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How Gen Z Is Transforming Beauty Standards Through Skinimalism

2024 heralds a dynamic shift in understanding conceptions of beauty. Written by Gen Z, notions of beauty have become inextricably linked to concepts of inclusivity, minimalism, and sustainability.

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Aastha Tiwari
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Skin Care

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For centuries, beauty has been judged based on stereotypical standards, underlined by the ethos of patriarchy. Decades of engagement with the notion have turned it into a colourful canvas, full of its own pink, red, yellow, and purple with a touch of green.

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Beauty is an ever-evolving concept with every decade associated with a defined aesthetic. 2023 heralds a dynamic shift in understanding conceptions of beauty. Written by GenZ, notions of beauty have become inextricably linked to concepts of inclusivity, minimalism, and sustainability. There is a shifting narrative in the domain of beauty standards. 

Bold and experimenting, this generation has taken the ship of beauty towards the iceberg of self-expression and self-acceptance. Rejecting artificial offerings in the form of cosmetics, GenZ is traversing the path of skinimalism i.e. skin care coupled with minimalism. Hailing from the same direction, I was unaware up until now that my choice to look minimal to my obsession with moisturiser is part of the narrative structured by the GenZs.

With Gen Z accounting for 26% of the global population and projected to represent a significant portion of the Asia-Pacific region by 2025, it is clear that understanding and catering to this generation is crucial for the future of businesses.

K-Pop K(C)ult

With their influence extending from the realms of K-Pop to counterculture movements like 'Barbiecore,' and a revival of nostalgic styles from the '80s, '90s, and '00s, Gen Z is reshaping the beauty industry with their unique preferences and demands. Everything Korean is GenZ’s favourite. The influence of K-Beauty on Gen Z cannot be overstated, with its emphasis on achieving a natural, healthy-looking complexion resonating strongly with this generation. Unique ingredients like snail mucin and green tea extracts have captured their imagination, further fueling their fascination with skincare innovation.

Sustainable Standards

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GenZ’s are the most self-aware generation trying to create a sustainable and inclusive world. No aspect of their existence is untouched by these two overpowering themes, so how could beauty be unscathed? Sustainability is a key driving force behind Gen Z's purchasing decisions, as evidenced by their preference for eco-friendly brands and products. Recyclable packaging, minimal carbon footprint, and planet-friendly ingredients are paramount in their quest for sustainable beauty solutions. According to an ESW Study, nearly 60% of Gen Z only buy eco-friendly brands, and spend more because the product is sustainable or has sustainable packaging.

In a departure from traditional beauty norms, Gen Z is championing gender fluidity and inclusivity across the beauty spectrum. Gender-neutral beauty products are gaining traction, reflecting their commitment to diversity and acceptance. According to a 2023 global consumer survey, nearly 40 percent of Gen-Z consumers prefer gender-neutral beauty products.

Skinimalism

Another discerning feature of GenZ’s notion of beauty revolves around the theme of skinimalism i.e. skin care and minimalism. The rise of 'skinimalism' underscores Gen Z's shift towards a more natural and effortless approach to beauty. Minimalistic skincare routines, coupled with multitasking products that offer both convenience and efficacy, are emblematic of their preference for simplicity and functionality.

While GenZs are discovering their own trends and definitions, they are not shying away from embracing the counterculture trends rooted in past decades, such as goth, grunge, and pop-punk or the ‘barbie-core’, ‘cottage-core’ aesthetic. 

But, not everything that’s glitter is gold in the beauty landscape of the GenZ. Amidst the celebration of diversity and self-expression, GenZ is terrified of ageing. The prevalence of cosmetic procedures like Botox and fillers among GenZs reflects a nuanced dialogue around ageing and beauty, raising questions about the intersection of self-acceptance and societal expectations. However, does this apprehension create a discord with their progressive notion of beauty? Or does it merely reaffirm their staunch conviction in the subjective nature of beauty?

Whatever it is, GenZs are ready to conquer the world of beauty, redefine the trends, and force the world to reckon with it. They are ready to sculpt themselves from their eyes. This generation is ready to make freckles the next makeup trend, to be worn by celebrities. It's ready to destroy the stereotypical standards and construct by elevating the paradigm of beauty to incorporate the essence of inclusivity, sustainability, and subjectivity. 

Views expressed by the author are their own

Minimalism Skinimalism sustainability deepika padukone GenZ beauty
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