Teens are worried about wrinkles. Here’s how Gen Z is helping to fuel a beauty boom
While young ‘skinvestors’ are often in pursuit of self-care and overall well-being, experts are concerned about the premature demand for more invasive treatments.
Written by: Leah Dolan, CNN
Updated 6th May 2021
Before coronavirus shuttered the world, a typical month for Connecticut native Zac Mathias was packed with appointments for microneedling (a collagen-stimulating process that involves repeated pin-pricks all over the face), regular resurfacing hydrafacials, rejuvenating laser treatments and the occasional red-light therapy session.
The beauty influencer particularly misses his weekly infrared saunas, where light is used to heat the air instead of traditional steam. The technology has been praised for reversing the effects of photo-aging. Mathias is 18.
“Anti-aging was never the main goal when I was putting together a skin care routine — it happens to be a happy accident,” Mathias said via video call. “Skin care was always a self-care time; that’s how I decompress at night.”
Mathias isn’t an outlier. Young people are increasingly incorporating anti-aging products and treatments into their beauty regimes. In 2012, fewer than 20% of US women between 18 and 24 years old considered anti-aging skin care to be important, according to a survey conducted by market research company NPD Group. By 2018, another US-focused study by beauty consumer analysts The Benchmarking Company found that more than 50% of 18- to 24-year-old women said they wanted to add wrinkle-defying products into their routine.
Some younger beauty consumers say they’re acting on an informed, science-first approach to skin care, while others profess a fear of premature aging.