The findings come from a recent survey of more than 1,400 people conducted by StyleSeat, an online destination that connects beauty clients with professionals.
StyleSeat asked respondents to share how much they spent on beauty (including hair, skin, makeup, nail, hair removal, teeth whitening), fitness (including gum memberships and vitamins and supplements), and wellness (mental health services, sleep aids, meditation tools and bodywork, for example).
While the average respondent spent $110 a month on these categories, they didn’t distribute their spending equally across all categories. Instead, Americans spent the most on beauty ($46), followed by fitness ($34), with the lowest monthly investment in wellness ($30). Women and nonbinary individuals also spent more ($124 and $114, respectively) than men ($94) in these categories overall, according to StyleSeat.
The millennial respondents spent the most of any generation ($115 per month). Millennials spent $20 more monthly on beauty, fitness, and wellness than members of Gen Z, amounting to a $240 annual difference.
Although respondents in the survey expect beauty spending to decrease this year, they expect fitness and wellness spending to increase. In fact, 71% of respondents do not plan to cut back on wellness spending despite inflation.
Of note, 60% of respondents said they know someone who spends more money on beauty, fitness, and wellness than they can afford.
StyleSeat also asked respondents to rank the products and services they spend the most on in each category. Haircuts and facial skin care were tied for the biggest beauty expenses. Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) said they spent the most on haircuts, while another 23% spent the most on facial skin care.
Vitamins and supplements were two times more popular than any other fitness expense with 36% saying they spent the most on them. Sleep aids and mental health care (both 19%) tied for the biggest wellness expenses.
The survey provided some insight into what Americans invest in most across beauty, fitness, and wellness categories, and where they get the most bang for their buck. Respondents expected beauty to remain the largest spending category in self-care this year with nearly 2 in 5 (39%) saying they will spend the most on it. However, this is down from last year, when 45% said beauty was their largest spending category.
Instead, respondents are spending more on the fitness and wellness categories.
We then asked respondents to rate which popular service allows them to get the most value for their dollar: hair services, gym or studio memberships, or mental health services. Of respondents who use all three, 38% said hair services were most valuable, 34% chose gym or studio memberships, and 28% chose mental health services.
Cutting Back on Beauty Spending?
StyleSeat also queried respondents about the impact of inflation on their beauty, fitness and wellness practices.
Despite inflation, the majority of Americans indicated they will not cut spending on beauty, fitness, or wellness. In fact, 71% indicated consistent or increased spending on wellness, while 66% said the same for fitness and 58% for beauty.
In the last couple of years, about one in four Americans have increased their spending on wellness. Nearly one in five indicated they are using more fitness products, and one in four Americans are using fewer beauty products overall, according to the StyleSeat survey.
StyleSeat was founded by Melody McCloskey in 2011.
The survey was conducted from April 15 to April 18, 2022, and included 1,421 Americans (46% identified as women, 46% identified as men, and 8% identified as nonbinary). The average age was 37.