About half of Gen-Z consumers support mugging in beauty masks on social media, according to a new report.
Face masks are out of the beauty closet.
We’re reaching peak “facial selfie” on social media, according to a new report from market research firm Mintel, which finds that one in five (20%) American skin-care users see wearing a beauty mask as an excuse to snap a selfie. Almost half (45%) of Gen-Z consumers aged 18 to 24 are game to post snaps of themselves sporting the latest sheet mask or pricey peel, rather than banishing them to private bathrooms as their mothers and grandmothers might have done. Searching #facemask on Instagram pulls 1.8 million posts; #facemaskselfie results in 11,500.
Mintel’s beauty and personal care analyst, Alison Gaither, credited celebrities with making people more comfortable with putting their best facials forward. “Charlie’s Angels” co-stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz just hammed it up on Instagram in matching $40 honey masks from Beekeeper’s Naturals, after all. Kate Hudson and Stella McCartney flaunted $80 24-karat gold masks from Phillip Thomas Roth the night before the Met Ball in May. “Pretty Little Liars” star Lucy Hale told Elle this past spring that she has an entire drawer for just her face masks.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Hale said, adding “the ones with all the animal faces, the sheet masks, are always fun. I love popping one of those on on a plane and freaking someone out.”
“Celebrities have done a great job driving this trend, because they’re not only promoting the benefits of using these products, but they’re not embarrassed to wear them everywhere,” Gaither told Moneyish. “Everyone from Chrissy Teigen to Chris Pratt is posting pictures of themselves wearing sheet masks on planes, getting ready for the red carpet — even driving.”
The facial selfie-obsession is also riding the mask’s rise in popularity across the beauty industry. U.S. retail sales of face masks almost doubled from $120 million in 2015 to $223.1 million in 2017, according to IRI market research. And that’s just one piece in the overall skin-care market expected to reach $130 billion in global sales by 2019, according to Forbes.
In fact, when Gaither attended the Cosmoprof North America cosmetics trade show in Las Vegas last year, she found that “everyone has a mask now. Every skin-care brand and the emerging brands I was speaking to at that show are now carrying face masks.
Part of the appeal is that they’re an affordable luxury. While masks were once indulgent prestige products that often cost more than $50, Gaither explained that sheet masks can run for as low as $3 to $11. And Mintel’s report found that more than a third (39%) of skin-care users agreed that facial masks are “a good way to pamper themselves.”
Savvy brands are also making them Insta-worthy by whipping up beauty masks in vibrant colors, creating sheet masks in animal-prints, adding glitter, offering tactile sensations such as foaming and tingling, as well as mixing in attention-grabbing ingredients. “When you see unique ingredients like 24-karat gold or snail slime or donkey milk, or Glam Glow’s disco kit mask with shimmer in it, it makes the product interesting,” Gaither said.
Plus, younger consumers are all about spending money on experiences; three out of four millennials say they would rather spend their money on an experience rather than buying something they desire, but beauty masks that claim to clear your complexion, destress you and delight you by bubbling or letting you coat yourself in gold meet both of those needs.
“Younger consumers are more experimental with beauty routines in general, and they’re much less self-conscious about their personal lives, because they spend so much of their lives on social media,” said Gaither. “So as brands make their skin-care a little more fun than it used to be, and take away that clinical feel, it makes you happy to wear something silly on your face, and turn it into a social event where you invite friends over to do sheet masks and have wine.
“Or you put on an animal-print sheet and you think, ‘Oh my God, this looks wild — I need to share it with my friends on Instagram,” she added.
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