Mintel: Moms, young women show highest usage of at-home nail care

NEW YORK — Moms and young women helped fuel sales of at-home nail care products, according to the latest research by Mintel.

Women in households with children are more likely to use most nail care products than those without children in their homes, according to the latest research by Mintel. This is particularly notable with nail art accessories where 24% of women with children report usage compared with 11% in households without children.

Moms are an important consumer group that might be tight on time and lack the extra income to spend at a spa but are still looking to treat themselves to some fashion-forward beauty. Furthermore, 79% of those with children use colored nail polish versus 65% without children, and 22% of respondents with children report using artificial nails as opposed to 9% without children, the study found.

“The beauty industry generally benefits when consumers have higher levels of disposable income; however, the nail care industry has experienced strong growth in recent years, despite the weak economy,” stated Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel. “Nail polish offers women an affordable way to experiment with new colors and stay current with fashion trends, often for less than $10 a bottle. The affordability of nail polish, combined with new products and colors, makes nail care a reasonable splurge for lower- to middle-income women.”


Young women also are helping to drive the nail care segment. Use of colored nail polish is highest among women ages 18 years to 24 years, with 85% reporting usage compared with 71% of total female respondents. Younger women also show elevated use of nail art (33% versus 16% of all respondents), artificial nails (23% versus 14% of all respondents), and gel nail polish (14% versus 10% of all respondents).

“Nail care users younger than 35 years are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to view wearing nail polish as a way to express their personality and follow fashion trends. Meanwhile, those between 35 years and 44 years feel that painting their nails is a way to pamper themselves and take a moment of ‘me time’ in their busy schedules,” added Shannon Romanowski.


Expense plays a large role in why women do their nails at home, but it is not the only issue. Just over half (54%) of women say they would get their nails done more often at a salon, but it’s too expensive; however, some 27% are concerned about health and safety issues at salons and 18% think getting their nails done in a salon simply takes too much time.

Nail care also may have a season. Not surprisingly, the sunshine and warmth sees a lot more painted nails as 58% of women say they polish their toenails more and 31% polish their fingernails more in the summer months.

The nail color and care market in the United States grew by 72% since 2007, with sales estimated at $2.5 billion at the end of 2012. Growth is expected to continue through 2017, albeit at a slower pace than previous years, with sales expected to reach just over $4 billion, according to Mintel.