Did you know that the majority of skincare content on social media is promotional? Most of it comes from influencers with no clinical background or clear expertise. And to make matters more confusing, the skincare influencer market is incredibly oversaturated. Which influencers should you choose to follow? If they say, they’re “vegan and cruelty-free,” how can you be sure? How do you find influencers who truly care about helping people with their skin and not just the money? Let’s cover this and more.
1. It’s clear what the influencer is passionate about, and their background is clear.
Aside from promoting products and sales, is the influencer’s purpose and background clear? For example, Jackie Aina is a bona-fide makeup artist with experience in the industry. Her platform exudes the desire to improve inclusivity and representation in the beauty and self-care industry. It’s very clear. She talks about it and creates knowledgeable content that follows through on that desire.
So whether it’s helping people with acne, improving sustainability, or increasing the confidence of viewers, good influencers are passionate about something, and it is clear to their followers. Because if they're not passionate about something, what motivates them? Yes, paid promotions are important, but it’s very difficult to truly help people and make quality recommendations when you’re not motivated by something apart from that like passion or education.
2. They engage with their community, and they know the challenges their followers face.
Good influencers openly communicate with their community and are not out of touch with their followers. Because they're passionate, they mentally connect with their followers. And as a viewer, you "click" with them, not just their image. They want to make your life easier by providing inspiration, education, and making well-researched recommendations that can truly improve your everyday routine.
3. They know the business side of beauty.
A good influencer, especially one that is promoting sustainable or vegan, cruelty-free skincare, needs to know how the beauty industry works. When it comes to the supply chain and organizational side of beauty, there are so many things that could make a brand unsustainable or exclusive.
Beauty brands may say they are sustainable or equitable, but what about their manufacturer? Manufacturers offer a whole bunch of base formulas and base products to brands. If the brand is a private label, it is manufactured by one company and sold under the brand name of another company. So, the influencer would also need to research the manufacturer to see if the brand is truly sustainable. Research is important because people trust them, especially people who believe and fairness and sustainability. Influencers shouldn't mislead viewers who have dedicated themselves to certain values.
Sustainable influencers also need to know about distribution and packaging. There are separate packaging companies and distribution companies. Distributors are responsible for filling the shelves of the retailers. An influencer that claims to recommend sustainable products should also suggest sustainably packaged skincare. They should recommend brands that have initiatives to reduce waste in their distribution process too.
4. They have clear values.
A good content creator should have clear values. Do they believe in integrity, honesty, and hard work? While passion is motivation, values are the foundation for behavior and certain choices/recommendations influencers make. Values make an influencer more reliable throughout time because it's very hard for someone’s values to suddenly change. Values allow content creators to be more consistent in the type of recommendations and decisions they make. Likewise, when they have values, they are more reliable.