Skincare routines are as unique as the individuals who use them. There are a variety of brands, retailers (both online and in-person), products and endorsements. So how do Australians choose the products and routines that best suit the individual and what influences those decisions?

Trying to understand skincare, purchase the right products and implement the right routine can be an ongoing mission. Attempting to understand skincare products, can often lead to just becoming more confused. What is a smart serum? Does toner even do anything? You can layer skincare??? How does one manage to be glowing, RADIENT or dewy without also being greasy?

When it comes to advice from beauty influencers, bloggers or any source who also sell the products they advocate, it’s easy to be inherently distrustful while simultaneously in awe and adding things to your cart. It is a confusingly large industry, with opinions and advice in abundance.

Ekas asked our Select Opinion Leaders to share with you how Australians make their decisions on skincare and what their favourite skincare brands are.

Convenient Stores – Are They Still the Most Convenient When It Comes To Skincare?

The options for Australians looking to purchase skincare products are numerous. Australian’s have access to speciality stores, health stores, department stores, pharmacies, supermarkets and national and international online stores. So where are our fellow Aussies getting their skincare products from and why?

There are so many ways to procure your skincare needs these days. Some of us prefer receiving a special delivery of skincare products to our door, complete with surprise mini TimTam in the package, while others prefer the immediate access and ease of picking skincare products up with our groceries. It seems Aussies generally choose convenience and immediate access over delivery and gifting gimmicks and get their skincare products from the pharmacy (68%] or the supermarket (58%). Of course, age, gender and whether you have issues with your skin all influence where we source our skincare products from.

While the undeniable attraction of supermarket/pharmacy ease of access and immediacy of product have been a huge influencer for older skincare consumers, younger skincare-conscious consumers are more inclined to purchase online with 64% of 18 – 39 year old’s purchasing some or all their products online most or all of the time compared to just 46% of 40 – 59 year old’s.

Interestingly, it appears the supermarket skincare range still has it’s place amongst all Australians with 67% of 18 – 39 year old’s, and 56% of 40 – 59 year old’s purchasing skincare products all or most of the time. Pharmacies are also a mainstay for younger Australians (18 – 39 years old) with 76% stating they purchase their skincare products all or most of the time here.

What is evident is that while older Aussies are more inclined towards the two traditional and convenient retailers, whilst younger demographics are spreading their skincare purchasing money around – shopping in supermarkets, pharmacies, online retailers, specialty stores and department stores. Does this signify a shift from brand loyalty where one brand was used to meet all skincare needs to a more product specific use?

Women are also spending their skincare dollars with multiple suppliers more so than men; who predominantly purchase in just the supermarket and/or pharmacy. Women are also much more likely to buy high-end skin care products (12% of women use solely high end) than men are (7% use solely high-end).

Online retailers are attracting Australians with oily, sensitive, dry or combination skin over those with ‘normal’ skin type. One of the benefits of shopping for skincare products online is being able to more easily sort products by skin type or skin concern, so if you want a more tailored selection to browse this can be a good option.

While most Australians (57%) describe their skincare products as mid-range, those lucky 1 in 4 Australians who have a normal skin type are more likely to purchase only low-end skincare than those with other skin types. Those with oily skin are the most likely group to be using solely high-end skincare.

The most preferred brands for skincare products depend heavily on the type of skincare application. However Nivea was the most preferred brand across five separate categories; cleansers, toners, moisturisers, exfoliators and other treatments.

Besides price (the most common and obvious driving factor behind skincare purchasing decisions), what is influencing the products Australians choose to purchase for their skincare? Besides ensuring the product is meeting their skin needs, the next biggest draw is if the product targets aging skin issues – this factors in for around half of Australians (49%). This is significantly more so for women (55% consider this important) than for men (only 31% consider anti-aging when shopping for skincare).

Aussies Under 30 Dedicate the Most to Their Skincare Routines

Only a tiny 15% of Aussies in this age range are fortunate to have normal skin type. The rest report having ‘combination’ skin (45%), with a further 17% describing their skin as ‘sensitive’.  This age group also have more skin blemishes than older Aussies (83%) and over half have skin sensitivities (56%).

This generation is excelling at their skincare knowledge, firstly by understanding their own skin. We asked all respondents to provide their skin type, and, if they were a ‘combination’ type, then to choose a sub-category. Whilst some older Aussies were unsure how to answer these queries, 100% of the 18-29 year old participants were able to identify the details of their skin type. 

Despite having had less years to do so, this youngest generation are also the most likely to have developed their skincare routine over time (93%), and 85% said this was because their understanding of what their skin needs are has evolved.

This is translating into what products they choose to buy, with 80% stating that their routines have changed because their knowledge around what products are best for their skin needs has developed. They are more likely to use serums (58% use them daily), face oils and sunscreen (46% applying every day).

They are also the most proactive bunch when it comes to their routines – with the vast majority (70%), implementing a regular skincare routine and most (60%) performing skincare twice daily or more. This dedication to their skin is also reflected in spending – with this age group being the most likely to use solely high-end products (18% of this age group do so).

What are Aussies Over 30 Doing For Their Skin?

Perhaps concerned with other aspects of life, Aussies aged between 30 and 60 are much less likely to have a dedicated skin care routine than those under 30. Around 1 in 10 of this group do not use skincare products at all, and 34% use skincare products but do not stick to any regular routine.

Of those that are implementing a routine, most in this age group are using a daily cleanser (58%), a daily moisturiser (73%), and around 32% are using a serum daily and 28% a daily eye care product. More common than in Aussies under 30, 16% of this age group have a diagnosed skin condition, most commonly eczema (40% of all skin conditions for this group),

Anti-ageing properties become a much more important consideration for this group when purchasing skincare products – around half (49%) take this into account when making their decision (compared to just 23% of Aussie adults under 30). Often regarded as one of the most successful anti-ageing products, sunscreen is being used most of the time by around half of this age group. While 93% feel that sun protection is just as important in maintaining skincare as products, only 34% use it daily.

Words From the Wise – Skincare Experience from Aussies Over 60

Aussies over 60 are less inclined to have as much consistency or spend as much time on their skincare routines, and they are also concerned with different skin issues. Whilst they are experiencing similar rates of diagnosed skin conditions as Aussies aged 30-59, the most common conditions are different (Rosacea is the most common, making up 44% of skin conditions for this group).

Older Australians also have higher rates of ‘dry’ skin type than any other group (27% of all Aussies over 60). For some, this can be the main driver for even a simple skincare routine, preferable to the discomfort of not doing so, as described by one respondent; “If I didn’t apply moisturiser to my face every morning my skin would begin to flake off and feel very tight and uncomfortable”.

“I am 60 and found since using reliable products with hyaluronic acid my skin feels and looks much younger”. Aussies over 60 are more concerned than younger Aussies about targeting aging skin issues when it comes to buying skincare (60%), but they are also the least likely to use sun-screen or SPF included creams when they go outdoors.

Some 78% of over 60 Aussies use moisturiser daily, but less than half use a daily cleanser (48%). In fact, one fifth of Aussies over 60 don’t use any skincare products whatsoever (21%). But those that do use a skincare routine feel that it is an important part of life and warn You have to look after your skin because you get once chance only”.

The Top Reasons Australians Use Skincare Routines…

When we asked Australians who use a skincare routine to describe how their skincare makes them feel, the most common response was ‘healthy’ (31%) or relaxed (29%). Men were more likely to answer that their skincare makes them feel relaxed (35%) and happy (25%), whereas women most commonly answered relaxed (28%) and healthy (34%).

Of all the age groups, Aussies aged 18-29 are most commonly considering their skincare routine to be a part of their relaxation time (58% feel this way), which is significantly greater than older Aussies who feel this way (35% of participants over 30). As one respondent from the 18-29 age range describes, skincare routines can represent taking the time to care for yourself; “I feel like I have some ‘me time’ and my life is together when my skincare is done”.

Motivations behind skincare in general can be so varied. Here are some of our favourite responses from participants when asked to explain why they choose to dedicate time, money and energy to their skincare routines;

Ekas spoke to 595 members on it’s panel Select Opinion Leaders in July 2021

Ekas Research
Ekas Research