An industry once dominated by a set of big brands, bestowed with the power to create magic potions from the fountain of youth, the skincare industry has evolved from a brand-led prescription of elusive formulations at high price tags to one fuelled by consumer knowledge and scepticism. Increased education, driven by social media and the rise of skincare influencers, has empowered consumers with more knowledge than ever before when it comes to their skincare choices. With this comes a generation of savvy consumers, less likely to be hoodwinked into the idea of magical tinctures than their predecessors, favouring black-and-white transparency over fancy packaging and celebrity advertising. According to a recent survey by IBM and the National Retail Federation, this new breed of the conscious consumer now makes up 44% of the retail cohort, including personal care and beauty.
Here we’ll discuss what this new age of informed consumers means for skincare brands and how forward-thinking brands can thrive in the midst of a growing consumer thirst for innovation, transparency and sustainability.
What would the future of beauty transparency look like?
Beauty transparency is likely to be shaped by a combination of regulatory pressure, consumer demand, and technological innovation, all aimed at ensuring that consumers have access to accurate and trustworthy information about the products they use on their bodies. This increasing consumer demand for detailed information about the ingredients, sourcing, and manufacturing processes of beauty products is being driven by a growing awareness of the potential health and environmental risks associated with many of the chemicals used in cosmetics and personal care products.
One potential development, for instance, is the increased use of technology to provide consumers with real-time information about the safety and efficacy of beauty products. The beauty transparency revolution represents a significant shift in the industry as consumers prioritise ethical and sustainable practices, and companies who respond by being more transparent about their products and processes will see higher numbers of customer attraction and retention.
How can skincare brands embrace this revolution?
There are several ways skincare brands can support growing consumer knowledge. And here, we have listed five key topics in which every skincare brand willing to embrace this revolution should invest.
A move towards acknowledging and growing relationships with manufacturing partners will take away the elusive nature of product formulation and give consumers a more holistic view of the process. Examples of brands who share their relationship with CMOs as a partnership rather than a one-sided approach.
- List ingredients clearly: Listing all ingredients used in your skincare products on the label, in descending order of concentration, helps consumers understand what they are applying on their skin and make informed choices about what they want to use.
- Explain the manufacturing process: You can provide information on your manufacturing process, including how ingredients are sourced and processed, to help consumers understand the quality of the product they are buying.
Cocokind stands out from the competition when the matter is manufacturing transparency. Its packaging breaks down each product’s ingredient list sharing more information about the contents. It also features a QR code that links to their site detailing the company’s environmental strategy and their carbon footprint, a calculation of the carbon emissions involved in producing each product. Another example is the brand Byoma which lists every ingredient and its purpose in the formula on the packaging of their products, as well as on their website, in a clear and simple way.
Brands can prioritise sustainability in their packaging and ingredient sourcing. Customers are becoming more conscious about the impact their purchasing decisions have on the environment, and beauty brands can support this by using eco-friendly materials and reducing waste.
- Use sustainable and natural ingredients: Brands can use natural and sustainably sourced ingredients in their products to reduce the use of harmful chemicals and promote eco-friendliness.
- Reduce waste: Brands can reduce waste by using recyclable or biodegradable packaging materials. They can also encourage consumers to recycle their product containers and offer recycling programs.
Haeckels is a sustainable skincare brand that has innovated in terms of waste reduction. Their packaging is fully compostable, which the company grows from mycelium, the underground root structure of mushrooms. The haircare brand Alott has a range of products that are not only vegan, naturally derived, and organic, but they also aim to reduce plastic waste by using reusable and refillable aluminium and glass containers, solid bars in recycled and recyclable packaging, and recycling-friendly refill pouches.
Beauty brands can provide personalised recommendations based on their customers’ skin type, concerns, and preferences. This can be done through quizzes or consultations, helping customers find the products that work best for them. By providing personalised product recommendations, educational content, virtual try-on tools, skin analysis, and feedback and reviews, you can help consumers understand which products are best for their skin type and concerns, how to use them effectively and improve their overall skin health.
- Customised Product Recommendations: Use consumer data to recommend personalised skincare products based on the consumer’s skin type, concerns, and lifestyle. By providing tailored product recommendations, brands can help consumers find the most suitable products according to their needs and concerns. This approach can also help consumers avoid using products that might not be suitable for their skin.
- Virtual Try-On Tools: Virtual try-on tools allow consumers to try different skincare products virtually. These tools can help consumers understand how a product will work on their skin before they make a purchase. By offering virtual try-on tools, brands can help consumers make informed purchasing decisions and avoid wasting money on products that might not work for them.
- Skin Analysis: Skin analysis tools that use artificial intelligence to analyse the consumer’s skin type, concerns, and lifestyle can provide personalised skincare recommendations and education. This approach can also help consumers understand the factors that affect their skin health and how to improve it.
L’Oréal Paris stood out from the competition when they unveiled their virtual makeup try-on tool and their first digital makeup line called ‘Signature Faces.’ The tool is compatible with a wide variety of video platforms like SnapChat, Instagram, Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom. On the other hand, Galderma has just launched its digital AI skin analysis tool designed to deliver precise, personalised skin assessments instantly. Galderma’s tool aims to empower and educate users with sensitive skin by using innovative skin scanning technology.
Offering affordable options and providing education on how to use products effectively can make skincare accessible to a wider audience. This can help break down barriers and empower more people to take care of their skin, ultimately leading to more informed and satisfied consumers, who are more likely to recommend your brand to others.
- Clear and informative product labelling: Beauty brands should ensure that their product labelling is clear and easy to understand, including all the necessary information, such as the active ingredients, directions for use, and any warnings or precautions. Additionally, avoid using confusing or technical jargon.
- Affordable pricing: Aim to make products accessible to a wide range of consumers by keeping prices affordable. This would encourage more people to experiment with different skincare products and learn more about what works for them.
The Ordinary is a well-known brand and an excellent example of clear labelling and affordable pricing. Known for “clinical formulations with integrity” the brand uses effective, familiar clinical technologies with transparent communication and pricing.
Collaborate with skincare professionals
Collaboration with skincare professionals, such as dermatologists and aestheticians, to create educational content and product recommendations can help ensure that consumers receive accurate and trustworthy information about skincare.
- Education: Skincare professionals, such as dermatologists and aestheticians, can provide valuable insights into the science behind skincare and the different ingredients and formulations used in skincare products. Beauty brands can collaborate with these professionals to develop educational content that explains the benefits and drawbacks of different products and ingredients.
- Consumer Education: Skincare professionals can also play a key role in educating consumers about proper skincare practices and the importance of using high-quality, effective products. Beauty brands can collaborate with these professionals to create educational resources and events that help consumers to better understand their skincare needs.
Caroline Hirons is a globally qualified advanced aesthetician who partners with different brands to generate content that helps consumers to find what they do and don’t need in their skincare routine. Her blogs and videos present consumers with both her opinion and simple scientific facts.
Dr Davin Lim is a board-certified dermatologist practising in Brisbane, Australia. His YouTube videos cover everything from products, DIY, and skin procedures. The main idea of his channel is to cut out the mystery of the beauty industry by educating consumers about correct skincare practices.
The Bottom Line
The growing consumer knowledge about skincare is a significant shift in the beauty industry, driven by consumer awareness of the ingredients used in their products. Consumers are no longer satisfied with simply using products that promise to improve their skin without knowing what is in them. They want to know what each ingredient does, where it comes from, and whether it is safe and effective. In conclusion, the ingredients revolution is an important trend that beauty brands should embrace to build trust with consumers and differentiate themselves in a crowded market. By prioritising transparency, education, sustainability, and customisable options, beauty brands can support growing consumer knowledge about skincare and provide safe, effective, and personalised products while establishing closer relationships with their target consumers.
Contact our team today and accelerate your skincare brand.