Generations are finicky things to pin down. In general, the title are applied to groups of people without their active involvement or permission. The labels are used to look at a general collection of the population born between particular years. This helps to track overall trends in people of a certain age who mostly share the cultural experience of the time. Gen-X is one of these and frequently gets ignored more than most people would care to think. After all, Gen-X was defined by a certain level of antipathy towards the world combined with a solid skepticism of anything that people told them. The disaffection of an entire generation had many complex reasons behind it and, for better or worse, defines them in the eyes of others even to this day. Despite a disaffected slacker reputation, Gen-X has made its opinion known on many things and this includes skincare.

Looking for Oneself
Gen-X, it turns out, is far less product oriented than any of the generations on either side of them. Boomers, for instance, love their products and use all that they can to help maintain their appearances. Millennials are also keen on their products, but use them for experimentation with how they present themselves to the world. Gen-Xers are far less connected to their products. They tend to favor lifestyle-based approaches to beauty. Most people have noticed that many Gen-Xers would rather have a half hour or so on their own to exercise and focus on things than they would another product. Their certain self-care will help them look their best while that generational skepticism makes them wary of the more extravagant claims of products. It doesn’t prevent them from using products, though. Word of mouth and experience tend to hold more weight for the generation and they’re inclined to hop brands as needed to find what works for them rather than exhibiting any loyalty. In summary, Gen-Xers know what they want and if you’re not giving it to them…they have no time for you.

Seeking Solace in Nature
Most in the generation are either in or approaching middle age at this point. There is a trend that shows an interest in helping to defy the signs of aging, but it isn’t as pronounced as it is in younger generations. There is a certain pickiness attached to the generation as the most attractive products tend to be “natural” products that favor utilizing more direct natural sources as opposed to compounds isolated from natural sources. A thread of simplicity winds its way through these choices as well. It seems like there is a distinct interest in both knowing and understanding the ingredients in a product rather than accepting it simply on the basis of “it works”. It seems to still follow that pattern of generational skepticism of any authority telling them all they need to know. Fortunately, the previously mentioned willingness to experiment does mean that Gen-Xers do keep an eye out for new and better products rather than getting caught in a mire.

The Big Picture
If we want to put a hard definition on Gen-X trends, it would be that there is, was, and likely always will be a distinct skepticism of products aimed at them. The desires of Gen-X and many Millennials are actually relatively matched in some respects. A respect for simplicity paired with an approach that allows one to look one’s best all while leading an active lifestyle attracts both. This makes it hard to say there are any uniquely Gen-X trends. They have similar desires to most people when it comes to skincare and a focus on a generational breakdown seems to be the fastest way to lose their interest. Instead, Gen-Xers seem to shift fluidly into using products that act in an age agnostic fashion that focus more on lifestyle choices. This focus on a more active lifestyle combined with a consciousness of what goes into products is more likely to draw attention than anything else. It remains to be seen if this will change as the year progress or if these trends will continue on into the future.

As the disaffected “slacker” generation, Gen-X has frequently gotten bad-mouthed for their tastes and ideas. It doesn’t stop industries from being interested in who they are as a whole though. They do have clear opinions on what matters even if the generation isn’t inclined to communicate them clearly out of a general skepticism of people looking for the right lie to tell them. Simple, natural products useful in an active lifestyle are clearly appealing, but that’s shared with many Millennials too. So perhaps it isn’t worthwhile to ask what Gen-X is interested in when it comes to skincare so much as what people in general are looking for to ensure they look their best.

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