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Why Willowberry is Calling Time on the Current Age Narrative in Beauty

Look up the word ‘anti’ in the Cambridge Dictionary and it states “opposed to or against a particular thing or person”. So with regards to ‘anti-ageing’, a term widely thrown around in beauty language, it immediately begs the question – why are we being told to be ‘opposed to or against’ getting older? When it comes to the signs of time on our faces, wrinkle removal isn’t possible with a pot of cream, and why are we being told to remove our wrinkles, anyway?

Skincare helps you get your best skin and should make you feel good about yourself. As an industry, we shouldn’t be selling products based on fear or hope-in-a-jar.

Valued at $58 billion dollars*, the global anti-ageing sector is seriously big business. I’m not suggesting we wipe this value off the beauty industry; we don’t need to change the product that’s in the pot, we need to change the language used to sell it. Furthermore, the older demographic that purchases these products is largely invisible in beauty imagery; older women are included in beauty campaigns as the exception, rather than the rule. According to Fashion Model Directory, the average age of a model is 23.

And yet mature women are an ever-growing demographic; the Premium Market Report states that before the end of the decade, women aged 45-59 will increase by 8.9%, the 60-74s by 12.6% and the over 75s by 17.9%. I would like to see the mature skincare market become less ‘anti’ and more celebratory of age and I believe that the time for change is now; more than ever, age truly is ageless – a 60 year old can rock a red lip, blazer and trainers as well as anyone and they have the mindset to do it. Women are becoming increasingly vocal about not fading into obscurity the moment they hit their 40s. The time for change is now.

Don’t just take our word for it; Willowberry recently held an Age in Beauty survey with 1,000 women aged 30-80 and a huge 97% of participants felt it important to see better representation of real, older women used by beauty brands and the media, while 85% want to see more positive and realistic wording surrounding age in beauty. These women said they don’t want to be told to anti-age, they want the support to get their best skin with age.

It’s why Willowberry is now calling for change to the age narrative in beauty with our new Age Without Apology Pledge, inviting the beauty industry to join forces to make real change, by using better language around age and showing older ages within beauty imagery. Change won’t happen overnight, but we can start taking steps towards a better narrative for the future, together.

It’s not about what’s come before, it’s about how we move forward. If this resonates with you, why not join us? You can find out more at


By Jenni Retourne, Founder, Willowberry skincare

An independent British brand, Willowberry is nutritious natural skincare for grown-ups, for your best skin. A favourite with top make-up artists, Willowberry’s luxurious award-winning products protect skin’s natural barrier function, to nourish and revive grown-up skin without telling women to be ‘anti-ageing’. As seen in Vogue, Independent, The Telegraph, This Morning and more.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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