You’ll Never Guess What the U.S. Spends on Skincare

Author: Dr. Bobby Buka

bobby buka md skincare spend

In New York City, the sidewalk is basically a catwalk. Beautiful skin is the best accessory for any runway look, so it’s no surprise that New Yorkers, and Americans in general, spend ample time and money on their complexions.

Americans’ fascination with beauty products is such that $8 billion a year is spent on cosmetics according to the Worldwatch Institute, nearly $5 billion of that by women — or $8 a day, according to Huffpost.com. That’s like an extra lunch every day just to make your face look nicer, a deal many would gladly take.

This number definitely reflects our society’s value on aesthetics — and if you’re buying the right products, skin health too. But why the high cost? A sociological study suggested that in the case of women, that is not a matter so much of vanity as enhancing one’s earning power — that more “attractive” women tend to make more money than their less-glamorous counterparts. While certainly not a hard and fast rule, it’s compelling evidence that the perks of good skin are more than skin-deep.

It’s also pretty well-established that the better a woman feels she looks, the more confident she will be. Taking control of your aesthetics, then, can be viewed as a form of empowerment. We all deserve to look and feel great, and what we spend reflects that value.

Let’s take a deeper look at some specific statistics about skin-care spending:

Most popular products: The products most in demand, according to a semi-annual consumer study by DermStore, a popular skin-care e-commerce website, are those designed to combat aging skin, uneven skin tone, sensitive skin, dark circles under the eyes and sun damage.

Anti-aging products traditionally contain retinol, a wrinkle-fighting Vitamin A derivative. A natural routine is always the most advisable path — i.e., one that includes products featuring organic or botanical ingredients. One alternative contains sunflower and pomegranate.

Natural is also the way to go when it comes to treating uneven skin tone, a result of sun damage and/or the aging process. Products featuring natural fatty acids or rosemary should get the job done.

Given the issues involved, it is no surprise that these products continue to fly off shelves, as do those designed to counter sensitive skin (usually caused by such disorders as eczema, rosacea or dermatitis) and dark circles. The latter often contain caffeine (to constrict the blood vessels under the skin) or green tea or grapeseed oil (to fortify the capillary walls).

To be more precise: DermStore broke it down further, noting in its study that the most-sought-after products are (in order) face moisturizer (8.1 percent), face wash (6.4), face serum (4.22), eye cream (2.42), toners/mists (2.35), foundation (2.35) and acne treatments (2.25).

The benefits of a good moisturizer — everything from forestalling wrinkles to preventing itching — are manifold. A serum can also moisturize, but it has the added benefit of reinforcing the skin. And a wash can rid you of everything from the soot of a passing bus to the remains of a facial.

They can get (some) satisfaction (and they tried, and they tried): According to DermStore’s data, some 77 percent of women were satisfied with the results, while 22 percent were not.

We’re so glad 77% are satisfied, but the latter is a significant number. In such cases it is often best to consult with a dermatologist — to discuss alternatives, hear another voice and understand the value of patience. There are no overnight solutions. A methodical, reasoned approach to skincare issues is best — and The Dermatology Specialists are here to help you get there.