Why Celebrity Skincare Is a Thing Now

Skincare has been around for quite a long time now, for centuries even, with tons of brands coming out with new products each year and new brands making their way into the spotlight. As the skincare industry’s estimated value is at $511 billion this year, more and more people are starting to see its money-making opportunities, especially when it comes to celebrities.


Rihanna’s Fenty Skin, had ASAP Rocky and Lil Nas X in the first campaign for the brand, attempting to change the idea that skincare needs to be “feminine”. The line consists of four “hero” products that launched last summer. Rihanna has consistently been the one person who revolutionizes each industry she’s a part of and always tries to be as inclusive as possible. LVMH said that Fenty Skin “generated unprecedented buzz,” and that it was “off to a good start.”


Every time a celebrity comes out with a new skincare line, they immediately get some sort of buzz starting around the brand through social media. Those who already have large followings, such as Rihanna, will definitely purchase the products so you already have customers right away. 


It’s not a bad idea to make some extra money from creating your own skincare line but when it comes to certain influencers or celebrities, are they really doing it because they truly love skincare and have a great idea for it that stands out among their competitors, or are they just only in it for the money? 


This also applies to any product that is celebrity endorsed, not just their own brand. A product such as a moisturizer might look amazing and promise flawless skin, just like the ambassador has, but what we often forget is that the images are retouched, and the celebrities in question have access to multiple treatments to make them look younger, more glowy, and just all-around perfect. Realistically, there is no moisturizer that can achieve all of that.


At the beginning of the year, J.Lo did a lot of PR to promote her latest project, JLo beauty, her skincare line. Then, there was Alicia Keys with Keys Soulcare, which is a “dermatologist-developed” line that came out last year. There’s also Kylie Skin with the minimalistic pink packaging; Pharrell Williams with Humanrace, which includes a “three-minute facial”; and Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills, which is supposed to be clean beauty for teens. 


These are all just brands that have launched recently. Hailey Bieber has hinted on social media before that she has a skin-care line in the works called Rhode, and there are rumors that Kris Jenner Skin will be the next big thing coming from the Kardashian-Jenners, supposedly aimed at mature skin.


Some argue that more celebrities keep on coming out with their own line because we don’t really see them as much as we used to. Since they have fewer opportunities for endorsements, they need to explore other money-making opportunities. They want to get their name out there and be recognized for more things. Also, ever since the pandemic occurred, skincare has been more of a focus than ever. 


It can be incredibly risky as well for a celebrity, or anyone, to launch a skincare line completely from scratch. This is what J.Lo and Kylie Jenner have done and it has the highest risk. Licensing deals and hybrid licensing deals give celebrities partial equity, this is what Rihanna did with Fenty Beauty; global conglomerate LVMH owns the majority, and she owns 15%. Other celebrities have negotiated a guaranteed royalty by licensing their lines. Although it does seem better for a celebrity to run their own brand and have full control, rather than just putting their name on something with a licensing deal.

Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

How much can they actually make from it? Is it even worth it in the end? Well, Kylie Jenner has sold 51% of her beauty line to Coty for $600 million, meanwhile, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is now valued at $250 million and Jessica Alba’s Honest Company is worth $1 billion. Both of these companies’ main focus is on skincare. 


Not every line will be just as successful, though. The makeup Industry is measured differently, since its products are tangible and can be seen on somebody’s face. With skincare, it’s more of an investment. It can take weeks before there is a demonstrated difference in your skin, and at this point, you’ve already spent your money. Some people prefer specially formulated skincare whereas a lot of these products are contract manufactured, not a lot of thought goes into what’s in the formulas. 


If one product gets backlash on social media and goes viral, it’s bad PR for the whole company. This has happened quite a few times already. Many people believed that Kylie Jenner’s walnut scrub from Kylie Skin was too harsh on the skin and potentially harmful. Others on Twitter said that Rihanna’s Fenty Skin is fragranced, so it ended up irritating their skin. 


Skincare is invisible,  so it’s up to the consumers and whether or not they will believe that celebrities genuinely use their own lines or that the products are the result of their flawless skin. Millie Bobby Brown was called out numerous times for not actually using her skin-care line in a promotional video. 


Social media is an easy tool for promotion, but in the end, it comes down to how many sales they get. Some of these celebrities may be able to sell their products in stores like Ulta or Sephora while others may sell theirs in CVS or Target. It’s easy to be successful through these channels instead of having some videos on Youtube talking about the brand and the products. With skincare, people want to see and feel the product and it’s clearly hard to do that over a screen. 


If any of these celebrities’ skincare lines fail though, they won’t have such a hard fall depending on how much money they invested in it. Most of them could jus have a new line for something else and the skincare one would have already been forgotten.


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