Gen-Z’s Growing Obsession with Preventative Aging

21 December 2023

Young adults are increasingly concerned about aging and are taking proactive measures to prevent signs of aging, creating a new market for beauty brands and cosmetic procedures.

Influencer Emma Brooks experienced a sudden anxiety about aging when she turned 20, leading her to question how she would look in the future. This fear of aging is not unique to Brooks; Gen-Z, despite being in their early twenties, is already concerned about looking older. This generation is embracing prevention rather than correction when it comes to skincare, opting for products with anti-aging benefits and incorporating anti-aging serums into their daily routines. The rise of this trend has created an opportunity for brands to tap into a consumer group they have historically overlooked. However, the juxtaposition between Gen-Z’s emphasis on body positivity and authenticity and their fear of aging presents an interesting dynamic. This article delves into the reasons behind Gen-Z’s obsession with preventative aging, the impact of social media, and the changing landscape of the beauty industry.

Gen-Z’s Shift Towards Prevention: Gen-Z’s obsession with prevention and anti-aging treatment represents a significant change in cosmetic dermatology. Rather than waiting to correct problems later in life, this generation wants to slow down the aging process. Brands have taken notice and are creating more products to meet the demand. The volume of skincare and beauty products referencing anti-aging has increased, and there are now three times as many sunscreen products on the market compared to three years ago. Gen-Z-focused brands are also emerging, offering skincare specifically tailored to young skin. The popularity of injectables among Gen-Z can be attributed to their immediate results. Botox, in particular, has gained traction as a potentially more effective and affordable alternative to traditional fine line-erasing products.

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The Role of Social Media: Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Zoom have contributed to Gen-Z’s obsession with their appearance. With increased exposure to their own faces, young adults are sharing routines and tips aimed at “preventative aging” online. The hashtag #antiageing has billions of views on TikTok, and filters that provide a glimpse into the future have gone viral. Gen-Z’s openness on social media has fueled the demand for treatments, with many users documenting their injection experiences and sharing testimonial videos. Education about preventative aging primarily takes place on social media, with dermatologists and even high schoolers sharing skincare advice. However, the abundance of information can also lead to confusion and anxiety for a generation still navigating their way through life.

The Changing Beauty Industry: Gen-Z’s focus on prevention has prompted beauty brands and providers to adapt their business models. Efficacy, fast results, and cost are top priorities for this generation. Brands are developing products that cater to Gen-Z’s preferences, and new companies specifically targeting young skin are emerging. However, it remains to be seen how Gen-Z’s preferences will evolve as they mature. The emphasis on body positivity and authenticity, alongside the fear of aging, creates a complex landscape for beauty brands to navigate.

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Conclusion: Gen-Z’s obsession with preventative aging is driven by their hyper-awareness of skincare, the aging process, and environmental stressors. This generation views skincare as a form of self-care and wellness, with a focus on taking care of their skin to prevent future problems. Social media plays a significant role in shaping Gen-Z’s perception of aging, with platforms like TikTok and Instagram fueling the demand for treatments and products. However, it’s important to note that not all the information available is accurate, and young consumers should be cautious about premature use of harsh chemicals. As Gen-Z continues to navigate the world of skincare and aging, the beauty industry must adapt to meet their evolving preferences and address the complex relationship between body positivity and the fear of aging.

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