Millennial Skin Care Is Here — & It's Pretty Great

Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
We often choose skin-care products based on which phase of our lives we're in. Our angsty teen years (and, let's be honest, sometimes our early 20s) are marked by a multitude of acne-fighters. And, the 30s and beyond? Many start reaching for the anti-aging potions. But, one age group has — until recently — been fairly uncharted territory for the skin-care industry: the twentysomethings of the world. Millennials, if you will. Cue: "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman."

Why is the skin-care industry (finally) tapping into this market? For starters, millennial concerns are a blend of those of teens and women in their 30s. People in this age bracket will cop to the occasional breakout, but our skin also doesn’t just bounce back like it used to, explains Wendy Brooks, director of Origins global product development. "In your 20s, your pores become more visible,” she says. “You see a change in the overall sense of radiance and clarity in your skin, and you’ll suffer from uneven skin tone.” 

While these aren't things you'd think to treat with "anti-aging" products, they do point to signs of aging. "We live in a world that's fast-paced,” says Josanna Gaither, director of education for Natura Bissé. “Due to that lifestyle, our bodies are aging at a much faster rate. Twenty years ago, someone in their late 20s or early 30s had different skin issues than someone now. The air that our grandmothers breathed isn't the same as the air we breathe now." 

So, we find ourselves dealing with the after-shocks of teenage acne, while juggling this early-onset aging. And, the two issues tend to be approached in completely different ways. Acne is best cured by drying out the blemishes, while anti-aging issues benefit from intense hydration. This is exactly why brands like Origins and Natura Bissé are beginning to roll out products specifically targeted toward millennials (and our huge buying power). 

Origins has developed Original Skin, a serum for skin going through a "#QuarterLifeCrisis." It targets stress, smooths roughness, and addresses dullness. Natura Bissé launched a collection aptly named The Cure late last year, with products ranging from a hydrating serum to a tinted moisturizer. They each target what Gaither calls the three modern skin-care issues: slow repairing of cells, lack of hydration, and failure to detoxify. "In our research, we found that this was stress' influence on the body," she explains. Both lines are attempting to reestablish that elusive "glow" that starts to exit the building come 25. 

Naysayers may chalk this up to clever marketing directed toward a new demographic. But, the idea makes sense — and a product that claims to target multiple issues and actually works is pretty hard to come by. Gaither says that as we’ve seen twentysomething skin change, technology has advanced along with it. Says Brooks: “We're giving you something that says, 'We hear you.'" 

And, for that, we say thank you. Twentysomethings are generally kind of in the dark about skin care. We dry out our skin with acne products, or we reach for anti-agers that have ingredients far too advanced for our needs. These brands are finally giving millennials the power to be more hands-on and accurate with our approach to skin care. They're filling an important gap, and addressing issues our mothers didn't have to deal with. Because one thing is true, no matter the age group: We all want good skin.    


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