“GenZ is a conscious generation as teens this Spring cite Racial Equality & the Environment as their top-two social issues. We have also seen ‘thrifting’ emerge as a strong trend as thinking secondhand is becoming second nature to teens. In fact, 47% of teens have purchased and 55% have sold secondhand,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Sandler senior research analyst.
However, the study does not explain why teenagers are buying more secondhand goods. Price could be the main motivating factor - more than commitment to the environment - especially when you consider that Amazon remains the online shopping site most commonly cited by young Americans (56%), ahead of Shein (7%), Nike (5%), and PacSun (3%).
Online shopping at its highest ever
The study of 7,000 Americans with an average age of 16.1 years  has also revealed “a female-led spending recovery with upticks in spending on clothing, handbags and skincare in particular.”
Furthermore, in the wake of COVID-19 and given these consumers are digitally-native, it is no surprise to see online adoption at its highest ever. 96% of females claimed to shop online vs. 88% last year, while 92% of males claimed to shop online vs. 91% last year.
Teen spending on skincare overtakes makeup
Say goodbye to makeup, the health crisis has completely overturned the beauty habits of this generation, which now has a growing interest in skincare. "Spending on skincare products for women has overtaken spending on makeup", reveals the survey. An interesting aspect of this change is that teenagers are increasingly turning to online influencers when seeking information on current trends and new beauty brands (86%).
However, dermatologist-recommended products are very much in vogue with Gen-Z, a fact reflected in the ranking of the age group’s favorite brands: CeraVe (35%), Cetaphil (10%), Neutrogena (8%), The Ordinary (7%), and Curology (3%).
For fifth survey in a row, Ulta maintains No. 1 preferred beauty destination against Sephora (46% share vs. 39% last year). At the same time, 80% of female teens say they are willing to spend more for “clean” or natural beauty.