Beauty Insights

September Beauty Trends: Brand rankings & skin barrier trends

September 29, 2022

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September Beauty Trends

After a short break, we're back with another edition of our monthly beauty newsletter — now written by a new analyst, Colton Wood (that's me!). 

Below we have last month’s beauty brand leaderboard rankings, along with spotlight analysis of Olaplex, Charlotte Tilbury, and Typography. Also:

  • The rise of skin barrier health. Skin barrier health has emerged as one of the biggest trends in skincare, as more consumers are seeking products designed to promote and maintain long-term skin health.
  • Is beauty immune to macroeconomic conditions?  As concerns about a potential economic recession strengthen and inflationary pressure continues to rise, many industries are bracing for a difficult road ahead. But, there are many reasons to be optimistic that the beauty industry can still thrive in the near future even if we see a downturn in the broader economy.

P.S. Want to share these insights with a friend? Send them this presentation!

Beauty Brand Analysis

US Brand Spotlight: Olaplex’s #OlaFlex Campaign

In August, Olaplex rose ten spots in the overall beauty rankings from 30 to 20 and increased VIT by 65% MoM. They also ranked 2nd amongst all haircare brands.

A key factor in their impressive performance was their #OlaFlex campaign, a TikTok challenge revolving around the popularity of “rave culture” in beauty and skincare. The hashtag challenge, which is OlaPlex’s first sponsored TikTok campaign, features before-and-afters with an original song by EDM DJ Felix Cartel. 

Olaplex also tapped a diverse group of over 400 influencers to amplify the 3-day campaign which successfully generated over 2.8k mentions and 175M video views. 

Tip: Want to invest in paid TikTok influencer collaborations? Check out our blog post to learn what content types and strategies are working for brands. 

UK Brand Spotlight: Charlotte Tilbury + luxury skincare

Coming in at number 3 on the August Leaderboard, Charlotte Tilbury has consistently been in the top of the VIT monthly rankings on our public UK leaderboard throughout 2022. Since launching in 2012, the brand has established itself as a favorite amongst beauty insiders and received a plethora of praise and awards over the years. 

In contrast to the US market where the brands at the top of the leaderboard often rely upon VIP influencers for a large portion of their VIT, Charlotte Tilbury has outperformed the UK competition by relying on the mid tier (50k to 249k followers) influencers. They also have impressive influencer loyalty, with their 10 top performing creators in August mentioning the brand an average of 7.1 times each over the month. 

This combination has helped Charlotte Tilbury develop an effective influencer strategy that has grown the reach of the brand considerably, especially amongst Gen-Z. This is impressive considering the brand’s luxury price point is much higher than most beauty brands that younger consumers often mention.  

Tip: Interested in taking your influencer strategy to the next level? Check out our most recent webinar where we share powerful strategies and real-world examples to help you get the most out of your influencer marketing strategy! 

FR Brand Spotlight: Typology + skinification

For the French market, Typology came in at #7 on the leaderboard in August, their second consecutive month landing in the top 10. 

The Parisian brand is known for their minimalist skincare products and has been a favorite amongst many throughout France since their 2019 launch. Recently, they’ve taken their approach to skincare and applied it to new products within hair care and body care as well.

And they’re not the only ones. Often referred to as “skinification”, we’re seeing more and more skincare brands enter other markets like haircare and body care. The strategy is often to launch hair care or body care products that contain popular skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. 

Beyond their expansion into other categories, Typology has also been a step ahead of their competitors within France when it comes to prioritizing TikTok.

In August, the brand generated 76% of their VIT from TikTok, far above the market average of 25% over the same period. 

If you want to see how your beauty brand ranks, check out our monthly leaderboard here.

Beauty Trends to Know

Skin Barrier

A few years ago, the majority of people probably wouldn’t have a clue what the skin barrier even was. Now, it is all over TikTok and Instagram, with beauty brands and influencers providing advice and highlighting products to help maintain a healthy skin barrier. 

The conversation around the skin barrier started gaining steam in early 2020 and has only continued to grow over the past few years. 

Content mentioning the skin barrier across all platforms, comparing 2022 YTD vs 2021 YTD

  • +42% posts
  • +118% engagements
  • +240% video views 

So why has this become such a popular topic of discussion in the beauty industry? One big reason is consumers' ever increasing hunger for education. In 2020, consumers went down the skincare rabbit hole - getting into the science of ingredients, application, and more. Now they're interested in the underlying causes of skin issues, and the skin barrier is a key element of that. This new trend has consumers wondering about all the different factors that can damage the skin barrier, from using a lot of products with active ingredients to avoiding pollutants in their environment.

With this information, many are looking for products designed for long-term skin health rather than a quick fix product that strips the skin over the long run. 

Brands are responding to this demand by adding sensitive skincare products into their lineup, like Tata Harper’s Superkind Collection and The Nue Co’s Barrier Culture Cleanser. There are even new brands launching with skin barrier health as their primary focus like Hailey Bieber’s Rhode Skin and BYOMA, a brand launched by Future Beauty Labs that is targeting Gen-Z and is heavily investing in TikTok. 

Some of the brands mentioned frequently — Rhode Skin, Bioderma, BYOMA, True Botanicals, and Lancôme 

Key Conversations

The Macro Environment’s Impact on Beauty Industry

Given the uncertainty in both the US and global economy, companies across many industries have been trying to figure out what to expect if we enter into a sustained recession. 

When it comes to beauty, the outlook is perhaps amongst the most optimistic of all sectors. First coined by Estee Lauder chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder, “The Lipstick Effect” highlights the beauty industry’s resiliency to past economic downturns, highlighted by lipstick sales growing 11% during the height of the 2001 recession. 

But does this way of reasoning apply in today’s world? While it’s impossible to predict with certainty, the early signals are promising if we look at the recent financial reports from some of beauty’s most influential companies — Coty, Estée Lauder, and L’Oreal. 

All 3 companies reported better than expected results in their most recent financial reports. Luxury performed particularly well, with L’Oreal Luxe growing revenue by 26% and Coty Prestige growing 16% for the quarter ending June 30. 

During Coty’s earnings call, CEO Sue Nabi says,

“The beauty category is not showing any sign of slowdown, specifically when it comes to prestige, but also the premium part of Consumer Beauty. Clearly, consumers are more than ever [choosing premium], which is a surprise in the middle of this inflationary pressure.”

So what’s the takeaway from this news? 

While it is ill-advised to assume the beauty industry is completely immune from macro factors, it seems to be far more resilient than a few other industries. 

If you haven't already, make sure to sign up for our Beauty Leaderboard Newsletter. See you next month!

Unless otherwise specified, all data analyzed was pulled from a sample of 53,326 influencers located in the United States, Canada and Europe, and growth percentages compare January 2021 - August 2021 vs January 2022 - August 2022 in order to get a year-to-date comparison.

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