Not made up? No thanks!

Frankfurt am Main, 17 March 2017

Who doesn’t want it – the perfect look? The longer and thicker the eyelashes, the more seductive the look. However, young women are not only interested in just more attention.

Aesthetically perfect – this is the ideal of young people today. Especially younger women and girls do not make any compromises when it comes to their appearance – everything has to be perfect. Many of them won’t leave the house anymore without makeup. The reflection in the mirror seems too strange and some of them only like themselves with makeup. In order to feel comfortable in their own skin, the girls use cover-up makeup products as well as accentuating products like mascara and lipstick.

In an in-depth psychologically representative study with adolescents and young adults on behalf of the IKW (German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association), 14- to 21-year-old girls say that highlighting their eyes is very important to them: 67 percent of the student participants say that mascara is an indispensable companion for them in daily life. They apply mascara every day, some of them even multiple times a day. For some individuals, the brush for their lashes is almost more important than toothpaste or deodorant. Therefore, it is not surprising that many girls own several mascaras and decide which one to use depending on the occasion. A student participant says: “I have 3 types of mascaras – one for everyday, one waterproof, when we have sports, for example, and in the summer, and then another one, a large brush, for the big event”.

The correct eye makeup has more than just one function in the daily makeup routine: On one hand it helps to change someone into something aesthetically perfect and it accentuates one’s own femininity. On the other hand, it acts as a deliberate eye-catcher, especially towards the other sex. Because: Who wants to be overlooked? But, by accentuating the eyes, the girls also want to deliberately draw attention away from things that are still embarrassing at this age. Things they cannot control, like their own sexuality, for example. Precisely in this phase, young people are very insecure and would like to have more control over themselves and their own bodies. Cosmetics help them with this. 85 percent of adolescents and young adults use cosmetic products in order to feel more confident.

While mascara is used by many young girls as a stepping stone into the world of cosmetics (first experiences are often made by 11-year-olds), lipstick, on the other hand is first used in the transition to actual adulthood. Accentuating the lips makes many girls at a young age uncomfortable, as they do not feel grown up enough. Red lips are seen as seductive, and are viewed by most young women as “over the top” for a daily routine. The fear of looking “cheap” also prevents especially young girls from intensively using lipstick. For special occasions, or on a “bad hair day”, when attention should be drawn away from something that is not perfect, wearing lipstick is still popular.

Young people say this about lipstick:

“On a bad hair day, there’s always lipstick. “

“Lipstick and bright colours would be too much for every day.”

“It shouldn’t come across as though you really need it.”

“You want to get something with lipstick.”


Youth undisguised

The self-perception and self-esteem of adolescents and young adults

An in-depth psychological-representative study from rheingold salon compiled for IKW – German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association

Young people are currently not only struggling with uncertainties due to unusual mood swings and burgeoning sexuality. On a social and familial level, they likewise experience sort of a loss of control. The adolescents try to counter this basic feeling of insecurity by their very own strategy: they attach increasing value to their appearance.

rheingold salon has examined on behalf of the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association the development of self-esteem in adolescents and young adults aged between 14 and 21 years. What role is played by a neat appearance for the self-esteem of young people? What influence does taking care of their appearance have on the self-esteem of young people? And in how far can cosmetics and beauty products support young people in their self-discovery? The first depth psychological representative study on the transition to adulthood provides answers to these exciting questions. Within the framework of the qualitative polling, group discussions and individual in-depth interviews were conducted with altogether 56 adolescents and young adults aged between 14 and 21 years. For the representative quantitative survey 1,012 adolescents and young adults aged between 14 and 21 years were surveyed.

About IKW

The German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association, with headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, was founded in 1968. It represents the interests of more than 400 companies from the fields of beauty and home care on a national and European level. With sales revenues of almost EUR 18 billion, the member companies cover approximately 95 percent of the market and employ a workforce of approximately 500,000 people.

IKW is the contact partner for its member companies, ministries, public authorities, consumers, institutions and associations as well as for the media as far as scientific, regulatory or business topics are concerned. Experts from the beauty care and home care departments within IKW provide competent answers to questions concerning skin and hair care, beauty and self-esteem as well as hygiene and cleaning.


For further information please contact:

Karen Kumposcht

Public Relations/Public Affairs Manager

Industrieverband Körperpflege- und Waschmittel e. V.

The German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association

Mainzer Landstraße 55, 60329 Frankfurt am Main

T +49.69.2556-1331 / F +49.69.237631 /