Skincare TikTok: How Beauty Brands Are Reaching Gen Z

We’ve got the breakdown on how beauty brands are using skincare TikTok to engage with Gen Z, with insight on top brands and hashtags to watch.
Fanbytes | Skincare TikTok

In 30 seconds:

  • Skincare TikTok is a thriving micro-community full of tips and tricks for keeping your skin hydrated, healthy and happy.
  • Nestled amongst the trends on the For You page (fyp) are a growing number of skincare influencers with huge audiences looking for the best in skincare products.
  • And with new products, reviews and hacks going viral every month, skincare TikTok presents an exciting opportunity for beauty brands who want to advertise to Gen Z.

It’s the time of year to go hunting for your lip balms and hand creams, and those of us with new beauty sets waiting underneath the Christmas tree will soon be readjusting our daily routines with exciting new skincare products

Luckily, widening your beauty horizons in 2022 is a lot less confusing thanks to the rise of skincare TikTok – or #SkinTok

Skincare TikTok consists of a diverse bunch of users and content. From product reviews to beauty routine hacks, ingredient breakdowns to procedure walkthroughs, there’s a little bit of everything on the platform. It’s a useful source of information for app users – and a great opportunity for brands wanting to reach them. 

The social media platform has now surpassed 1 billion monthly active global users, so brands wanting to forge new paths to consumers, simply cannot ignore its potential.

The rise of skincare TikTok

As one of the most popular communities on the video-sharing platform, skincare TikTok is the place to go for the newest trending products in beauty. The ‘skincare’ hashtag has over 65 *billion* views, and it’s responsible for sending a number of brands viral. 

That’s mostly thanks to Gen Z. The generation of people born after 1997 make up the majority of TikTok users, and it’s the place they’re most likely to interact with brands

So it’s no wonder the video-first app is where a growing number of beauty brands are seeing potential for capturing the Gen Z consumer market. 

What makes TikTok such a popular platform for skincare advice? Unlike traditional advertising – (which Gen Z tends to distrust, by the way) – TikTok benefits from a more informal and relaxed method of B2C interaction. 

In fact, research published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology found that the majority of TikTok’s dermatology-related videos weren’t produced by experts at all, but by casual users of the app. Considering that Gen Z trusts their peers’ opinions – it’s why influencers are so successful – this is good news for beauty brands looking for another route to consumers. 

That same research also found that the majority of analysed content was educational, and most of these skincare trends featured conventional treatments and products. So brands wanting to get involved already have everything they need for successful content.

Why is CeraVe so popular on TikTok?

Ask any #SkinTok native to name a product they’ve been introduced to by the app, and chances are they’ll say CeraVe.

That’s almost entirely thanks to Hyram, aka @skincarebyhyram, aka “the skincare TikTok guy”. With 6.6 million followers, Hyram is best known for his ‘reactions’ series, where he picks apart celebrity skincare fails – or duets with other TikTok users to advise on their skincare routine. He’s a huge advocate for CeraVe; a product which saw sales explode after featuring several times on his account. 

The meteoric rise in CeraVe’s popularity as a result of Hyram’s content is proof of the positive impact the right influencer can have when advertising products to Gen Z. 

(By the way – if you’re wondering who the equivalent  “skincare TikTok girl” is? You’re probably thinking of “skinfluencer” Charlotte Palermino @charlotteparler. Her account is full of skincare science and reminders to wear your SPF.)

If you want to learn more about the top beauty influencers and what they could do for your brand, we’ve got you covered with our breakdown of the top 10. 

TikTok beauty hashtags, followers and video content

Getting sales on TikTok doesn’t always mean scoring some viral videos, but it does hinge on how well your brand understands the platform.  

So if you’re ready to explore the world of #SkinTok, there are a few places you can start. Trending hashtags like #skincare, #beautytips and #skincareroutine will give you a crash course in TikTok’s favourite beauty content. We encourage you to go niche. Just like #skincare is itself a subsection of Beauty TikTok, you’ll find more engaged users the further down the rabbit hole you go. 

What skin types does your brand cater to? Oily skin? Sensitive skin? Does your product hydrate dry skin, brighten it with retinol eye cream, or protect it with niacinamide? You can bet that there are hashtags and communities for every self-care niche.

For example, there is a community of users using the popular #acnehacks hashtag to highlight what TikTokers with acne-prone skin use, and #koreanskincare is the place to find what Gen Z look for in trending products you won’t find in European or US drugstores

A search through these tags will show you what other brands’ campaigns look like – you’ll inevitably find them. 

As for influencers – or “skinfluencers“, as Skincare TikTok has named them? Scrolling these hashtags will put you in the path of great TikTok users offering skincare tips, from qualified estheticians and dermatologists to at-home DIY masters. Check out our deep dive into the rise of skinfluencers – and how your brand can use them – here.

The biggest brands in skincare TikTok

Beauty and Skincare brands are everywhere on TikTok, and most of them are creating their own regular videos as well as featuring in user-generated content (UGC). 

Both UCG and brand-owned content are important for success; sharing the content created by TikTok users on your brand’s TikTok channel encourages goodwill and a mutually growing audience. TikTok is designed for collaboration, so you’ll find the more you get involved with your followers, the more they’ll interact with and support your brand. 

The biggest skincare TikTok brands encourage users to feature their skincare products in their own videos. Here are some examples of our favourite beauty brands who are successfully leveraging TikTok to forge a new path to Gen Z:

1. Starface

You’ve probably seen them popping up over your favourite beauty influencers’ faces – no, not pimples. We’re talking about Starface’s pimple patches. Made with hydrocolloid, these bright yellow “Hydro-Stars” are designed to shield pimples from bacteria while absorbing fluid and reducing inflammation. 

With their video-friendly look, Starface’s star product (excuse the pun) have most definitely been influencer-approved, and Gen Z loves them enough that the cult US brand was able to launch in the UK in 2020.

2. The Ordinary

With their stripped back, scientific product names, The Ordinary’s products seem designed especially for #SkinTok’s reviewing community. You’ll likely see their hyaluronic acid popping up on your For You page – or perhaps their AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution, which promises great visuals for TikTokers thanks to its interesting pink tint.

3. Black Girl Sunscreen

If there’s only one fact you learn from us about skincare TikTok, let it be this: they’re big on SPF. The community is raging a one-platform war against skin cancer and ageing, and that means products like Black Girl Sunscreen find themselves trending across the app. 

Black Girl Sunscreen is an SPF 30 lotion that is cruelty-free, vegan and infused with jojoba and avocado oils. Most importantly to skincare TikTok, though, it’s the lotion that best avoids leaving a white cast on darker skin tones – ticking Gen Z’s boxes for brands that both look good *and* do good.


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4. e.l.f

Skincare brand e.l.f (Eyes Lips Face) were the first brand ever to create an original song for a TikTok challenge. Accompanied by the hashtag #EyesLipsFace, it was a huge hit on the social media platform before the pandemic. When Coronavirus hit, e.l.f. used a remix of the tune to carry a safety message: “Eyes. Lips. Face. Safe.” it built brand relevance while doing good.

Next up? The brand introduced the first-ever TikTok-native reality show, “Eyes. Lips. Famous” to provide a platform to help TikTok users become influencers. It’s an example of how beauty brands can use their clout to create their own influencers – or skinfluencers – whose relationship with the brand is that much deeper.

5. Paula's Choice

How often do you encounter customers who say a product changed their life? For beauty brand Paula’s Choice, that’s become an increasingly common occurrence on TikTok. The brand went viral recently for their 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, which TikTok user @ameliaolivia09 credited with transforming her skin.

Amelia’s skin looked so perfect, her followers couldn’t believe she wasn’t wearing foundation. Her review of Paula’s Choice went viral, leading the brand to sell out of the product. Other TikTok users even began sharing videos saying ‘@ameliaolivia09 made me do it’. It goes to show how powerful just one glowing recommendation can be.

6. Freck Beauty

You might remember this brand from the age of YouTube makeup tutorials. Freck Beauty’s most popular product is designed to give users realistic fake freckles, and it was certainly embraced by the TikTok beauty community. From there, the brand has encouraged more collaborations with influencers who do “whole face” looks with their products – highlighting the whole range offered by the brand.

Want to read more about the best skincare brands shaking up the industry? Check out our report on the best challenger beauty brands here.

#SkinTok learnings for future success

Over half of Gen Z TikTok users say that they search for products on the platform. To reach them, it’s vital to consider what content they enjoy in the communities that they engage with most. For beauty brands that means that exploring the world of skincare TikTok is a must if you want to establish your products as potential additions to these users’ bathroom cabinets. 

What more can you do to encourage users to pick up your products? Remember the cardinal rule of TikTok – content must be authentic. Be fun, be educational, but above all, be real. From there, you’re on the right track to securing Gen Z’s hearts. 

Here at Fanbytes, we manage a host of skincare influencers who know their Vitamin A, B and Vitamin Cs – and how to send your brand viral on TikTok. Check out the links below for some extra reading, or get in touch to learn more about how we can help your brand win over Gen Z.

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