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New research from beauty giant Avon reveals turning forty brings a freeing sense of relief, self-assurance and self-contentment.

Shifts in attitudes are linked to the impact of the pandemic, with two thirds agreeing the pandemic has made them realise that life is fragile and getting older is something to appreciate (66%).

Three in five (59%) women in the UK feel their confidence is improving as they age, and over half (51%) agree that ageing is not something to fear.

In a post-pandemic world, more women link feeling powerful with self-confidence (52%) than being financially stable (41%). In fact, a huge 85% of women in their forties said they don’t care about being at the top, but instead define success as being able to create a balance that works for them and their lifestyle.

The findings come from a global study of women across seven countries and three continents, that have been published by Avon in a new report called ‘The Power in Ageing’, as the beauty giant and its team of scientists and experts discover what it really means to age in 2022.

The report reveals that over half (54%) of women in the UK agree that in their forties, what ambition meant for them changed from having it all to having ‘enough’. This feeling is even stronger amongst women in the Philippines (76%), South Africa (70%) and Turkey (69%). As a result, less than a fifth (17%) of British women over forty are prioritising their career.

Angela Cretu, Avon CEO, comments: “We’ve been reclaiming our power and taking control over the narrative of ageing and making it fit with who we really are and how we really feel. Now, more than ever, what it means to be 40 and over is changing, and we’re finding the confidence we need to harness our power. And if you ask me, it’s about time.”

The research also suggests that women are becoming their most authentic self in their forties and beyond, and in the wake of the pandemic, 3 in 5 now want to focus on looking healthy rather than looking young (59%).

Life begins at 40 - models using Power Serum.

Louise Scott, Avon Chief Scientific Officer, explains how the beauty industry is responding to this shift: “The terminology our industry uses to speak to women about their skin needs to evolve from ‘anti-ageing’ to ‘authentic-ageing’. Our ambition at Avon is to give every woman of every age the opportunity to have the best, healthiest skin she can have, without having to spend their hard-earned income on expensive products or cosmetic treatments.”

Nearly half of UK women surveyed (47%) want to use multi-purpose skincare products that deliver more than one benefit in their routine. As we emerged from the pandemic, Avon launched Anew Renewal Power Serum, powered by Avon’s world exclusive Protinol™ technology. The ground-breaking serum offers 7 skin benefits in just 7 days , at an irresistibly affordable £22.

When it comes to areas where women feel less powerful, ageism in the workplace and knowledge around the menopause remain issues.

48% of British women believe ageism is still an issue in the workplace and two thirds (66%) think women experience workplace ageism more than men.

A huge 86% of British women feel intimidated by the perimenopause. Of those surveyed, British women feel the most intimidated by this life stage, compared to 65% in the Philippines and 64% in South Africa.

One reason for this could be lack of knowledge. Less than a third (31%) of British women over forty say they know where to find information about perimenopause and only 23% say they know where to seek help. Italian women seem to struggle the most with this globally, with only 16% feeling knowledgeable about this life stage. To address this issue, Avon created the Menopause TLI (Too Little Information) Report, aiming to get women to start to speak up about menopause and perimenopause to help them through this time of great change. The report is available on Avon Worldwide.