“Baby Boomers value sustainability more than Gen Z when shopping beauty,” says new report

&Quot;Baby Boomers Value Sustainability More Than Gen Z When Shopping Beauty,&Quot; Says New Report

New research from Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, revealed that 31% of Boomers value sustainability when shopping for beauty products. This is according to a recent survey of 15,000 shoppers across the US designed to identify how shopping behaviors within the beauty sector have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Klarna’s data also revealed that 40% of Gen Z and 31% of Millennials say diversity and inclusion is the most important brand value to them when shopping for beauty products. Klarna’s survey of more than 15,000 US Klarna shoppers ages 18+ was fielded in February 2021. Definitions of each age group: Gen Z (18–24), Millennials (25–40), Gen X (41–56), Boomers (57–75).

Klarna’s beauty survey has uncovered new consumer insights and trends that beauty brands should keep in mind as they plan their strategies for the rest of the year,” said David Sykes, Head of US at Klarna. “For example, a key learning is that shoppers across all generations agree that brand values play a significant role in their purchasing decisions when shopping their favorite beauty items.” 

Additional data from Klarna also revealed the top wish listed beauty items in the Klarna app, which allows customers to shop online at any store, collected in February and March, 2021: 

  • Skincare: Versed On the Rise Firming Serum
  • Haircare: Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
  • Makeup: Huda Beauty Life Liner Double Ended Eyeliner Liquid & Pencil
  • Fragrance: Viktor & Rolf Refillable Flowerbomb Bloom Eau de Parfum


  • The vaccine may not mean shoppers return to stores right away. Many respondents don’t plan to shop for beauty any differently once the COVID-19 vaccine is available to them, but younger shoppers are most likely to return to brick-and-mortar stores (Gen Z: 30%, Millennials: 24%, Gen X: 24%, Boomers: 22%).
  • Brick-and-mortar stores were the most popular places to shop for beauty products prepandemic.Roughly 67% of those surveyed said they preferred to shop in-store for beauty items versus online before the pandemic started.
  • Skincare is the most shopped-for beauty category across all age groups, followed by haircare.Broken down by demographic, 41% of Gen Z, 40% of Millennials, 31% of Gen Xers, and 31% of Boomers said skincare was the product category they currently spend the most on. Haircare was the second-biggest beauty spending category among shoppers of all ages. 
    • Since the start of the pandemic, a skincare regimen has been the number one activity that respondents have incorporated into their health and wellness routines, cited by 33% of shoppers surveyed. Other activities incorporated include at-home workouts (23%) and vitamins and supplements (22%).
  • Over half of all shoppers find flexible payment options helpful.Paying in installments is by far the biggest factor in improving the online shopping experience, according to shoppers across age groups, including 75% of Gen Z, 76% of Millennials, 74% of Gen Xers, and 74% of Boomers.
  • Younger generations get beauty inspiration from social media… The majority of Gen Z and Millennials prefer to discover beauty items on social media sites such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.
  • …while older generations prefer beauty apps. In contrast, older generations largely favor retailers’ beauty apps, with 40% of Boomers saying they spend the most time looking for beauty tips and inspiration on brands’ mobile apps.

The full report can be found here.