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willowberry age in beauty survey results

Age in Beauty Survey reveals the stark need to change the age narrative

“It feels like the beauty industry is putting an unspoken expiry date on women.” -survey participant

The current age narrative in beauty can inadvertently make women feel bad about their age, due to age-resistant wording such as ‘anti-ageing’ combined with a need for more older women to be represented in beauty imagery.

Skincare brand Willowberry recently surveyed 1,000 women aged 30-80, to discover their feelings on age in beauty:

A huge 97% of the women surveyed feel it important to see better representation of real, older women used by beauty brands and the media. “It's not honest or real, lots of ads promoting ‘anti-ageing’ products on a 20 year old model makes you feel like it's already too late”, commented a participant. Where there are older women used in beauty imagery, 77% of women feel that it is either in a negative way that tells us to reverse the signs of age, or that the celebrities and models used aren’t a realistic portrayal of age.

Another stark figure shows that 85% of women want to see more positive and realistic wording surrounding age in beauty. 72% of women polled either don’t like the term ‘anti-ageing’ or don’t believe the anti-ageing claim. “It saddens me that something as natural as skin ageing is seen as something undesirable by such a large proportion of the beauty industry and media”, commented one participant. 50% of women surveyed even said that anti-ageing messaging makes them not look forward to getting older, demonstrating the wider impact that beauty messaging can have on our lives.

Participants stated ‘being invisible’ as their biggest concern about getting old from a societal point of view. “It just hurts to feel no value. I want to scream, ‘I used to be beautiful!’ Please acknowledge me”, revealed a participant.

As an industry, we have a responsibility to make age visible and normal.

Willowberry skincare is calling for change to the age narrative in beauty with its new Age Without Apology Pledge and inviting the beauty industry to join forces to make real change, by using better language around age and showing older ages within beauty imagery. It’s not about what has come before, it’s about how we move forward, together.


Willowberry is nutritious natural skincare for grown-ups, for your best skin. 

A favourite with top make-up artists, Willowberry's luxurious award-winning products protect skin’s natural barrier function, to nourish and revive grown-up skin without telling women to be 'anti-ageing'.

As seen in Vogue, Independent, The Telegraph, This Morning and more.

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