Two Skincare Trends that Bug Me | by Ardith McCann

Two Skincare Trends that Bug Me
What Bugs You?

One Major Trend

Multi-step skincare program trend = Ugh, to both the beauty regime and the budget
Brands love this trend. Make buyers believe they must spend oodles of time and money on a 10 or more step skincare program. It’s brilliant. Let’s make people do in 10 steps what used to be successful in two or three. Just make each product far less effective on its own. Bam, expanded stream of revenue.
I apologize to those of you who do find this type of skincare regime worthwhile. This is my experience and my opinion. I need and want a simple way to take care of my skin.

One Major Headache
Given the insane amount of brands and products available nowadays, why don’t I have the-perfect-for-me dry skin moisturizer?
When I had a sizable disposable income, I really didn’t have to experiment much. There were fewer brands, fewer product choices. But I liked how my skin and makeup looked. My main brand at the time was Lancome. I absolutely loved their moisturizers and facial cleansers, their foundations (not so much their touted mascaras).
Then three things happened that drove me away from Lancome. First and foremost, the animal testing claims received a lot of press and I don’t recall the company attempting to refute the claims. Second, pricing increased and rapidly. Third, while pricing went up, the quality/efficacy of the moisturizers in particular decreased as rapidly.
Enter Sephora. At some point I joined this beauty shopping community because of the samples program and the user input. I loved it. I loved the samples. As I mentioned before, I spent a year and a half experimenting with abandon. But it cost me. Mostly, it cost my skin. It hasn’t been the same since.
Now I find myself in the beauty paradox of an infinite amount of product choices with limited resources to test them. I cannot afford, nor do I want to continue to buy untested products.

What I Want. What I Really, Really Want
Is it too much to ask for an affordable dry skin moisturizer? So far, the answer appears to be, yes, it is too much to ask. Whenever my tiny budget allows, I buy a new moisturizer to try. Yet every time I am, and to quote Otto from A Fish Called Wanda, ”Disappointed!” It is an exercise in frustration and financial loss.
So, to anyone in the skincare/beauty industry who cares, here is what I want:

A product sample, subscription-based printed publication
Sephora would be in an excellent position to launch this type of resource. Done well, it could become a branding tool to keep customers and convert prospects. Done well, it could also become a powerful marketing tool for product brands.
This format can initially leverage sample ads that are used in existing magazines.
An affordable way to test products or a product line, directly from a brand
Brands could invest in producing sets of product samples for specific skincare requirements—enough to last at least a few days to a week. They could charge a nominal amount for these sample sets. It demonstrates that the brand stands behind their products and how they work together, and that speaks volumes to consumers like me. Meanwhile, buyers get to feel like they are making worthy investments in their skincare programs.
These types of sample programs can go a long way in relieving the growing stress associated with skincare decision making. Plus, these ideas could just simply be a springboard to even better sample program concepts.
What I don’t want to do is waste money on the beauty boxes currently available. Unless you can completely customize them to what you need and want, you can end up with samples you won’t or can’t use, or even give away.
So, what about you? What in the current world of skincare products bugs you? What would you like the industry to do better?