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Beyond clichés: the French and beauty


The beauty market has evolved very rapidly in recent years, and pinpointing and understanding consumers’ intentions and buying motivations are at the core of brands’ and distributors’ strategic thinking.

NellyRodi has conducted a consumer report in partnership with Beauté Privée. The study combines our expertise and market trend analyses with Showroomprivé’s hands-on experience and data.

The study we created is realistic, avoids clichés and confirms certain trends while setting the record straight about many others. Below is an overview of the study and French consumers’ five major beauty demands.


When we asked French consumers about the reasons behind their beauty routines and the products they used, 67% of those questioned said that, above all, they sought pleasure by taking care of themselves and feeling good on the inside and outside. For the French, beauty is, first and foremost, part of an overall search for wellbeing, and they see it as a basic pleasure to devote time to every day. They choose routines that give results (using between three and five products daily) and techniques they can do at home, and they like light makeup that makes skin look healthy. 72% are careful about their lifestyle and make it part of their beauty routines which involve sports, healthy habits and food.



A beauty routine’s function was important for 59% of survey participants. Simply put, they use beauty products that match specific needs such as improving skin, hair or health. Consumers are increasingly well informed and becoming experts themselves, even identifying their own problems and how to treat them. They also look for price reductions (59%), a search for good deals that’s seen in their preferred sales channels. Pharmacies are especially appreciated since they’re multi-brand, close by and offer affordable prices.



The French pay attention to the products they use, and they need to be reassured. They harbor a certain distrust about brand messages and seek advice from third parties: 43% report being influenced by experts (medical or esthetic professionals) for their beauty purchases, 36% by consumer reviews and 24% by their family and friends. Here again, they indicate a preference for pharmacies and parapharmacies where the pharmacist plays the important role of an advisor.

Composition is the most important buying criteria for 36% of French, and 44% of them always read the ingredients list.


Of course they want products that work, and they ask for explanations about the product’s history (26%) as well as its ingredients and benefits. They choose products with specific active ingredients (51%) such as hyaluronic acid, retinol or vitamin C, and 30% are often ready to spend more for better results or proven effectiveness.

Long-term factors are also a central part of their demands (40% are primarily looking for long-term effects and 21% for products that are long lasting on the skin).



Once the requirements for pleasure, health and efficacy have been satisfied, 21% consider a product’s natural qualities to be one of the top priorities, and 11% of respondents choose certified organic products. Far from taking a militant stance, the French’s CSR expectations are mostly generic: 59% are especially concerned with production methods that respect the environment, and 39% are interested in respect for employees.


Would you like support from our teams for your beauty questions and concerns? Contact Chloé Arjona, NellyRodi Beauty Director:

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