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Gen Z skincare expectations in Malaysia: Your brand's guide

Meeting Gen Z Skincare Expectations for Your Brand in Malaysia

With a head full of unique expectations and trend-turns-norm preferences, Generation Z, or Gen Z in short, is a cohort full of beauty enthusiast individuals that take the world by storm. They yearn for skincare products that not only align with their values and lifestyles, but also beauty brands that can keep up with their skincare needs and tech-savviness. Spending $368 annually on beauty, Gen Zers are the game-changers that push buzzwords like “inclusivity” and “sustainability” to a day-to-day lifestyle instead.

With an aim in mind to understand how to resonate with this generation and get a grasp on what are the most current skincare trends, we are here to unveil the secrets to winning over Gen Z hearts and retaining their attention as well as loyalty. Truth be told, it takes more than just posting on social media to leave a mark on the beauty scene beyond Malaysia.

Decoding Gen Z: The Trendsetters of Beauty & Skincare Industries

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is the world’s largest generation ever, accounting for 30% of the global population. This hyper-digital generation has always had technology as a part of their lives. With the debuts of Facebook in 2006 and the iPhone making its appearance in 2007, Gen Zers experienced them all as the eldest entered their teenage years, making them the first generation where social media is the primary means of connection via mobile device. Possessing a whopping $143 billion in buying power, these digital natives not only spend well but research well online before they get their hands on your products. 

The Purchase Decisions of Gen Z is an Extension of Their Values 

Thanks to the interconnected platforms online that make learning and connections effortless, Gen Zers journey through their teen years with greater gratitude for inclusivity and sharper outlooks on the world. In all aspects of life, Gen Z is a collaborative group that loves authenticity, according to a research piece from Stanford University. 

In addition to one’s genuineness, they place a great emphasis on brand ethics as a whole, making their purchase decisions an expression of what they swear by. In fact, aside from paying more willingly, 62% of Gen Z customers choose sustainable brands over non-eco-friendly ones. 

5 Ways to Reach Gen Z: What They Truly Want from A Beauty Brand

For skincare brands or beauty entrepreneurs that wish to target Gen Z while grabbing their attention and engagement, the marketing strategies executed with earlier generations are only feasible at times. Hence, it is not only about creating a series of skincare products that work wonders, but also bringing out the best of the brand alongside ethical values that align with the Gen Zers. To start, you can bring the team together to have a session and learn about what makes Gen Z tick and what is holding them back.

Be Mindful of How You Showcase the Brand Values

Before re-establishing your brand values, start by understanding their socially-conscious minds and the principles they uphold. For instance, Gen Z appreciates skincare brands that prioritize diversity and are transparent about their sustainability practices. With that in mind, your redefined brand mission should reflect inclusivity, transparency, sustainability and other ethical principles to connect with Gen Z. It runs deeper than simply presenting what defines you online, but showcasing how your products can support one’s cause.

Brand’s Authenticity Reigns Supreme

The skincare realm can often feel like a never-ending maze of hyper-polished, airbrushed ads, leaving social media users wondering what is real or feeling unrelatable. In reality, 62% of Gen Z believe brands are over-editing their posts, and 70% of them steer away from them and like it when the post content is not as “perfect”. At present, “realness” reigns supreme in the world of skincare, and skincare brands that walk the talk connect with customers with authenticity in voice and action.

Transparency in Marketing, Ingredients & More

Gen Z audiences, or the Screenagers, love it when skincare brands peel back the curtain and share captivating information with them. They appreciate beauty brands that show snippets or behind-the-scenes of creating a skincare product. In addition to what makes a brand whole, Gen Z is knowledgeable beauty shoppers who value skincare ingredients transparency. Not only does it provide extra information for Gen Zers who will do their own research before purchasing, but it also further exudes the brand’s openness all in all.

Use Social Media & Online Platforms Differently

Avoid one-size-fits-all content from platform to platform if one desires to appeal to Gen Z. For instance, reels are gaining more traction than still posts on Instagram, whereas, for Twitter, GIFs and polls are more popular than ever. If skincare brands want to cross-post the content, be sure to adjust the content according to the platform and be strategic about it. On top of that, skincare brands can take advantage of customers’ online reviews and showcase them as testimonials on social media, or a dedicated section on the website for them.

Prioritize the Real-time, Enjoyable Experience of Beauty

The beauty industries are now prioritizing the real-time experience of skincare rituals, allowing Gen Z to create an emotional response in their self-care routine. Rather than solely focusing on the promised effects that make them look good, Gen Zers think about how these skincare products can make them feel good as well. From the texture, scent, color, eco-friendliness and more, zoomers are drawn towards these elements that make up a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

6 Ways to Adapt Your Beauty Brand & Meet Gen Z Skincare Expectations

Here comes the main segment of this article, where we will explore 6 significant skincare trends that appeal to this ever-elusive Gen Z demographic beyond Malaysia. “Gen Zs are able to make their opinions heard so much more loudly than previous generations,” says the VP of Content at Y Pulse – MaryLeigh Bliss. So, with an aim in mind to meet or exceed the expectations of Gen Zers, start by listening attentively about what they want and creating skincare products that speak to their needs. 

Embrace Skincare as Self-care Ritual & Wellness Routine

Determined to be in the moment and treat themselves with self-care rituals, Gen Z blurs the line between skincare and wellness. It is all about skin-sensation and mind-soothing when it comes to skincare among Gen Zers. Post-millennials are drawn to experience and lifestyle factors more than the earlier generation groups, valuing skincare products and beauty services that enhance their overall well-being, bringing that sensorial, “feel-good” experiences.

Focus on Clean & Green Beauty with Natural Ingredients

Not one generation focuses on all-things natural as much as Gen Zers themselves. These zoomers love it when skincare brands keep it natural, choosing plant extracts or essential oils over synthetic ones, all thanks to their online exposure that heightens their health-consciousness. With that, more and more skincare brands cater to this demand for clean and natural beauty, offering products free from parabens, sulfates, and other harmful chemicals.

Introduce Hybrid Products to Cater to “Skinimalism” Needs

This new-age consumer cohort obsesses over hybrid skincare products that deliver multi-use benefits. For instance, a tinted moisturizer with SPF can be used as an effective sunscreen, a solid base for makeup, and a serum foundation that offers necessary hydration to the skin. On top of reaping the benefits of a simplified skincare routine, Gen Zers will purchase the best that they can afford whilst lowering their carbon footprint.

Promote Inclusivity & Diversity throughout All Channels

“Beauty for all” is a must-have trait of skincare brands if they wish to be seen and heard among Gen Z consumers who root for diverse representation. This means coming up with a range of products that cater to different skin types and tones, showcasing representations of the most ethnically diverse generations throughout all channels. As a result, skincare brands can differentiate themselves among socially-conscious Gen Zers.

Offer the “Phygital” Experience in Brick-and-mortar

The new retail experience emerged amidst our digital-centric world. Post-pandemic consumers are getting out of their online fatigue and going to physical brick-and-mortar for that omnichannel brand experience. Beauty brands are blending traditional retail and extended reality (XR including AR, VR and MR), launching pop-up stores with smart mirrors and AR technology on top of their online success. 

Prioritize Sustainability Practices & Eco-friendliness

With environmental concerns at the top of their minds, Generation Z’s skincare shoppers who are passionate about sustainability are always on the lookout for sustainable skincare brands when it comes to their beauty needs. Give eco-conscious Gen Z the reason to purchase by taking responsibility for environmental impact beyond the product itself, and further minimize carbon footprint with eco-friendly packaging.

Creating Beauty & Skincare Products for the Gen Z Crowd

If truth be told, it takes a set of strategies and keen eyes on emerging trends to meet the Gen Zers’ expectations in skincare and beauty. By keeping sustainability, technology, diversity and more in mind, the beauty brand is able to create skincare products that resonate with this demographic. 

Upon understanding Gen Z skincare trends in Malaysia and beyond, there is no better time than now to step up your game in the ever-changing playground of skincare and beauty. Along with Malaysia’s booming skincare industry, it is a smart action to partner with a reliable skincare OEM manufacturer with diverse capabilities. At SRG, our experienced team taps into the latest trends and exclusive ingredients, helping global clientele to create skincare products that not only work wonders but also appeal to the unique preferences of Gen Z consumers. 

Don’t fall behind in the race to stay ahead and get a clearer picture of uncertainties like what is Gen Z looking for in skincare! Reach out to us here; let’s get a head start in creating skincare products for Gen Z in Malaysia, and beyond. 


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