Self-care is quite the worthwhile cause, benefitting ourselves so that we can be all over happier and healthier people. These last few months alone, I’m sure many of us have learned to take time for ourselves. There are many ways people do this, some with skincare and bubble baths, others with meditation, or self-help books. Brands that have expanded (or been created) to provide these products have made a bundle off of our obsession with self-care. The skincare industry specifically, has enjoyed a rapidly growing demand in the last few years, particularly for progressive and forward-thinking brands.
With the growing demand for such products, it didn’t take long for a microscope to be pointed at the ingredients list and (un)ethical practices by which they are produced. Due to this push for sustainable, inclusive, and ethical products, brands like Fenty Beauty and Curology were born. Fenty Beauty, created by well-known performer Rihanna, touts “clean formulas that are also vegan and gluten-free” and “earth-conscious packaging” on their website. The primary marketing appeal of this brand, however, is its complexion inclusivity. Previous to this, many brands were selling makeup primarily directed at pale complexion individuals, leaving many different ethnicities and skin tones out. Rihanna herself is mixed-race. Her mother is African and Guyanese, her father is Irish and Barbadian, and she was born in Barbados. She was surrounded by diversity growing up and that is what inspired her to build a makeup empire based on inclusivity according to an interview she did with the NY Times. She has two brands based around this idea (gender and size-inclusive lingerie brand Fenty x Savage in addition to Fenty Beauty). Fenty Beauty alone made $570 million in 2018 and was estimated to be worth over 3 billion dollars as of the last numbers she provided this time last year to Forbes. Promoting inclusivity and diversity within makeup brands has proven to be an incredibly lucrative pursuit for the world’s richest female musician.
Curology is another brand that has had a quick rise to fame and wealth due to its personalization. Curology’s main appeal is its personal touches. They provide quizzes for their consumers to complete in order to customize their needs in the form of a bottle. After taking the quiz, individuals are matched with a provider to discuss their needs and wants, and finally, they are sent a skin care regiment, all for the (starting) price of $25/month. They boast that their process works for 88% of people, based on a survey they conducted on 432 existing customers over the course of a month in 2018. These customers said they had seen a notable difference in that time span, but the website does not elaborate on any other details of the survey. Curology began as a brand that targeted acne control but has expanded to other skin blemishes since its founding in 2014, and with great success, I might add. It’s current estimated annual revenue is $85.1 million dollars. Clearly, brands that fill their niche are incredibly successful.
With the rising interest in inclusivity, personalization, and sustainability, the “face” of the skincare industry is changing. Not only have makeup trends shifted towards more natural looks, but skincare is no longer just for beauty, it’s a way to protect your skin and take care of yourself. It’s become more about personal benefit than a societal expectation. As the scene continues to evolve, we are also beginning to see a lot more men using skincare products. This rise of metrosexual beauty habits is beneficial to all involved, well-maintained skin all around is never a bad thing. This industry is incredibly advantageous both for those who know what their selling and those who are excited about what they are buying. This interest isn’t going anywhere. In fact, what we are beginning to see is the incorporation of other social trends within the beauty world. CBD, for example, can be found in many up and coming brands like Milk Makeup. There is also a dramatic shift, especially with the pandemic and growing concerns about sanitation, towards online shopping for this industry. Skincare is slowly but surely integrating itself into the very fabric of day to day life for much of America’s younger demographics. This steady process will likely only continue, and the normalization of these practices across all people regardless of gender identification, complexion, or special skin needs is something we can expect to see more and more of. A word of caution, however: while self-improvement like this is far from a bad thing, we just have to be careful that it’s our lives we are improving, not the state of other’s wallets.