‘No niche too small’: Why TikTok is the go-to space for navigating the saturated beauty market

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

TikTok’s dynamic landscape is helping beauty brands discover and capitalise on microtrends. [Getty Images]
TikTok’s dynamic landscape is helping beauty brands discover and capitalise on microtrends. [Getty Images]

Related tags TikTok beauty trends social commerce Apac

Social media platform TikTok’s dynamic landscape is helping beauty brands discover and capitalise on microtrends while connecting with niche audiences on a global level, says one beauty manufacturer.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, Patrick Leung, vice president of Global Cosmetics Group, described how TikTok has revolutionised the beauty industry.

He noted that its rapid-paced environment has accelerated the trend cycle, which has given rise to an abundance of never-ending new microtrends.

Staying on top of these microtrends has become imperative for the company, a cosmetics manufacturer based in Hong Kong and China.

“You can come up with new products with new ingredients, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the data behind what people are responding to. Now we have our own team just focused on what’s happening on TikTok,” ​said Leung.

Another thing that makes TikTok data so valuable is that consumers tend to make impulse purchases on the platform.

According to TikTok, more than 28% of its users agreed that it has inspired more impulse purchases more than any other platform.

While the beauty market seems more saturated than ever, beauty brands are still able to find their own space within various niches. More often than not, TikTok is the best platform to seek out target consumers.

“TikTok doesn’t serve the mass market anymore – it serves the niche market. It allows you to approach a niche market on a global scale. The niche audience may not be too small anymore.

“It has made it more approachable for brands to reach their niche audience and get their products into their hands. And now it’s quite transparent with all the tools, especially AI, that helps you understand the data,”​ said Leung.

TikTok beauty trends

TikTok trends have a large influence on the company’s own product development, in November last year, it debuted Skbrella Fibronectin Skin Repair Set at Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong.

The product was among the finalists of the 2023 Cosmoprof Asia Awards.

It features small fibronectin molecules that claim to restore the skin barrier, in turn protecting against oxidative factors and alleviating skin inflammation. It also has ingredients to boost hydration, including betaine, trehalose, and hyaluronic acid.

“In terms of trends, there’s a lot of talk about skin cycling. So, we knew we needed an ingredient that could have a calming effect, repair your skin, and refresh your skin routine,”​ said Leung.

Skin cycling suggests that users should alternate their skin care products regularly to avoid skin irritation and maximise results.

When it comes to #BeautyTok, makeup still reigns as queen. According to Global Cosmetics’ data, one-quarter of sales on TikTok are attributed to beauty purchases. Of these purchases, over 80% are makeup related.

The firm expects to see more makeup products infused with skin care benefits.

“This is what we’re starting to see emerge. People don’t only care about instant results; they want long-term benefits of putting makeup on like improving or sustaining their skin.”

In the past two and a half years, the company has filed over 30 patents for active ingredients which they claim can be used in skin care and makeup. The company developed these under its ingredients arm, Green Biotechnology (Green Bio).

This will further emphasise the importance of efficacy and clinical evidence, said Leung.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the company set up an in-house China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) accredited facility for clinical testing.

“We see the huge importance of efficacy-driven products. We are a CNAS-accredited lab that’s recognised in 150 countries. Our reports have the same level of credibility as SGS and Intertek. While they focus on a lot of categories, we focus on anything beauty-related.”

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