Trump wants to ban it, Gen Z knows all the dances from it, and Millennials, well, they’re just confused by it. Love it or hate it, TikTok is changing the skincare industry.
TikTok is the social media app that everyone is talking about. The Chinese owned video-sharing platform has grown in popularity since its conception in 2016. Coupled with a once in a century pandemic, it soared to new heights in 2020 seeing 2 billion downloads on Google Play and Apple App Store and 800 million active users worldwide.
The simple interface and endless feed of content made TikTok the ultimate boredom buster throughout lockdown. The algorithm works to create a profile based on the likes, views and scrolling habits of each user, steering them towards content it thinks they will enjoy.
There is something for everyone; Cottagecore TikTok (baking, crafts and generally wholesome simple life on the farm stuff), Moms of TikTok (“it’s 5 o’clock somewhere”), Food TikTok (mainly pasta recipes). The list goes on. There is even a user updating you on his daily soft drink consumption habits (go Rohit, day 59 with no fizzy drink).
There is also a segment of TikTok dedicated to skincare. A host of dermatologists, beauty therapists and skincare enthusiasts are educating on why apricot scrubs should be left in 2002 and the importance of wearing SPF every day. Some of these people include dermatologists Dustin Portela (@208skindoc) and Joyce Park (@teawithmd), writer and skincare brand builder Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler), and skincare devotees @whatsonviface and @skincarebyhyram.
If you have a spare 15 minutes which can turn into 5 hours, it’s worth checking out these accounts. Together they have a well-rounded archive of information for skincare novices to veterans. But how is this changing the industry?
Never before has a social media platform had the power to disseminate expert information to the masses. Let me frame it this way. I attended a Zoom event with a skin scientist who talked in depth about popular active ingredients in skincare. Was this information new to me? For the most part, it wasn’t, and it’s not because I have any formal training in the area. I am just a journalist who downloaded TikTok at the beginning of lockdown.
This example does not undermine the credibility of the skin scientist. She touched on points learnt through years of medical training and hands-on the job experience. The main difference between the skin scientist and skincarebyhyram is that 50 to100 people would have attended the invitation only Zoom, while 5.5 million people are watching Hyram’s TikTok.
The science behind skincare is no longer locked behind doors where only a certain few have the key. Consumers are becoming more educated in skincare, and not just the stuff influencers plug on their social channels. We are talking about the heavy lifting actives that fight skin concerns, and it’s information straight from the derms mouth thanks to TikTok. They are researching ingredients, what they do and how to use them, and we should be watching too.