Beauty Brands Are Using The Term “Pro-Aging,” But Is The Industry Making Strides Against Ageism?

In the fight against ageism, which the American Psychological Association describes as “the last socially acceptable prejudice,” ageism appears to be winning—or at least landing major blows. According to an AARP survey, almost two-thirds of workers 45 years old and above experience age discrimination on the job. In and out of work, some 93.4% of 50- to 80-year-olds deal with ageism every single day.

As society grapples with ageist attitudes and the consequences of them, the beauty industry has been confronting its role in demonizing the effects of aging. In 2017, Allure resolved to stop using the term “anti-aging.” Many brands have shifted away from “anti-aging,” too, in favor of terms meant to celebrate aging.

But Business of Fashion beauty editor-at-large Rachel Strugatz isn’t buying them. In a piece last month, she wrote, “Media and brands put a positive spin on getting older with terms like ‘pro-ageing’ and ‘anti-anti-ageing.’ Except nothing really changed.”

We were wondering if beauty entrepreneurs also believe nothing has really changed. So, for the latest edition of our ongoing series posing questions relevant to indie beauty, we asked 21 of them the following questions: Has the beauty industry made progress against ageism? What should beauty brands do going forward to address their contributions to the ageism scourge?

Madhavi Gavini Co-Founder and CEO, Droplette

I think a fear of aging is so culturally ingrained, especially in women, that it is challenging to truly destigmatize it. When we have featured older models, we’ve seen absolutely horrific comments, and I believe ageism is a huge issue and continues to be in the beauty world.

I also think ageism is not caused by the proliferation of anti-aging products. At the end of the day, we’re all going to age, and beauty is all about aging well. As a scientist, coming from the pharmaceutical industry, I view aging as very much a natural biological process where people can benefit from a unique category of products that tackle the effects of age on your health.

In skincare, our anti-aging products are ones meant to tackle the skin health aspect of aging by increasing skin volume, plumpness and hydration. Ultimately, this leads to skin that is prone to less bruising and drying and is more resilient. We use the term “anti-aging” as a catchall to describe the effects of these treatments.

Sonsoles Gonzalez Founder and CEO, Better Not Younger

I am of the opinion that the beauty industry is making positive strides in the fight against ageism. Only four years ago, it was challenging for Better Not Younger to find any beauty media outlet that would cover topics concerning aging women or menopause. Now, not a single month or even week goes by without something being written about the topic. Last week, Martha Stewart, who is 81 years old, was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

To continue to drive change, brands must take three important steps. Firstly, we must challenge the idea that youthfulness is the only standard of beauty by showcasing in our communication women of various ages.

Secondly, we should create and promote products that cater to the specific needs of women. Lastly, Ii's essential to educate women, including younger generations, about the natural changes that happen in our bodies and the significance of accepting them. Our mission at Better Not Younger is centered around these core values.

Is there still work to be done? Definitely. The industry is bound to progress in a positive direction, if only for the financial benefits it will bring given the sheer size of this demographic (there are over 80 million women 40-plus in the U.S. alone). By recognizing and resolving age-related issues, brands will not only promote inclusivity, but also gain the trust and loyalty of their customers.

Camille Barreto Founder and CEO, ME Cosmetics

I think the beauty industry has made reasonable progress against ageism, and beauty brands will best serve older consumers by continuing to do what they have already been doing: developing new and innovative products with proven efficacy in addressing these consumers’ specific beauty concerns.

Now, the "why.” For context, I am 47 years old, and as a mini exercise I asked over a dozen friends in the 40 to 70 age range how the beauty industry makes them feel about their age. I realize this is only anecdotal, but believe it’s an intriguing perspective, nonetheless.

The feedback was consistent. They have not personally experienced ageism as a consumer, sharing that they are already acutely aware of their age and the accompanying biological/cosmetic changes.

Furthermore, they are indifferent to the terminology used by brands such as "anti-aging" or "pro-aging.” Rather, their motivation when making purchasing decisions is that products/treatments/procedures demonstrate clinically proven results that effectively tackle their specific beauty concerns.

For example, one mother/daughter pair (65 years old and 35 years old, respectively) both with wrinkles, although mom's are more pronounced, address this beauty concern in a similar way: SPF and clothing/hats for prevention, in-office procedures, retinoids and LED devices to stimulate collagen and elastin production, and neuromodulators to temporarily manipulate the muscles causing the wrinkling.

In terms of selecting skincare products, their skin type is of greater importance to them than their age. This same 65-year-old friend felt that the cosmetics industry is adequately addressing her needs as an older consumer by delivering effective products and services.

Given this perspective, I do believe that the industry has made significant progress in that science-backed solutions have shaped and tightened marketing compared to even just a decade ago when brands’ positioning placed significantly less emphasis on empirical data.

Yes, of course, it is encouraging to now see a more accurate representation of society’s diversity in beauty brands’ photography, ads, social media, etc., and an increased focus on brands targeting the older consumer. However, I believe that delivering product with scientifically proven results is what truly excites and delights consumers.

In turn, I also believe that continuing along the same path of prioritizing science-backed innovation is the best path forward for beauty brands to mitigate against the risk of ageism and, moreover, should be brands’ North Star in order to successfully meet the needs of not just older consumers, but all consumers.

Laura Geller Founder, Laura Geller

Yes, we’ve made progress. Brands like ours who are dedicated to serving women 40-plus as well as so many other brands like Better Not Younger, Pause Well-Aging, and the recent surge of menopause-focused brands like Naomi Watts’ Stripes and Womaness are positive steps in the right direction.

Is it true that certain brands are only doing this in a performative way and not “putting their money where their mouth is”? Sure. However, there are so many brands dedicating themselves to representation, to products focused on the needs of women over 40, and marketing specifically to older women in a real and meaningful way. That should not be overlooked. Progress has been made.

Representation matters. Showing one token 40-plus woman in an ad campaign isn’t doing the trick. Brands need to make an effort to show a variety of older faces in their marketing campaigns and on their social media.

Here at Laura Geller, we only feature women over 40 on our website, in our marketing campaigns, with our celebrity partnerships and on our social media. Ideally, brands would take this a step further by creating products that cater to mature women with extra hydration ingredients as our skin tends to dry as we age and products that won’t cake or crease into fine lines and wrinkles.

It’s important that the beauty industry celebrates age. For example, we celebrate National Mature Woman’s Day every April 9th, where we reward customers for aging by giving them an age-based discount code. The older you are, the higher your discount.

Anne Beal Founder and CEO, AbsoluteJOI

I never worried about ageism until I hit 50. Then, all of a sudden, I started to see a number of layoffs among my dynamic, experienced, Ivy league-trained friend group. And while ageism is definitely a real thing, I think it is an issue that impacts women and women of color to a greater degree.

Where the beauty business needs to respond is to recognize that it is a business. Women over 35 are 60% of the facial skincare market, and as women mature, they also move into an age range with more disposable income.

So, it makes sense from a financial perspective to target this age group. This is a core premise for AbsoluteJOI Skincare and is why we focus on women over 35, particularly those with melanin-rich skin who face a double invisibility in the beauty industry.

We also need to think about how we present and discuss maturity in our marketing. While I am happy to see many brands that address the skincare needs of menopausal women, I have to admit I do not resonate with the focus on menopause as being problematic or something to manage.

I think framing aging as a problematic is frankly a Western paradigm. In most non-Western cultures, our elders are respected and revered, and we honor their knowledge and wisdom. I think growing older is something to embrace (because the only alternative is to die young), and we need to appreciate the unique beauty that women achieve as they mature. Fortunately, for men, they become more handsome as they age, and I would like to see an equal appreciation for the beauty of mature women.

This is why we try to avoid using terms like “anti-aging” at AbsoluteJOI because it is fighting a natural process. Our customers have made it clear they don’t want to look young, they want to look good! This is why we focus on ageless beauty and embrace the confidence that exudes from older women, giving them a kind of beauty that is well earned.

Elena Frankel Co-Founder, Flyte.70

It has been said that ageism is the one form of discrimination that we will all experience at some point in our lives. Our brand was born age-positive, and I don’t think there is anything wrong at all with brands using words like “pro-aging,” so long as they walk the talk.

“Anti-aging” is very much marketing messaging that has a negative connotation. In a sense, it is fear marketing, and I think we’ve sat with it long enough on our vanities and store shelves. It is simply outdated terminology. For us, the key is not to look younger, but to look and feel healthier, brighter and more vibrant.

The safest route for any brand is to try and be everything for everyone. Flyte.70 is very much a niche beauty brand, and while it is not the path most traveled, we feel it is vital for our customer to really be seen and heard. Skin that is changing due to the natural aging process requires different textures, finishes, formulas and even shades than what my 18-year-old daughter uses—and that’s OK. We need to normalize it.

Today, you can find one product from one brand that works for mature skin, but is very difficult to find many products from one brand that does. It is starting to move in the right direction with meno and post-menopausal skincare brands, and I do think progress is starting to happen, especially with what brands like Womanness, Stripes and PauseWell Aging are doing.

Ways we try to walk the talk include using more than one token older model in our campaigns.  More than 75% of the faces we use are well past the age of 40. It is intentional. We show texture, lines and wrinkles. We watch our language (anti-aging, look younger, etc). We try and show a new kind of energy because the way women over 40 are being portrayed does not match our reality.

Most of us are xennials, gen X and boomers who grew up on punk rock, new wave and grunge, and our mindsets are not what many brands and marketing teams think they are. These consumers are really good at sniffing out brands that are disingenuous in their efforts to be age inclusive.

Ultimately, every brand first needs to decide if they want to help scourge ageism in our industry because they want to or because they have to. It is still the elephant in the room.

Sarah Villafranco Founder and CEO, Osmia

As a beauty brand founder who has never used the term “anti-aging” in any communication about our products, and as a 49-year-old woman whose beautiful mom died at age 64, the anti-aging conversation is especially disheartening to me.

I think there’s been some progress. We’re seeing a broader range of ages represented in marketing imagery, for example. But the message around most products is still, “This will help you look younger,” and that message is tired and long overdue for an update.

As brands, we can focus more on skin health, and we can watch how we refer to the natural changes that occur in skin over time, making sure we are not infusing those changes with negativity or criticism.

Don’t get me started on how dermatologists and plastic surgeons are contributing to the problem. That’s a huge piece of the puzzle, and we’re a long way from where we need to be.

Allie Egan Founder, Veracity

It’s pretty superficial change to “ageless” instead of “anti-aging,” and “enhances longevity” instead of “reduces wrinkles,” but we can’t deny that people still want to look and feel like the best versions of themselves, and beauty generally is trying to help them do that.

But the beauty industry also—intentionally and not so intentionally—sets the standards by which we determine and judge what “the best version” of ourselves is. As beauty leaders, we need to listen and ask how people are feeling about themselves given the beauty standards being thrown at them on every app and media platform.

DHEA, the anti-aging hormone, declines 10% a decade starting as early as 30. These are biological facts. I appreciate the change in the conversation where the industry is trying to help women not feel bad about aging, but we can also leverage new science and understanding of biological changes and how they impact our health and our skin.

At Veracity, we prioritize health first. By being a healthier individual, you will be the best version of yourself at any age. Truthfully, it’s human nature to want to look and feel good about ourselves, and that probably won’t change. It’s the how that we can control. At Veracity, we aim to focus on skin health and its relationship to hormones, which are the key to understanding and taking better control of your overall health.

I think beauty brands have a responsibility to be honest and upfront about what results are realistic for their customers. Topical skincare is great, but you can really only see significant change and feel significantly better through internal care and beauty.

Loretta Ciraldo Founder, Dr Loretta

As a woman of 70, I can tell you from firsthand experience that ageism is alive and well. I happen to be aging well and am often taken as younger than my age, so I don’t feel “slighted” due to my age in my day-to-day encounters with people.

Here are the two things I wish we could tackle when it comes to a healthier perspective on aging:

1). The beauty industry has thrown a fear of aging into the woman consumer so that women as young as early 20s look at themselves as less beautiful and feel compelled to start procedures at way too young an age.

2). The most popular “beauty gurus” on social media haven’t even turned 40. The experienced professionals who give very safe advice are far less popular than relative “anti-aging”/beauty novices in terms of followers and engagement on social.

Shel Pink Founder, SpaRitual

I see signs of a shift towards positive aging. The signals are coming from the menopause movement with more brands coming into this space and making the discussion around menopause affirming.

Another signal is around women embracing graying with confidence. And Martha Stuart, 81, on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Love!

Of course, there is still work to do, and we need to persevere and continue to define and use the language and represent aging visually in a way that supports a healthy perspective about the aging process, and continue to be inclusive and expand our ideas about what it means to be truly beautiful.

AZIZA EL WANNI Founder, The Potion Studio

As an indie beauty brand owner in the haircare industry, I believe we've made some progress in addressing ageism, but there is still work to be done. While some brands have made changes in their language and messaging, it's essential to consider the larger context and the deep-rooted societal attitudes that contribute to ageism.

Beauty brands should prioritize diversity and inclusivity by featuring models and ambassadors of different ages, including older individuals, in our marketing efforts, which promotes a more inclusive and representative industry. In addition to inclusive representation, our messaging and product offerings should genuinely celebrate the beauty and diversity of all age groups, not abandon older individuals as if they no longer exist.

We should develop innovative formulations that address age-related concerns while empowering and uplifting them as they age. Education and advocacy are also important. As beauty brand founders, we have a platform to educate consumers about ageism and its impact. We can challenge ageist stereotypes, foster dialogue, and advocate for change within our industry and society at large, especially now with social media.

Collaboration with organizations working to combat ageism can amplify our impact. And, lastly, engaging with our customers is key. We should actively seek feedback and input from all customers, particularly older consumers, to understand their unique needs, preferences and concerns.

By involving them in our decision-making processes, we ensure that their perspectives are valued and reflected in our offerings. By prioritizing diversity, authentic messaging, education, and engaging with our customers, we can contribute to dismantling ageist attitudes and create a more inclusive industry that celebrates people of all ages.

Stephanie Spence Co-Founder, 19/99

The fact that we are having a conversation around ageism and how the industry interacts with, depicts and creates the narrative around aging and how that should look does indicate the start of a change, and we have a long way to go.

As an industry, we are obsessed with youth and chasing it and defining what beauty “should” look like. Until there is a change in youth being so inextricably linked with beauty and creating prescriptive definitions of beauty, and how to “get it,” we don’t see any meaningful shift happening within the conversation on aging.

In terms of creating a change and what brands can do, it is unique to every brand, which is actually exciting as means there can be many different representations and ideas of aging and beauty being presented for customers. 19/99 does not believe that age dictates one’s tastes or aesthetic preferences, so if you are 19 or 99, we encourage play with makeup and to use it as a tool for creativity and expression, rather than “fixing.”

We encourage this play through our visuals, model choices and product assortment, and the dialogue we are continuously creating through our community and podcast.

PREETI LUTHRA Founder, Pure & Cimple

I believe the industry has made some strides against ageism, but there's much more to do. The shift from "anti-aging" to "pro-aging" is a start, but real change must come from a deeper level in how we perceive and communicate beauty.

In my brand, we celebrate beauty at all stages and create products that cater to skin at different ages, especially peri/menopausal skin. However, the industry, in general, often still views aging as a problem, not a natural process to be embraced.

Going forward, brands need to challenge ageist attitudes through inclusive marketing, product development and consumer education. We must promote a vision of beauty that includes all ages and authentically stand behind the idea that beauty isn't defined by age.

As indie entrepreneurs, we can lead the way in promoting a more inclusive, age-positive vision of beauty.

Cecilia Shelton Founder, Brillo Mio

I do believe that the beauty industry has been taking steps towards addressing ageism and promoting inclusivity. There has been a growing recognition of the beauty and value of all age groups. You can see some brands making the effort to cater to a wider range of ages with their product and very importantly in their campaigns.

Brands are featuring older models in their advertisements and normalizing the beauty and diversity of aging, even brands with products made for a younger audience are starting to feature women 50-plus and are moving away from “anti-aging” vocabulary.

It is important to recognize the progress. However, there is always room for improvement. It still requires continued efforts from both consumers and the industry to challenge and dismantle ageist stereotypes and promote inclusivity across all age groups.

Promoting aging in a positive way involves embracing the natural process of aging, which doesn't mean they are not taking care of their skin as they age, but rather using products that support the best version of themselves, that align with their values and above all make them feel good.

We must remember, aging is a natural part of life, and by embracing it positively, we can make the most of every stage!

Gabrielle Frances Founder, Fifty7Kind

I believe progress is being made towards tackling the issue of ageism by smaller indie beauty brands, choosing to promote both imagery and more thoughtful positive wording and being open to having the conversation about being inclusive for all (skin) ages.

The beauty industry at large I believe is more reactive to criticism and seeks to shut down the conversation surrounding ageism declaring, “We no longer use the term anti-aging, we are now therefore pro-ageing.”

They say a picture paints a thousand words, and the imagery still used to promote the latest “must-have products” continue to depict “perfect looking skin,” aka no wrinkles, plenty of makeup, lighting and finally digitally edited.

The subconscious messaging is still you need to look like “this” to be seen, relevant and acceptable, further perpetuating fear-based marketing and airbrushed ageism!

LAUREN WOLK-GOLDFADEN Co-Founder and VP of Sales, Goldfaden MD

We have certainly entered a “pro-aging” era and the marketing that has followed is proof. While some brands have moved away from promoting “anti-aging” in blanket marketing specifically, consumers are still seeking products that offer solutions to specific problems including, but not limited to fine lines and wrinkles, dull complexion, blemishes and discoloration, to name a few.

While these all attribute to “aging by definition,” brands (and consumers) are now marketing overall radiance-boosting, rejuvenation, glowing complexions, rehydration. It’s more about the deeper personal connection of how you will feel after using X product.

CHRISTINA UZZARDI Founder and Aesthetician, Cheeks + Co

I don’t think the industry has made enough progress against ageism. Using different terms helps, but, in order to move the needle, businesses, including Cheeks, need to take direct action at the core level of the business and not just rely on certain marketing efforts.

Examples include hiring older employees, creating a work environment that values an aging workforce, teaching their employees and teams to do the same, shooting campaigns with older models, and not campaigns just reserved to target older customers, but campaigns that everyone sees.

Personally, at Cheeks, we deliberately attract and hire aestheticians of all ages. It’s a win-win because older adults are hard workers. They want to be there, and they have a sense of clarity. I think that younger generations just entering the workforce haven’t learnt yet.

When it comes to facials, we train the team to focus on skin health no matter what your age. We actively spend time trying to shift the narrative with clients and help them to focus less on what is bothering them about their aging skin, but steps they can take to have healthier skin. Aging is a gift, and healthy, happy skin doesn’t equal young skin.

Kimberly Lee Founder and Facial Plastic Surgeon, Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgery Center

There is a shift being made with acceptance of the aging process. As we embrace diversity, anti-aging would go against that ideal by discriminating against older people. Celebrities like Martha Stewart are gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, at 81 years old, which shows that there is a shift in the paradigm.

In my practice, I definitely see people who want to age gracefully. It's not about getting rid of every wrinkle or line, but improving the appearance to look like they haven't had anything done. Really, it's to look age appropriate, to show aging at a much slower pace.

I often see patients who want to look 10 to 15 years younger or fresher than they currently look, but also to look the way they do today in about 10 to 15 years from now. Most people don't ask to look 30 years younger because that would look strange and unnatural and invite unwanted scrutiny.

Beauty and fashion have always gone hand in hand, so even fashion brands using older models are indicative of the shift in acceptance in the aging process, which crosses over to the beauty industry as well. Fashion brands like Marc Jacobs using Jessica Lang or J. Crew using Lauren Hutton or Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren and Susan Sarandon modeling for L'Oréal represent this shift that aging is accepted and is beautiful.

As we move forward, beauty brands should focus on maintaining the health of the face and skin aligned with self-care and wellness and allowing self-expression on the user's own terms. Brands can focus on combating oxidants and pollutants that accelerate the aging process, not on identifying the aging process as the enemy.

The challenge is that, from a capitalistic perspective, popularity in sales defines brands and their marketing strategies, so you will find that most products always talk about defying aging and erasing wrinkles.

Stephen Kennedy Smith Co-Founder, Aramore

The beauty industry has taken baby steps against ageism. We see a movement toward using older models free from techniques of the past like overly airbrushed photos, but we have a long way to go.

At Aramore, we believe beauty is a manifestation of overall health. Your optimal health is reflected in the skin over time. Therefore, we encourage people to remain healthy with a holistic approach (inside and out) with topicals and supplements to care for their whole body rather than succumbing to unrealistic social pressures to look perpetually young.

Everyone is beautiful when their biology is optimized.

Jisa Oh Founder, Wellness East

While there has been change in how media and some beauty brands address the aging narrative, it is mainly through the shift away from using "anti-aging" and not a holistic or consistent messaging track across all forms of marketing and imagery.

Beauty brands should incorporate models of all ages in campaigns and product pages. On social media, when doing tutorials or before and after type of content, use influencers or models who are of all ages as the effects of skincare on a 20-year-old are not applicable to anyone much older than that.

It is not enough to just use more inclusive terms, there must be a long-term plan for age inclusivity in every aspect of the brand and its product offering.

Michele Gough-Baril Founder, Iris&Romeo

Ageism is the last stigma to be tackled in beauty. I think the industry is only just beginning to scratch the surface of this issue and most of it has been tokenism. It’s not enough to show a woman with gray hair and state we're anti anti-aging.

As a woman in my 50s, I find that completely out of touch, and it does nothing for progress. We’re not living like our mothers. Saying that, some newer brands in the wellness space are doing a really great job of normalizing getting older. Brands like Naomi Watts' Stripes are working to break the stigma and shame around menopause.

I’ve always said, women should own the industries that serve them, and I believe it's female founders who are facing ageism that will make the most impact here. Female-oriented aging is entrenched in our culture and the only way to make progress is by cultivating our later stories through beauty, but it has to be authentic, and we have to tackle it head on without shame.

My own founding story is rooted in ageism, wellness, and my mission to change the narrative. I founded Iris&Romeo in my 50s. I left a big career in beauty because I was burned out from hustle culture and couldn’t tolerate the lack of inclusion on all fronts, but particularly for women over 40. I stepped away to focus on my own wellness and came back to beauty inspired to do it differently.

At our core, Iris&Romeo is age-agnostic. We’ve shifted the narrative away from aging and toward skin wellness and emotional wellness overall. We’re more about a mindset, and we’re inclusive of women at every stage of the journey.

I developed the formulas specifically to work for my skin which was changing due to perimenopause. I hated the way foundation made me look older, and Best Skin Days SPF 30 is the solution to that problem.

It turns out what’s good for skin wellness at 50 is good for skin wellness at 30, and this larger conversation about this larger connection between emotional health and skin health is what truly fascinates me. After all, I hit burnout in my 40s, and I want to be the healthiest version of my 50-year-old self, not the most wrinkle-free.

Jami Morse Heidegger Co-Founder, Retrouvé

The term “anti-aging” has gone in and out of favor over the decades, and currently some associate it with ageism and the assertion that growing older is something negative. The term “pro-aging” seems to be gaining prevalence in skincare marketing parlance as a more positive value. The challenge with both terms is that neither has a real definition or standard, and the words have different meanings to different people.

As I have entered my 60s, I am personally not at all offended by the use of the term “anti-aging.” I simply define “anti-aging” as taking care of oneself for long-term overall health and well-being through preventive maintenance and other related measures. Like it or not, the aging process is a biological one and not merely a cosmetic term. Unavoidable ultimately, yes, but we can impact many aspects of our overall physical condition along the way.

And that is where the concept of “pro-aging” comes in. At Retrouvé, we define this idea as embracing the fact that aging is inevitable and begins at birth. The act of aging should absolutely not cause anyone to feel shame. We encourage people to accept and love themselves equally at any age.

Some may choose more intervention and others less, and both of those are equally fine. Retrouvé is an extension of who I am and, for me, feeling comfortable with and about my age and yet having the freedom to take proactive measures to feel and look as good as possible, for as long as possible, is my personal definition of pro-aging. Some may also refer to this philosophy as “graceful aging.”

Within the industry, I do believe that there has been more awareness and sensitivity towards ageism in general. I am encouraged by brands that are creating new product categories for a mature demographic, developing more inclusive marketing messages, representing people of broader age ranges in advertising, and utilizing real-life and unretouched skincare images in campaigns.

As a society, however, much work still needs to be done. I passionately advocate that we must tear down any self-imposed “shame barriers” about growing older and about what makes us feel better individually. If we are strong and healthy mentally, spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, we can better live our lives and take care of and be of service to others.

Retrouvé’s mission since our founding is that all people deserve the right to feel beautiful in their own skin, wherever they are on the chronological age spectrum.

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