Gen Z is Demanding
Inclusive Beauty Products

And Brands Are Delivering

Generation Z is a whole new breed of consumer. Raised with a higher degree of social and environmental awareness, this generation wants to change the world, even if the changes are small. That drive includes using purchasing power to demand that beauty companies do better; to have less of an impact on the environment, be cruelty-free and embrace inclusivity and representation. Gone are the days when everyone aspired to a single (Western) beauty standard — today, beauty brands must evolve or risk extinction.

Gen Z rejects gender and embraces anti-racism

According to a 2019 report from Irregular Labs, 23% of global Z’s expect their gender identity to change in their lifetime. Moreover, Gen Z is the most ethnically-diverse in history and looks at beauty differently than previous generations. Instead of fixing “imperfections”and seeking beauty products that promise unrealistic transformation, these consumers want products and brands that accept, recognize and celebrate real-world beauty.
Some of these new beauty ideals involve letting go of gender norms and the expectations placed on people to look and be a certain way according to an assigned gender. A recent study by Ipsos.com shows that 4% of Gen Z identifies as non-binary or gender-fluid compared to only one percent of Baby Boomers. This percentage effectively triples the number of people leaning away from stereotypical gender ideals.
A study by McKinsey shows that 75% of Gen Z’ers won’t hesitate to boycott a company if it discriminates against race and sexuality. Since they grew up with smartphones, Gen Z’ers knows how to use their connectivity and spark change. Social media allows them to call out brands who they feel are not living up to their expectations. The #PullUporShutUp campaign pushed brands to reveal how many Black employees they employ. The involvement of influencers pushed several companies to disclose their numbers.

5 Inclusive beauty brands that are totally crushing it

Axiology

Ericka Rodriguez is a long-time animal lover, prompting her to establish Axiology in her quest to create a better vegan lip product. Along with the desire to create vegan products, Rodriguez also aims for minimal environmental impact. With that in mind, Axiology works hard to reduce its waste footprint with the successful launch of their zero waste lip balmies for use on the lips, lids and cheeks. Axios is also a recipient of the 2021 Eco Beauty Award, producing shades that work for multiple skin complexions. 

Website: axiologybeauty.com
Instagram: @axiology_beauty
TikTok: @axiology_beauty

Topicals

Topicals is working to change the way people think about their skin. Founders Claudia Teng and Olamide Olowe only use dermatologist-approved, science-backed ingredients to help their clients treat skin issues instead of covering them up. Topicals helps clients deal with skin issues  at the source and want people to embrace the differences in their skin instead of pursuing someone else’s idea of perfection. The company works to create a conversation around the connection between skin health and mental health, donating a percentage of their profits to various mental health organizations. 

Website: mytopicals.com
Instagram: @topicals
TikTok: @topicals

Fenty Beauty
Fenty is the undisputed OG when it comes to inclusive beauty brands. It would have been easy to write Robin Rihanna Fenty’s entrance into the beauty market as “just another celebrity brand” if not for the fact that she brought 40 shades of receipts with her when the brand launched its initial line of foundations in 2017 (a number that’s grown to 50 today). With marketing that features Black and Queer beauty influencers and models front and center and and shades for every skin color and tone, it’s no surprise the brand was named the year’s best invention in 2017 by TIME and endures today.

Website: fentybeauty.com
Instagram: @fentybeauty
TikTok: @fentybeauty

Uoma Beauty

Uoma means beauty and Founder Sharon Chuter, established Uoma Beauty to creatre a space where everyone feels welcome. Products are cruelty-free, vegetarian, have recyclable packaging and suit everyone, no matter their race, gender identity, shape or size. Chuter takes inspiration from her Nigerian heritage and mixes it with a modern twist to create a unique aesthetic. Uoma is unapologetically loud, colorful and joyful and wants everyone to join their tribe.

Website: uomabeauty.com
Instagram: @uomabeauty
TikTok: @uoma-beauty

Cocoa Swatches

While not a beauty manufacturer, Cocoa Swatches by Ofunne Amaka started as an app and now includes her website BASEics. The company caters to the massively under-represented market of dark-skinned people looking for great makeup products that match their complexion. Amaka creates swatches of various cosmetics on her and others’ skin to show people what colors work best with their skin tone. Users can take a quiz to find their best match or search a growing database of swatches. A growing community interacts with each other and shares inspiration and advice.

Website: cocoaswatches.com
Instagram: @cocoaswatches
TikTok: @cocoaswatches

When it comes to Gen Z, inclusivity and an expanded definition of what beauty and wellness looks like is no longer “the cherry on top.” It’s table stakes, baby! Ready to show your consumers that you’re listening? Knit can help you find and showcase the ways your values align with your Gen Z consumers. Get in touch today, and we’ll help you connect with over 60,000 of them.

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