Please read our new expert-column by sector’s expert Elfriede Dambacher.
The days of stereotypes are long gone, and unisex products alone are no longer sufficient to meet the demand for gender-neutral cosmetic products. Gender-free cosmetics is a trend that is set to change the cosmetics aisle. In this era of individualisation, a new body consciousness is emerging among the wide range of identities that go beyond biological gender. Whether you are genderqueer, transgender or non-binary, your skin care has to be a good fit, both in the way it is marketed and in the quality of the products. This calls for products that are modern, sustainable and functional.
If you look back, the over-abundance of cosmetic products has targeted women and catered to the conventional ideal of beauty in the modern age. Products for men and women were manufactured separately. This led to a psychological conditioning process that has been reflected in the fragrance, texture and appearance of the products, whether conventional or natural and organic cosmetics. Across the generations, this has shaped our understanding of cosmetics. These stereotypical images are deeply embedded in us, but the cliché that men are stealing their wives’ skincare products is less and less true.
Due to changing views of gender, there is a new need for suitable products and consequently, a new market for cosmetics and skin care. For some time now, make-up and similar products have not just been something for women only. The gender-free cosmetics trend, for example, is gaining ground and follows on from the unisex products found on the market to date.
The dominant perception and learned responses to particular scents mean that fragrances, colours and textures naturally tend to be associated either with men or women. This creates an exciting new opening for the natural and organic cosmetics segment, which could revert to its previous approach of questioning what’s gone before and creating new worlds of cosmetics in unconventional ways. Today modern companies need to take a stance, to reach out to the people who love cosmetics but do not fit into the traditional gender roles. To do this, you need more than just unisex products and a range for men.
Elfriede Dambacher, owner of naturkosmetik konzepte, is an international expert and author. www.naturkosmetik-konzepte.de