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Although much was made in the cosmetic business of the 1990 census figures in terms of the ethnic consumer, relatively little attention was paid by cosmetic marketers to a far more significant trend impacting on beauty dollars, the aging of America. Census figures confirm that by the year 2000, over 50 percent of the population will be 35 years or older. Furthermore, the largest single population segment will be 55 years old and up. These are not "old people" lurching about on walkers and canes, but those enjoying an active, fulfilling lifestyle, which includes a high rate of cosmetic usage and the highest incidence of plastic surgery. Also, they wait for the cosmetic industry to speak to them more directly.
These maturing consumers are knowledgeable and, as can be anticipated, look for anti-aging benefits. But they also show preferences for milder formulations (evidently because of a perception that their skin is sensitive) and (marketers take note! ) softer colors. They want their products to be based on science and lean toward products that work simultaneously to medicate and beautify.
A second important consumer trend impact ing the way cosmetics are marketed is a growth of green consumerism, considered by some experts to be a long-term trend representing a permanent shift in social values. Estimates based on reliable data suggest that 55 percent of the U.S. population has adopted "green" values, especially in the …