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Are they spending too much on skincare?

There is a continuing increase in demand for skincare all over the world, with many trying out all sorts of beauty products with the hopes of gaining beautiful, clear skin. But it doesn’t just stop there. Now younger generations are religiously following 10-step skincare routines and spending a shocking amount of money.

Store shelf showcasing a range of Asian skincare products (Image: Eunice Cruz)

According to a study by Klarna, Gen Z spends more on skincare compared to other generations. In particular, K-Beauty is taking the skincare scene by storm, with a report by YPulse revealing that 43% of Gen Z females are interested in trying Korean beauty products.

Richelle Galang claims that skincare products are the second-highest transaction in her bank account, with entertainment and games being the first.

When recalling her skincare routine, Richelle was in shock after realising that she had a 10-step skincare routine. It seemed to sink in only at that moment how much she actually spends on products. Data from Beauty Packaging shows that the average Australian woman spends $3600 each year on beauty products.

Richelle Galang applying face cream (Image: Richelle Galang)

“I feel like I spend around $250 to $300 on skincare, probably for like 2 to 4 months. Depending on how much serum I’m using. Because with my skincare - I have three very expensive serums but I don’t use them twice a day like you’re meant to.”

Richelle says that when she was a beginner to skincare, she would look at Korean beauty and think that she would never resort to a 10-step routine.

“I started off with a really small skincare routine and over the years every time I’ve gotten super stressed, I feel the need to treat myself so I go to a skincare store and buy something new.”

Richelle would always find herself liking new products and adding them to her routine, eventually turning into a 10-step skincare routine.

“I’ve become the person that I said I wouldn’t become,” she laughs. According to research from Good Light, over 40% of its customers have a skincare routine that resembles the 10-step routines popularised by K-Beauty, but almost all of them wish for far fewer steps.

Oana Joya works at Innisfree, a South Korean beauty brand that is known for its skincare products that use high-quality ingredients from Jeju Island. Oana finds that many young people her age are usually on a budget, but don’t mind spending more when asking for help or when recommended more products.

Oana Joya browsing for skincare products (Image: Eunice Cruz)

“From working at a skincare store, you notice the demographic and the majority of which generation comes in. A lot of the time it's people our age (Gen Z) and millennials that come in for skincare- I don’t see a lot of other ages or generations coming in.”

Similarly to Richelle, Oana Joya says that she is also guilty of spending quite a hefty amount on skincare, admitting to spending $450 on skincare a month.

“It’s in my shopping cart for so long- I look at it and then I just take the plunge one day, especially if I’m feeling bad.”

Both Richelle and Oana sounded very well informed when recalling their skincare routines, showing that both of them did a fair amount of research before purchasing their products. The Recommended Retail Practice Report recorded that like other generations, Gen Z tends to research products first (61%), check on availability (83%) and then go in-store to buy (87%). Richelle said that she had researched beauty products on a surface level when she first began to get into skincare, as she has very sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

“I was a broke high school student so I didn't have that big of a budget, which is why at the start I was going off online reviews,” Richelle says.

“But I forgot to realise that people have different types of skin. So I was using the wrong products for my skin at first, but then I started doing more in-depth research and going into more Asian beauty which would be more suited to my sensitive skin.” When Oana first got into skincare, she initially followed a 10-step skincare routine but has since reduced her routine to 5 steps in the morning and 3 steps at night. “When I first got into skincare it was very easy to follow the trends. Around that time, Hyram (a beauty influencer), just started getting viral so I would watch a lot of his videos,” Oana says.

“I was convinced that I needed to try all of the products because he likes all of them and his skin is good.”

A Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) study by BeautyCon Media and Culture Co-op reveals that 73% of Pivotals (13 to 34-year-olds) say they are influenced more by the people they follow on social platforms than by ‘traditional’ celebrities (27%). The study also found that over 90% follow an influencer on social media.

Similarly to Richelle, Oana also didn’t consider her skin type when she first started purchasing skincare products.

“I would say that I was really gullible. I would take whatever someone said was really good, without even considering my own skin type.”

After learning more about skincare, Oana stresses the importance of considering your skin type before making the decision to buy skincare, especially more expensive products. She especially reminds this to customers who are new to skincare or are unsure about a product.

“When you say that all your friends recommended you this (product) and it’s good, but do you have the same skin type? It may work for them, but will it work for you?”

“I wasn’t even considering the difference between my skin type compared to these influencers, who already have really good skin,” Oana says.

Despite spending a lot of money on skincare products, both Richelle and Oana believe that their beauty-related purchases were worth buying.

“It’s definitely worth it. I use the (skincare) products often since it’s a part of my everyday routine. Doing skincare is a form of self-care for me and it helps me relax, especially when I’m stressed out.”


Eunice Cruz is a Filipino-Australian currently in her third year of Journalism and International Studies (China Major) at the University of Technology Sydney and working at SkyNews. She is always eager to learn more about other Asian cultures and is particularly interested in Korean language and culture. She has a strong passion for food, beauty and make-up. She also has a keen interest in investigative journalism and is events director of UTS Journalism Society.


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