Olay’s Big British Beauty Poll: The results are in!

Olay’s Big British Beauty Poll: The results are in!

Thousands of you responded to our mega-survey to reveal your views on everything from plastic surgery to anti-ageing. Here’s what British women really think about beauty.

Last year, Olay asked Beauty Recommended readers to take part in The Big British Beauty Poll. Thousands of you responded, with your views on beauty from whether or not you’d consider surgery to how much cash you’d splash on an anti-ageing super cream.

Now, with thanks from the Beauty Recommended team, we can now reveal the answers to the ten Hottest Beauty Topics of 2012.

1. Do you splurge or save?

We asked “Would you say that your beauty spending has increased or decreased in the last two years as a result of the recession?” You said had decreased by 15% as the average monthly spend on beauty and pampering was £20, compared with £23 in 2010.

Jasmine Birtles, broadcaster, financial expert and founder of Moneymagpie.com says: “This perception gap shows how much tighter money is for most people and how our money isn't going as far as it used to, women think they’re spending more on beauty but they’re actually spending less. The cost of living has risen and even little luxuries like face creams make us think twice before we dive into our purse.”

2. What’s your top beauty investment?

When times are tough, skincare is the item most of you continue to invest in. We asked “If you ever needed to cut back on your beauty spending, which area would you cut back on first?” In response, 39% of women said body treatments would be first to go, 15% said a haircut and colour, 15% for cosmetics while only 7% were prepared to sacrifice their anti-ageing skincare first.

3. How much would you pay for a super cream that REALLY works?

Goodbye to the £100 super cream, according to our poll: women are no longer prepared to splurge on expensive anti-ageing super creams. When asked “How much would you be prepared to spend on an anti-wrinkle cream if you were convinced that it works?” 79% wouldn’t be prepared to spend any more than £30.

Recession buster: Try Olay Regenerist Advanced Age-Defying Kit, a proven anti-ageing regime for under £30.

4. What’s your biggest ageing concern?

Wrinkles and neck are the two top panic spots. When asked “When it comes to skin ageing, what concerns you most?” 33% said fine lines and wrinkles, especially amongst younger women, closely followed by loss of firmness around the neck and jawline at 32%.

Olay celebrity facialist, Anastasia Achilleos says: “A defined jaw-line is a key concern for my older clients. Ageing doesn’t just happen from the neck up: too often women neglect their bodies as they get older, so I always encourage my clients of all ages to massage their anti-ageing creams from the chest and neck up to keep this key area looking youthful.”

5. Do you believe the hype?

Do you believe the hype when it comes to anti-ageing products? When asked “What makes you trust an anti-ageing skin product?” According to our poll, women are still as savvy as ever, with the majority influenced by proven clinical trials at 63%. A trusted brand name and word of mouth came a close second and third, with brand loyalty scoring higher among women over 45: while word of mouth recommendation by friends and family were key for younger women.

Jasmine Birtles says: “Several recent studies have shown that the social media generation have far more trust in what friends and contacts say than anything companies or governments tell us. The young, particularly, have turned to the wisdom of crowds to give them the truth. We also live in a scientific age so more people want to see figures and scientific results before they will believe.”


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6. What's your instant youth fix?

“A new haircut or colour” was voted the number one instant youth fix. Yet, anti-ageing skincare, anti-ageing facials and teeth whitening came second place, with 22% each. Surprisingly given the UK’s love of fake tanning, self-tanning treatments scored the lowest votes at 1%, followed by Botox at 5%.

Recession buster: Want an instant anti-ageing fix that won’t break the bank? Olay tests prove that new Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Complex instantly reduces the look of wrinkles better than the most expensive £600 anti-wrinkle cream, and it’s only £29.99.

7. What makes you feel most glamorous?

A great skin day wins hands down in the glamour stakes, according to the survey. When the Olay Regenerist Big Beauty Poll asked women “What’s your glamour statement?” 29% said polished, flawless skin, followed by smoky eyes at 19%. And, regardless of red lipstick dominating the catwalks, “a statement lip” only gained 6.4% of the votes.

8. What’s your desert island beauty product?

The lipstick index was coined during the last recession as lipstick sales soared, despite the economy declining. When asked “If your budget would only allow you to buy one piece of makeup what would it be?” 35% of women responded with mascara, 31% said foundation and 11% lipstick. Surprisingly only 2.8% of women voted for nail polish. So this time around, it’s the Mascara Index.

9. To grey or not to grey?

When it comes to grey hair, British women would rather not go there – ever. When asked “What is the most worrying effect of ageing hair for you?” the majority of women, across all age ranges, said going grey. In fact, the women surveyed were so passionate about hiding their greys, that 75% said you can never be too old to colour your hair.

Loss of volume was the second most worrying effect of hair ageing, which was highest amongst the youngest age group. Sam McKnight, Pantene Global Stylist Ambassador, says: “Thick, luxurious hair is seen as a key indicator of hair health and that’s what makes it desirable for women of all ages. I think it’s significant that it’s still the hair style of choice for the red carpet.”

10. Plastic fantastic or as nature intended?

It’s natural all the way for the women in our poll. When asked “Have you had any beauty procedure?” 79% of women answered no. So what are the remaining 21% having done? Old school microdermabrasion beat high-tech lasers hands down, topping the list at 58%. In fact, hardly anyone’s actually going under the youth beam, with less than 1 % of the women who have had a cosmetic procedure choosing laser resurfacing. Surgery and botox both gained 11% of the votes.

Would you, could you? 63% would consider having a procedure in future, according to the poll. When presented with a list from chemical peels to face-lifts and asked “Would you consider having any of the following procedures in the future?” the vote was dominated by lower-risk procedures like chemical peels, Botox and microdermabrasion, which took up at over 50% of the total vote.


We asked, “Who is your modern day beauty icon?” The top 10 was dominated by celebrities’ aged 40+, including Jennifer Aniston, Helen Mirren, Dita Von Teese, Kylie Minogue, and Julia Roberts, proving 40 really is the new 30! Home-grown beauties like Kate Middleton and Holly Willoughby were two of the most popular younger beauty icons.

*The results of The Big British Beauty Poll 2012 were independently analysed by leading market research company Ipsos MORI

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I use Olay too but the normal complete pack. I have been using this cream since childhood. My skin is brilliant (so I'm told), I don't spend more the £4/5. I don't think we should spend a lot of money for creams.

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