TikTok is so much more than dance videos (although those are great too!).
It’s vast, having become the world’s most popular entertainment app. And It’s a place of expression – and so a great source of consumer insight.
The short-video format on TikTok is perfect for snappy beauty advice. The platform is changing the skincare marketing game by mixing online product reviews with political commentary, internet meme culture and a behind-the-scenes look at their everyday lives. The popularity of skincare increased dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers changed their focus from makeup to self-care. Skincare accordingly became a growing conversation online – especially on TikTok.
So how can marketers and brands take advantage of this explosive trend? Read on.
The might of the dermfluencer
‘Skinfluencers’ or ‘dermfluencers’ are having a moment. #SkinTok videos have racked up more than 80 billion views on TikTok. Other popular hashtags include #skincare (also 84 billion views), #skincaretips, #skin, #glowingskin, #healthyskin, #beauty, #skincareroutine, #skincare and #dailyskincare. There is a lot of overlap between these hashtags and they’re all used by content creators, ranging from professional dermatologists to excitable amateurs, for a variety of reasons. These include:
- Raising awareness and advocating for people to take skincare more seriously.
- Sharing skincare ‘hacks’ and tips – some more medically sound than others.
- Sharing experiences and empathising with others – sometimes through humour.
- Education around the causes, triggers and treatment of skincare problems.
One of the most popular accounts posting #Skintoks is Skincarebyhyram. Hyram has over 6.8 million followers and counting, focusing on myths about controversial ingredients like petrolatum to experimental facials using ingredients like bologna slices, toilet paper and pumpkin pie for comedic effect. Dermdoctor also has a huge following of 6.5 million and his videos focus on the best skin care routines and a dermatologist’s reactions to pimple-popping.
Here are some other big players:
- Yayayayoung (over 1.5 million followers).
- 208skindoc (Dr. Dustin Portela) (3 million followers).
- tomassian (over 965.2kfollowers)
- Teawithmd (Dr. Joyce Park) (over 372k followers).
How TikTok is stimulating demand
Think back to March 2020. While many were focused on Covid updates, we wrote about a quiet revolution happening in the world of skincare.
By revolution I mean an increase in market share for CeraVe measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars…
The analytics picture is a bit of a mess (TikTok has no API, and the other platforms are a bit shy over the details). However, something big happened.
Here’s what we found using Google search data (Google Trends). The blue line is CeraVe, the red line Neutrogena.
A group of beauty bloggers (Hyram, Dr V among others) started talking about CeraVe, waxing lyrical about its effects and how it compared to other products. They were doing it on YouTube (longer form instructional videos comparing products and giving recommendations) and on TikTok (quick, amusing soundbites).
It also seems likely that there was some hefty brand activity happening on TikTok at the same time.
#CeraVe has over 1 billion views.
#Neutrogena, meanwhile, had 121m views
This translated into a surge in interest in CeraVe and an uptick in sales. According to Skincare Hero data, CeraVe is now TikTok’s most searched beauty brands.
Indeed, Nicola Kilner, CEO and co-founder of Deciem, the beauty company that includes affordable skin-care brand like CeraVe and The Ordinary, says all the viral support has translated directly to sales.
“More so than ever we hear a consumer’s first introduction to a product is through a social influencer.”
However, while SkinTok and skinfluencers have the power to boost a brand’s sales, they’re also known to “break” a brand with their less-than-impressed thoughts, so it’s important for brands to pay attention to both the positive and negative reviews from subcultures when developing future products.
The success of #SkinTok presents an opportunity for healthcare brands: it shows an appetite for receiving self-care information and advice on TikTok, particularly amongst a younger (Gen Z) audience. Skinfluencers present the millennial alternative to a real dermatologist.
So how might brands use TikTok to share information about skincare or other self-care treatments?
- Non-qualified people are sharing skincare tips and treatment ‘hacks’. There is a need for brands to correct this – by ‘myth-busting’ and ensuring consumers are receiving accurate, succinct information.
- The use of TikTok for advocacy and sharing support shows that there is a need for brands to emotionally support those suffering with skincare issues – it’s not just about physical relief.
- Working with influencers who are established on TikTok can help to build credibility and audience – and is one of the ways of overcoming Gen Z’s reluctance to engage with branded content.
So keep on checking #Skintok – you’ll have front row seats to how the skincare market is moving.