A combination of taut, glowy influencers, who rely on elaborate routines to get views, and brands, under pressure to introduce a set number of new products per year (to meet sales goals), are partly to blame.
And the pandemic didn’t help the product pile-on. Interest in self-care skyrocketed, and people tuned into more skin-care tutorials, stuck at home and ready to experiment. Followers were chasing the perfect complexions staring back at them from the screen.
“Consumers buy products because they think they will look like influencers look on social media,” said Ms. Plescia, who added that influencers may well be using Botox or lasers. “Their skin already looks flawless. It’s a show.”
Instead, she said, the focus should shift to realistic outcomes. Multitaskers that combine steps with high levels of active ingredients could appeal to women who are short on time, money or both. Doctor Rogers Restore face cream and lotion are meant to be used as eye creams, and MMSkincare’s serums, $85 each, double as moisturizer.
This, along with a trend toward simplicity, is changing the way we perceive skin care. Many people are reassessing what their skin needs (less), just as many in the fashion industry are rethinking their addictions. There will always be a consumer who craves the ritual of a long skin-care routine (and one with an aversion to repeating outfits), but brands are starting to cater to increasingly minimalist shoppers.
“It doesn’t mean that consumers will go back to one product,” said Michelle Freyre, the global brand general manager at Clinique. “They’ll go back to more simple routines. That whole behavior, the buying everything that an influencer is telling you, the 20,000 products — that’s going to happen a lot less.”