It’s not going to stop there
The online skincare community regroups a wide array of people hoping to find advice about their skin concerns, such as aging, acne, rosacea, and other skin-related struggles. Something has changed for this community within the past three years and it’s time to learn about it because it’s revolutionary and already coming for other industries.
If you are interested in skincare, you may have heard of Susan Yara, Dr. Shereene Idriss, or Hyram. They are experts actors who have become thought-leaders in the skincare community. They have taken over the stage from regular influencers by sharing skincare advice.
It’s out of frustration that Dr. Shereene Idriss started having a presence online. She was tired of seeing her patients take information from unreliable sources. Thinking it could be worth it to share her knowledge with the world She quickly became online famous. Her Youtube channel counts over 300k subscribers.
Her contribution and those of other experts’ voices to the skincare community are what I would call a win-win-win situation. Skincare advice-seekers obtained free knowledge. On the other hand, expert influencers gain visibility and trust. Their online community is a vehicle for marketing their personal brands. There is a third winning party in this equation: skincare brands.
Brands didn’t spend anything on marketing. Expert influencers marketed their products for free because they were using them and thought we should too. Dermatologists are promoting products that are, in their opinion, superior, due to specific objective characteristics, such as active ingredients. Skincare brands that were ready to work along with this mouvement harvested the profits.
The Ordinary launched in 2016, with a concept that relies on creating simple products with one or two main active ingredients featured on the packaging. The Ordinary couldn’t have obtained the same success if it had launched ten years ago.
Most users didn’t know anything about active ingredients unless they had a foot in the industry. Yet, they were craving concrete solutions to their skin concerns, and this is where expert influencers stepped in. By providing education to the public, expert influencers filled the gap between consumers’ needs and the products that can solve them. Something companies couldn’t have done themselves because they don’t benefit from the same trust.
Influencers are like micro-celebrities. They come and go as trends and get replaced. They can eventually become unreliable. Experts bring long-term knowledge to the viewers. It’s reliable until something revolutionary transforms the field. Therefore expert influencers may come and go, but what they teach us stays. They have greater authority than regular influencers, whose reliability is tied to their current level of fame.
What happened with the skincare industry will surely expand to other fields of interest. “Professional” or “expert” influencers will become a crucial aspect of marketing as they realize they can grow their businesses by building an online presence.
It’s highly frustrating for brands that often go above and beyond to improve their products but aren’t acknowledged by consumers who don’t understand how those will benefit them. In the future, it will be easier to market to those customers for companies that align with the experts’ recommendations.
For example, in the skincare industry, there is a thing called chemical exfoliation. It’s the use of certain ingredients, chemical exfoliants, to break down the dead skin cells that sits on the top of the epidermis. Without going into the details, chemical exfoliation is amazing and consistent use improves the appearance of the skin. But chemical exfoliants are tricky to manipulate, as they can cause severe irritation if used improperly.
They necessitate a bit of learning. Dr. Shereene Idriss, Hyram, and others, created extensive videos teaching how to use them safely. The sale of exfoliating ingredients is growing as a result of this involuntary compaign and should reach 0.2$ Billion by 2026.
Consumer education can be a double-edged sword. Brands should be warry of trends’ legitimacy. Indeed, experts influencers are also known for debunking trends that they find harmful or unnecessary. Brands risk losing credibility if they are caught promoting those.
It happened in 2020 when Hyram Yarbro annihilated St Yves’ face scrubs on social media. Hyram owns a Youtube channel dedicated to skincare education. With 4.6 Million followers, he is one of the mega-influencers in the skincare industry. Hyram shared his disapproval of the use of walnut shells as physical exfoliants by St Yves with his community. Of course, the brand wasn’t pleased.
St Yves face scrubs have been criticized all over social media by dermatologists since Hyram posted his original video.
As consumers become increasingly educated, they might rely more on products’ objective features to make their purchase decisions in the future. There is an opportunity for brands to delegate part of their marketing efforts to experts influencers. Their trusty voices can teach users by digging deep into their subject and growing the overall enthusiasm around them.
Businesses can reach out to experts who have an online presence. Consulting is also a way to learn what experts think they would purchase for themselves or recommend and why. Brands should find experts for sponsorship for their authority and trustworthiness. Investing in long-term consumers education might be more profitable overall than trying to ride ephemeral trends.
Good marketing has always been a matter of subjective experience. But good experience is hard to deliver. Educated consumers take more interest in understanding the objective characteristics of a product to assess its quality. Expert influencers can make or break a product by the force of their educated opinion. They have become are the central pillar of the skincare community, and will probably conquer other industries in the near future.