May 16, 2019 Published by

In part 3 of TBC’s The Skincare Series, we’ll take a look at the rising star of mass and generic skincare, as well as skincare kits, the continued appeal of natural and organic skincare products and brands, and social media and beauty loyalty programs, which surprisingly, have room to grow. To capture this crucial information, we chatted with over 4,600 beauty consumers about all things skincare.  Read on to find out what we learned, and how it applies to you and your brand.

It’s A Mass, Mass World

And mass skincare continues to be her skincare of choice. A category that has grown by leaps and bounds in the past ten years, today’s mass products offer high quality ingredients,  trustworthy results, and real competition to higher priced masstige and luxury brands that not everyone can afford.  So it should come as no surprise that by age, the number one kind of skincare products consumers are using is mass—by a long shot (74% of all consumers).  After that, generic/private label (45%) and masstige (36%) skincare round out the top three, with natural/organic brands, and retail doctor brands falling fourth and fifth on the list.

Figure 1. Skincare She’s Using by Age

Age Gen Z (18 – 24) Millennials (25 – 38) Gen X (39 – 53) Baby Boomer (54+)
#1 Mass (74%) Mass (74%) Mass (73%) Mass (78%)
#2 Private label (55%) Private label (51%) Private label (40%) Private label (33%)
#3 Natural/ organic (36%) Masstige (40%) Masstige (36%) Masstige (29%)
#4 Masstige (34%) Natural/ organic (39%) Natural/ organic (30%) Retail MD brands (23%)
#5 Retail MD brands/ K-Beauty (25%) Retail MD brand (28%) Retail MD brand (27%) Natural/ organic (20%)


Her top reasons for using mass skincare include:

  • 83% say the products are affordable
  • 73% they are easy to find/buy
  • 47% the products work for me
  • 18% because the brands have strong customer following

In addition to using mass skincare, consumers also more and more turning to generic skincare, with 68% saying they buy generic or store brand skincare products.  Much like mass, price is the leading reason why she likes generic skincare, and—she believes they are as effective as name brand products and they are trustworthy.  The retailers she trusts most for generic products skew to drug and grocery stores and include Target (65%), Walmart (44%), Walgreens/CVS 39%), Whole Foods (31%), and Trader Joe’s (28%).

Figure 2. Why Consumers Like Generic Skincare

Age All Gen Z (18 – 24) Millennials (25 – 38) Gen X (39 – 53) Baby Boomer (54+)
Less expensive 85% 87% 83% 76% 79%
Ingredients are the same 44% 38% 42% 47% 54%
They work! 35% 39% 35% 36% 29%
 As effective as name brand products 33% 33% 34% 32% 32%
 I trust the store to make quality skincare  17% 18% 16% 19% 16%


For consumers who aren’t yet on the generic skincare train, negative past experiences with generic brands (34%) is the leading reason why she doesn’t use generic skincare now.  Other reasons for non-usage include not believing generics work as well as name brand products (28%), the perception that generics are lesser quality (24%), the perception that name brand products are superior in quality (23%), can’t easily find product claims/reviews (22%), and happiness with current (brand name) products (21%).  What would help convince a consumer to try generic skincare?

  • 72% positive product reviews
  • 54% friend/family recommendation
  • 41% consumer or clinical claims (i.e. 95% saw a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles after one week)
  • 32% clinical claims (i.e. based on a clinical study ….)

The Kits Are Alright

Another kind of skincare that has seen a surge in interest and usage is skincare kits.  Consumers love their kits! Sixty-one percent buy facial skincare products as a kit or a set; 55% would consider giving a skincare kit as a gift; and 75% would like to receive a skincare kit as a gift!  Here are her top five reasons why she loves skincare kits:

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