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NATIONAL TEEN SURVEY: WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT AMONG 13- TO 20-YEAR OLDS

 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Though they've been touted in the press as being more politically and socially aware than the generation that preceded them, today's teens express many of the same concerns as their parents and even their grandparents. A recent national survey of 13 to 20 year olds, commissioned by skin care products company Cabot Laboratories, finds teens' top-of-mind concerns include:
 -- Dating and relationships are the most favored topic of conversation for more than 55 percent of all teens. Otherwise, boys talk sports, music and cars. Girls talk about school, clothes and friends. Both genders claim to spend very little time talking about current events, sex, or drugs and alcohol.
 -- Surprisingly, "being popular at school" is twice as important to boys than to girls. 41 percent of boys, versus 21 percent of girls, say popularity is important to them.
 -- Nine out of 10 teens (88 percent) rate physical fitness more important than being well dressed or having a stylish hairdo.
 -- A perennial concern of teens can be expressed in a single word: Pimples. Despite today's plethora of pricey pimple potions, washing with soap and water remains the most common method of skin care.
 -- School sports and movies are considered "hot" activities by nearly all teens. Skateboards and video games are "not hot," except among males under 16.
 -- Shopping is "hot" with 90 percent of girls, "not" with 40 percent of boys.
 -- Baggies/Hip Hop is rated the "hot" style by two thirds of all teens. Grunge, 60s Flower Power and 70s Polyester looks are considered passe by four out of five teens. Preppy is "hot" say 60 percent of teen girls. "Not" say 66 percent of boys.
 -- Two-thirds of all teens rate Pearl Jam a "hot" musical item. Janet Jackson is "hot," say three out of four females. Metallica is "hot" with slightly more than half of all males. Depeche Mode is "not hot" with more than 70 percent of teens.
 -- "Cheers" re-runs and "Seinfeld" are favorite TV fare of two- thirds of male teens. An equal number of females votes for teen soap "Beverly Hills 90210."
 National Survey
 The national survey was designed to determine what a statistically representative sample of teenagers in the United States considers "hot" and "not hot" in the areas of leisure, fashion, music and television. It also sought to identify the major topics of conversation among teens with their peers, as well as to determine the importance of personal appearance issues. It also sought to determine how teens care for their skin on a regular basis. Conducted in July 1993, the telephone survey reached 250 teens. Divided equally by gender, the sample included equal numbers of younger (13 to 16) and older (17 to 20) respondents. The survey was commissioned by Cabot Laboratories, Inc., a Central Islip, N.Y., skin care products company.
 "Though styles of clothing, music and expression seem to change faster with each new generation of teenagers, they all face such universal challenges as learning to cope with oily skin," says Jim Greene, a noted skin care scientist and Cabot Laboratories vice president for research and development.
 Teen Topics of Conversation
 When chatting with friends, today's teen report that "dating and relationships" are their number one topic of conversation. The next most important item on the male agenda is sports, followed by cars and music. When they're not talking about dating, female teens tend to discuss clothes, school and friends. Despite recurring publicity about the generation's political and social awareness, fewer than 6 percent of all teens report discussing current events with their peers.
 "Teens are coming into their own, trying on a new sense of themselves, making decisions about where to spend their discretionary income, trying to develop independence and their own style," says Theresa Sutton Fryback, co-chairman and director of marketing and client services at Sutton Pina Associates, a teen-oriented ad agency in Greenwich, Conn. "However, they're also experiencing a lot of peer pressure about dating and relationships. Thus, many of their conversations with friends will revolve around on how I can get a date, where am I going on that date and what should I ware for it."
 Fitness, Grooming & Popularity
 Nine out of 10 teens (88 percent) say that being physically fit is important. Nearly three quarters rate being well dressed, having clear skin and a great hairdo as important. While fitness and grooming loom large in teen minds, "being popular at school" is rated as important by only a minority of respondents. Surprisingly, popularity is twice as important to boys than to girls. More than 40 percent of boys rate popularity as important, versus about 20 percent of girls.
 Skin Care: A Pair of Paradoxes
 Pimples are a perennial problem for teens. Despite the plethora of pricey pimple potions on the market today, washing with soap and water remains the most common method of skin care. While regular facial cleansing is important, dermatologists warn against over doing it. John S. Strauss, MD, a leading medical expert on oily skin, says washing to remove oil is frequently of benefit if not overdone. However, clinical findings suggest that the more a person washes, the more oil their skin produces. Therefore, decreasing facial washing may actually help improve oily skin, says Jim Greene.
 Products to control facial oiliness have been on the market for decades. They include powders, clays, astringents and polymers. Unfortunately, none seem to work. However, a new class of products using perfluoroalkyl surfactant technology is finding supporters among teens and doctors alike. The active ingredient, sometimes called Seban(TM), cleanses away oil and prevents the appearance of its return. The use of this type of product can actually reduce the number of times the face is washed, resulting in a healthier skin.
 Another interesting paradox revealed by the survey is that roughly equal numbers of teens are concerned about maintaining a facial tan as are concerned about developing skin cancer. Strauss points out that it is not unusual for acne conditions to improve during the summer. Many blemish-prone people may feel that exposure to the sun's tanning UV rays is good for acne. Encouraged by short term improvements, they may be setting themselves up for the long-term damage in the form of skin cancers.
 Leisure Activities
 Today's teens overwhelmingly favor school sports and movies as leisure time activities. Girls and boys are split on the merits of shopping as a recreational activity. Nine out of 10 girls say it's hot, while 40 percent of boys say it's not. Video games and skateboards are favored most strongly by younger (13 - 16) males.
 Fashion
 The Baggies/Hip Hop look is the favored style of two-thirds of all teens surveyed. The Preppy look finds favor with an equal number (64 percent) of females between the ages of 17 and 20. Only one boy in three (36 percent) votes preppy, with the vast majority (70 percent) of younger boys giving it a not hot rating. Despite or perhaps due to the recent spate of media attention given to the Grunge look, the fashion is rated hot by fewer than a third (31 percent) of all teens. Older boys constitute the true devotees of Grunge, with 40 percent of them rating it hot. Meanwhile, the retro 60s Flower Power look enjoys a following among a sizable minority (32 percent) of older females.
 Music
 Pearl Jam is a musical gem in the ears of two-thirds of all teens surveyed. Janet Jackson enjoys a very strong following among females, three quarters of whom rate her hot, and a solid following among the 51 percent of male teens who give her a similar rating. Metallica gets only a slightly louder endorsement from males, with a 54 percent hot rating. Fewer than one in three females (29 percent) rate the heavy metal band hot, with approval ratings dropping as respondents age. Depeche Mode, meanwhile, is not hot according to 70 percent of those surveyed. The 1980s revival act finds its strongest following among older females, 36 percent of whom rate it hot.
 Television Habits
 A pair of sitcoms alive today only through the miracle of syndication continues to enjoy strong followings among teenagers. "Cheers" re-runs and "Seinfeld" are the favorite television fare of male teens, though both shows attract relatively sizable female followings. Two-thirds of females rate the prime time soap opera "Beverly Hill 90210" a hot program. Though rated not hot by more than 90 percent of all other teens, "Brady Bunch" re-runs still sizzle for 41 percent of older females, none of whom were alive when the show went off the air in 1972.
 Cabot Laboratories, Inc. is a $12.5 million company headquartered in Central Islip, N.Y. that combines nature's secrets with science to create effective skin care solutions.
 -0- 9/6/93
 /CONTACT: Celeste Alleyne or David Blackburn both of Access Public Relations, 415-904-7070/


CO: Cabot Laboratories ST: California IN: HOU SU:

LD -- NYFNS1 -- 9098 09/06/93 07:32 EDT
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Date:Sep 6, 1993
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