics and personal care products as important or very important in their daily lives. The figure rose to 74% among 25-54 year-olds and reached 80% for women. Men’s perception of the importance of various sectors in cosmetics – ​including skin care, sun care, body care, perfume and make-up – ​grew in 2022 by an average of 5.5% points since 2017. 

Four-fifths of European consumers classify skin care, hair care and body care as cosmetics and personal care products, the research found. The participants viewed specific sectors’ products as particularly prevalent in their day-to-day lives, with 80-90% of consumers hailing oral care, body care, skin care and hair care as important or very important.

Why do consumers use cosmetics?

Three core reasons stood out to researchers when exploring why consumers use cosmetics. Hygiene was determined as a key driver with 88% of European consumers stating they trust the effectiveness of the cosmetics they use in meeting their personal hygiene needs.

“Hygiene is important, but we also use cosmetics to feel good about ourselves,”​ said John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe, at this year’s Cosmetics Europe Annual Conference (CEAC) 2022, which took place June 15-16.

European consumers also seek out cosmetics to feel good about themselves. In fact, “feeling good about oneself” is one of the top three reasons to use cosmetics across all of the product categories, the study found, indicating an identified relationship between cosmetics and self-esteem. Over a quarter (27%) of consumers under 25 said they use make-up to boost their self-confidence.

In addition, consumers also stated they use cosmetics to protect their skin or hair. The Personal Care Association found that European shoppers highly value the beauty and personal care goods they see, sample and buy. 

The ‘feel good’ factor

The study found that improving quality of life, promoting self-esteem, and supporting social interactions are all benefits associated with cosmetics and their role in European consumers’ everyday lives.

In total, 71% of the study’s participants considered cosmetics important for improving their quality of life, with 70% stating that cosmetic and personal care products are important or very important in boosting their self-esteem. Furthermore, 62% of participants believed cosmetics and personal care products are important or very important in how they are seen by other people, and 62% attached similar importance to cosmetics in relation to how they interact with others.

Up to 16 cosmetics products a week

The skin care, hair care, body care, make-up, sun care and oral care sectors of cosmetics attract a plethora of formulations, approaches and trend-based developments. In Europe, on average, consumers use over seven cosmetics products daily and almost 13 products weekly.

Of the female consumers asked, the study found that, on average, women use nearly nine cosmetics products daily and 15 a week. People between the ages of 18-24 use the most amount of products regularly – as many as 16 different cosmetics products a week, the study revealed.

Making a positive contribution

Opening the plenary session at this year's CEAC, Chave said: “The importance of cosmetics and personal care products in helping us protect ourselves against infections and prevent the spread of disease has today never been clearer, but this is just a part of the picture.”

He added that insights from the study revealed that “cosmetics contribute to many areas of our lives​”.

Cosmetics Europe welcomes new presidential tandem

The release of the new study coincides with the appointment of Cosmetics Europe’s newly-elected president, vice-president and executive committee.

On June 16, the personal care association announced it had welcomed Isabelle Martin from The Estée Lauder Companies as its new president, succeeding Hervé Toutain, Senior Vice President for Product Stewardship and Public Affairs at L’Oréal. Birgit Huber of German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association, IKW, was elected as the association’s new vice-president.

Taking up the role, Martin said: “It is for us now to rise to the challenge of our times and contribute to the goals of the European Green Deal so that our industry continues to meet the expectations of our consumers and to prosper in Europe.”

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