Smells like teen spirit: deodorant and fragrances clean up

August 19, 2009

Schools still out and there’s a distinct whiff around the house… New research from Mintel finds showering is too much like hard work for Britain’s teenagers, with as many as one in three teenagers resorting to a deodorant instead of showering every day.
It’s official, Britain’s teens are a hygiene hazard. Indeed, today’s teens (aged 11-19) are more likely to use perfume (57%) and mascara (58%) every day than they are to use a bodywash or shower gel (51%). While just over half of the nation’s teens live up to the reputation of not washing every day, more than 2 million teens (37%) opt for the dry shower every day, using a deodorant instead of soap and water.
” an estimated £784 million is spent on beauty and personal care products by or for teens but only a tiny proportion of beauty products on the shop shelves are specifically for teens. Today’s teenagers have a keen sense of self and there is a very real need for more products that are relevant to teens. Finding a product that hits the right note could even encourage teens to wash more frequently. “said Alexandra Richmond, Senior Beauty analyst at Mintel.
Perhaps today’s teens need lessons of a different sort, educating them on personal hygiene. Teens worry about smelling of body odour and use perfumes and deodorants to give them confidence even if they haven’t washed. Perhaps because they want to mask the fact they haven’t showered, smell is a key motivator for eight out of ten teens when deciding which products they want to buy or use. In fact, teens are more likely to have a say in the purchase of products where scent is most important; almost nine in ten teens choose their own deodorant or bodyspray rather than allowing their parents to choose it for them.
Despite countless products for spots and acne, the spotty teenager stereotype persists. Half of the country’s teenagers suffer from spots or acne, yet far fewer use daily facial washes or wipes (24%), scrubs or specific spot treatments (11%) to treat spots or prevent them. Skincare education is of key importance to this young age group, especially boys, who do not pick up this kind of information from the media in the way that girls do.
Worryingly, sun protection is a low priority for Britain’s youngsters. Parents are able to ensure young children have adequate sun protection, but despite educating young children of the dangers of sunbathing, older children are likely to be more concerned about getting a tan. This is propelled by the popularity of the sun-kissed look on screen and stage icons. Girls are far more likely to use sun tanning and sun protection products with almost eight in ten (78%) using such items compared to just over half (53%) of boys.
Despite the fact they may not wash every day, cosmetics and toiletries form an important part of many teenagers grooming routine and it is unsurprising therefore that they want to have a lot of say over the products that they use. Eight in ten teens and tweens have a say in the purchase of more than three products in their routine with one in five teenagers choosing ten or more product purchases themselves, not leaving it to their parents to decide.
Boys are as likely as girls to influence the deodorant or bodyspray that they use, although girls do typically take a greater interest in the cosmetics and toiletries products that they use. This reinforces the gender divide that carries through into adulthood. However, boys are also particular when it comes to choosing their hair styling products. This offers them an opportunity to express their individuality through their hairstyle and isn’t necessarily regarded as girlie.

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