Gone are the days of the older woman blending into the background in favour of her youthful counterparts. While in the past the beauty industry may have shunned the over forties, even using twenty-something models in campaigns targeted towards older women, the time has come for women of every age to shine.

New research from Superdrug launched today reveals 64 per cent of those surveyed feel more confident than they did in their 20s and with a host of high-profile celebrities embracing their age it would appear our customers’ fears about ageing are focused on declining health rather than looks. The second edition of the Superdrug #LifePlus Beauty Report shows the 65-69 age bracket are the ones blazing a trail in the confidence stakes; 80 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more confident than in their 20s, compared to only 54 per cent of those aged 40-44.

With the high earning, high spending Generation X being the largest contributors to the UK economy*, this is a woman that needs to be listened to. 2017 saw the first edition of Superdrug’s #LifePlus 50+ Beauty Report; research from customers that served as a powerful reminder of how women of a certain age are often overlooked by the health and beauty industry.

This year Superdrug has taken into account the views of those over 40, 54 per cent of whom said they were happier at the age they are now compared to their younger years. Only 28 percent were worried about getting wrinkles and 19 per cent feared not being attractive any more, suggesting being comfortable in your own skin and growing old gracefully is a higher priority than retaining a youthful appearance.

Women were three times more likely to be worried about losing their memory (56 per cent) than they were about their hair turning grey (16 per cent) whilst nearly half (48 per cent) feared not being able to keep active in older age.

A healthy lifestyle may be deemed the secret to keeping youthful past the age of 40; 80 per cent of women asked stated keeping active as their number one secret, followed by eating well at 79 per cent, though 18 percent also voted for an active sex life.

Menopause is undoubtedly a concern of growing older, with 50 per cent of those yet to experience it admitting to worrying about its approach, rising to 69 per cent in the under 50s. When it comes to the symptoms playing on their minds, hot flushes not only topped the list of the biggest worry but it was also the symptom experienced most by those who were post-menopausal, with 68 percent saying they suffered from them.

As a good skincare regime was a the secret to keeping youthful for 55 per cent of our respondents, the development of specific ranges tailored to the health and beauty needs of an older consumer is paramount to Superdrug; we don’t want any customers to be forgotten. This autumn sees the launch of the latest Optimum skincare range, Phytocalm, high tech skincare at high street prices, as well as the more products from B. Phase 5, targeted at 50+ skin.

Jo Mackie, Superdrug Director of Customer & People comments: “It may come as surprising that in the age of selfies and social media our customers’ concerns about ageing are more focused on health and cognitive decline than they are on losing their looks. The survey results show that customers are embracing positive ageing, something that’s reinforced by the fact we don’t use the term ‘anti-ageing’ in our own-brand ranges.”

“At Superdrug we’re proud to have a diverse customer range and by listening to our customers and developing ranges specifically targeted towards the changing needs of the older consumer we’re helping our customers to embrace the ageing process, not fight it.”

The research was conducted through Superdrug’s Health & Beautycard data of 1,155 women over the age of 40.

*Experian UK Spending Power Index, August 2018