He, she, they... all the same. Gender-neutral cosmetic products in the bathroom are on the rise, and rightly so. They are tailored to the respective needs of the skin, and not to any construed differences between the sexes, which has been particularly exploited in marketing.
In a multi-person household, it is practical for everyone living in it to use the same products because it saves space, is cheaper, and is more friendly to the environment.
And this is perfectly in line with the current zeitgeist of diverse gender identities. Since 2018, Germany has even officially recognized "diverse" as a third legal option alongside "female" and "male", in reference to intersex or more generally to a non-binary gender identity. Generation Z, the largest consumer group since 2020, has in particular a more natural understanding of different gender orientations.
We can also see this being increasingly reflected in the cosmetics market. Genderless Beauty is, so to speak, Unisex Skincare 2.0.
Gender-neutral approaches tend to use natural fragrances like lemon, grapefruit, bergamot, lavender etc., which are popular with all genders, or products that are completely unscented. Genderless beauty products come in minimalist packaging with simple colours like white, grey, black, and brown.
Theoretically everyone can feel marketed to by these, regardless of gender. The buying decision is made by how the product performs, the main focus being on the ingredients and their effects. Examples of successful brands with these concepts are Aesop, Grown Alchemist, and The Ordinary.
The concept appears to be taking off. Products are no longer being developed according to binary-assigned needs; instead, they are being adapted to the real needs of different skin types. Problems that can affect any skin include dryness, redness, dark circles, eye bags, and wrinkles. Skincare products designed and marketed for these needs are used by a much wider target audience.
A non-negligible advantage is also gained by avoiding so-called gender pricing. Women usually have to pay more than men for the same product. This is not the case with a gender-neutral product.
The most important factors in choosing the right care product and the active ingredients it contains are, on the one hand, the respective skin type (normal, sensitive, oily, dry, or combination skin) and, on the other hand, the desired effects (antiaging, irregularities, pigment spots, etc.).
Hyaluronic acid is one example of a highly versatile active ingredient. Depending on the size of the molecule, it will provide optimal moisture or plump up wrinkles. As a pure molecule, and given consumers' familiarity with its effects, it will also practically sell itself without much marketing at all. You get added value when you use botanical or biotechnologically produced hyaluronic acid, in line with the vegan trend.
All skin has to cope with the effects of external influences. Sunlight, air pollution, and bad habits like smoking or excessive alcohol drinking create free radicals that can damage the skin and make it age faster. This is where antioxidants help – not only in food but also in skin care. In addition to well-known examples like vitamins C and E, extracts from so-called adaptogens have become well established. Also, good UV protection is always beneficial.
The skin around the eyes is thinner than in the rest of the face, which means that small wrinkles and moisture loss appear more obviously here. Efficient moisture boosters can help with this. Eye bags and dark circles are not binary problems. Popular remedies are circulation-promoting and matrix-strengthening extracts.
So-called cosmeceuticals, namely concentrated products with highly efficient active ingredients that can stimulate collagen synthesis, for example, are ideal for anti-aging products.
Hemp seed oil can help with sensitive skin, and phytosterols strengthen the skin's protective barrier. Aloe vera, algae extracts, Manuka honey, and green tea are other all-rounders for all skin types.
Last but not least, there are decorative cosmetic products for everyone. And that is more than just a current trend. Catrice already launched its Limited Edition "Genderless" make-up line in 2018.
Genderless beauty products thus offer everyone the opportunity for self-realisation.
Senior Product & Sales Manager
During my studies in biology I never thought I would end up in sales in the Personal Care industry. But as life goes, it happened about 7 years ago. I postgraduated in business administration and the mixture of scientific content (anti-pollution, microbiom, epigenetics...) and sales is a thrilling experience for me. I have been working for IMPAG in Germany since November 2017.
My biggest hobby is food...and sports (jogging, swimming, cycling, diving...) to indulge the former without a guilty conscience. But as I don't like cooking, my husband is taking over for me.