Global studies find women and men still spending on beauty

A global survey by market research firm Synovate shows that spending on cosmetics and health care seems to be holding steady in the face of the economic downturn. The study found that 41 per cent of respondents are spending the same amount on cosmetics as they did before the downturn began, while 27 per cent said they have cut down. (The survey covered both genders and Synovate anticipates these figures would have been different had they surveyed women only.)

Australian figures from the global study indicate that 35 per cent of respondents spent the same on cosmetic products, while 39 per cent said they spent less.

For health-care products, 56 per cent of Australians surveyed said they are spending the same amount, while 27 per cent have spent less, compared with 55 per cent and 17 per cent respectively in the international figures.

The survey questioned 11,500 people in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (US).

Synovate also conducted a global survey on male beauty perceptions and attitudes. Italian men came out on top, considered overall to be the best-looking men (11 per cent), followed by USA, Russia and Brazil (all 8 per cent). While only 12 per cent of Australian men said their looks are very important to them, 64 per cent of them said they use products specially designed for men.

The study looked at 12 markets around the world, interviewing nearly 10,000 people in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the UK and USA.

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