In a less wealthy society, people are mostly occupied with solving the keep other problems at bay. That is why one of the biggest benefits which come with prosperity is that of self-care. In the modern world, self-care has translated into mental and physical well-being. Unfortunately, off late, physical well-being has come to mean skincare, especially for those active on social media.
Skincare Market expanding
The skincare market in India is growing at a rapid pace. According to research by a website called researchandmarkets.com, within the next 3 years, the market will be valued at 150 percent of its value in 2020. It is slated to jump to Rs 19,109 crore, from its 2020 level of 12,976 crores. Given that Indians have traditionally not relied on market products for enhancing their beauty, the double-digit growth is a significant change.
The key drivers of this change are going to be Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Indeed, Tier-1 cities will also be and, are contributing to the changing trend, but these markets have by and large matured. Any kind of change, especially related to the glamour world is first observed in the tier-1 cities. But, they have by and large matured. At the best, old companies can increase the prices of the products to eat into their pockets. On the other hand, chances for new entrants to succeed in these locations are less because the customers tend to prefer established products. They will have to take in a massive advertising campaign to increase their base.
Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities are going to be hubs
Such problems are negligible in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Even to this date, big boys of the industry have not been able to penetrate much deeper to claim superiority like that of Parle-G in FMCG. The chances for new entrants to gain traction are high. But, most companies lack advertising money and they look for innovative ways to sell their products. This is where the role of Social media influencers gets crucial. Depending on the situation, it is both boon and bane for customers. On one hand, they can trust brands, while sometimes brands also play foul based on the trust they gain.
Most cosmetic and skincare brands (especially the new players) now rely on social media influencers for promoting their products. These influencers bridge the trust gap between celebrity looks and normal people. Celebrities look extraordinary and for common folks, the spending on that look is out of the budget. That is why, lately people started to look for those people who look a tad better than them, but at the same time, not so exorbitant as to look out of touch.
Two sides of influencers’ market
Social media influencers are normal people like me and you. They can be your next-door neighbour whom you don’t even talk to much. All they have to do is to use some camera filters, take a beauty product and start claiming that they’re better than the average look due to these products. That is how social media influencers become skincare advisors. If you are a brand owner, you can just ask them to promote your product, and based on a certain fee, they will promote it. Similarly, if you are consuming, they are easily accessible for any further queries, but to a certain extent though.
But, there is a catch. Most of these people have no certification whatsoever to pass on advisories. They are not dermatologists, and neither have they held any diploma which could give them institutional credibility. Heck! Some of them are not even educated enough to understand the nitty and gritty of chemicals being utilized in the product.
Non-doctors passing prescription
At the end of the day, these products are formed by intermixing different chemicals like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, hydrochloric acid, vitamins A, C, and E, ceramide, collagen, and peptides among others in varying proportions. But, these non-experts use these words as confidently as someone with a medical degree uses them. After all, at the end of the day, they are actors. They will speak anything if they are paid for it. They will even prescribe drugs for which only a qualified practitioner is authorized to do so.
The other big problem with these influencers is that they lack subtlety. They do not seem to understand that there is not a single skin type. There can’t be a single universal solution for skin problems. Some influencers do try to maintain transparency, but at the end of the day, there is a limit to it. There have been cases where people had to abort their children when they choose a product that worked with influencers. The product was not an apt choice for the aforementioned patient.
Need for a relook
Giving a snapshot of the problem, Dr. Ankur Sarin said, “The problem is that consultation is conducted by influencers or enthusiasts rather than actual dermatologists. A lot of non-doctors on social media promote medical drugs that can lead to severe consequences,”
Like everything having human touch, skincare is also a double-edged sword. But, if the mode of information broadcasts only positive aspects of the industry, then it indicates that something is deeply rotten.
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