Clinically minded skincare brands — inspired by in-office treatments and cutting-edge science — have taken centre stage on today’s exploding skincare frontier. Why are these brands staging such a renaissance now?
It’s About a Return to Expertise and Authority: In this era of paid posts, bought likes, a cavalcade of new brands consistently bursting on the scene and gimmicks galore, the educated, demanding — and, at this point, sceptical — consumer is seeking out brands that have a truly credible reason for being in the skincare space.
Buyers have decision fatigue, and people look to physician brands because they’re subcontracting out their ability to make a better decision for them.
It makes sense: who knows more about what to put in products, what will work on skin, what is reliably vetted, and what kind of tailored regimen to follow better than someone who studies and treats skin every day for a living — and, in the case of doctors, took an oath to care for their patients above all else?
It’s a Matter of Trust (and Results): In an entrepreneurial time when founders and storytelling are so important to a brand’s ability to connect with consumers to create relationships, dole out advice and convey purpose, expert brands find themselves in a good spot. They may not all have glamour or flash — though a handful certainly do, with sizeable personal followings and VIP friends — but the bulk of them do have genuine founding stories.
The Market Is Shifting — and the Expert Brands Fit Right In: Skincare is not soaring today because people suddenly became bored with makeup — which lends itself much more easily to selfies, makeovers, tutorials, et al — but because people fundamentally want to improve the quality of their skin, not just cover up their issues with cosmetics. Competing in the skincare market requires a never-ending stream of innovation and newness. Bonafide professionals — who know first-hand the issues that are most challenging to their clientele, and are intimately aware of what is missing from their regimens, or simply not working — are uniquely set up to answer the call.
Replicating what they do in the treatment room to achieve tangible results — from resurfacing peels and volume-enhancing injectables to lasers, lights and micro-currents — in safe-for-home-use products has always been the pro segment’s calling card. And it has long influenced launches across both prestige and mass.
The trend for hybrid products — those innovative multitaskers that simplify regimens and straddle skincare and cosmetics — is another example of the expert-led brands intuitively moving in the direction of the market.
While clinically minded brands, both new and not-so-new, may be on a high right now, and are certainly playing an active role in charting new directions for the market at large, do they pose a long-term threat to the industry, and to the establishment?