Tweens may spell 'opportunity' for cosmetics makers, report says

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. Tween girls are using more beauty products and represent an "opportunity," according to a new report from market research firm The NPD Group.

The "Insight into the Youth Beauty Market" report found that tween girls (ages 8 to 12 years) are reporting an increase in their usage of a few products -- especially mascara and eyeliner. In fact, regular usage of mascara nearly doubled in the past two years among tween girls (from 10% to 18%) as did eyeliner (from 9% to 15%). Overall, tweens reported to regularly use on average 4.5 different beauty products, consistent with levels reported in 2007. The NPD Group defines "regular usage" as using at least once a month.

The evolution in tween girls appears to have less to do with diminished self-esteem and a larger societal issue and more to do with mom and family, according to The NPD Group. The girls say that they "look to their parents and siblings to see what they are using to help decide what to buy and use."

Meanwhile, the report also found that among teens (ages 13 to 17 years), skin care basics, like facial cleansers and acne-spot treatment products, and makeup products, like mascara and lip gloss, dropped significantly in reported regular usage versus 2007 levels. Among young women (ages 18 to 24 years), the pattern was similar. Foundation was the only product in the top 10 (ranked on overall reported usage) that showed no significant change in reported regular usage for this age segment.

"As tween girls using beauty has now become a family affair, it is our opportunity and responsibility to ensure that these girls, and their parents, are educated on the role of beauty in the most responsible way," stated Karen Grant, VP and global industry analyst for The NPD Group.

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