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Over the past 10 years, the very notion of having a skincare routine, let alone one that goes beyond a step or two, has become mainstream. The concept was packaged and marketed in every way imaginable.
Around 2015, during the height of the K-beauty trend in the United States, many consumers adopted 12-step routines. Then, in 2016, Deciem launched The Ordinary, which allowed ordinary people to be cosmetic chemists of sorts, choosing and customizing how they wanted to mix from a menu of peptides, retinols and vitamin C. Two years later, I wrote a story for Fashionista titled “A spike in single-ingredient marketing is changing the way shoppers — and brands — approach skincare.” The concerns expressed by the experts interviewed were that everyday consumers are mixing and matching ingredients without having the knowledge of expert chemists.
Then, slowly, a rejection of such long routines set in. In 2020, the term “skinimalism” has gained traction. Byrdie reported that the term was at the top of Pinterest’s trend prediction list in early 2021. Now, a new generation of skincare brands are packaging and delivering skinimalism to the busy consumer who wants to cut through the industry noise extremely crowded.
In March, Scarlett Johansson launched at Sephora The Outset with co-founder Kate Foster. The edited collection consists of five products: a cleanser, a serum, a day cream, a night cream and an eye cream, with prices ranging from $32 to $54. This month, Sephora exclusively adds Community Sixty-Six to its assortment. The brand was created by Dia Foley, former managing director of The Inkey List and former colleague of late founder of Deciem, Brandon Truax. It launched with eight products, but with three cleansers and three moisturizers, a consumer could only buy two or four and have a pretty comprehensive skincare regimen. Both brands are reminiscent of a modern take on the proven Clinique classic: its three-step system. You can probably imagine the yellow bottle of her cult classic Dramatically Different Moisturizer, which now comes in multiple sizes to suit her skin type.
Foley was approached by a group of “investors who prefer to remain anonymous”, with whom she partnered to create Community Sixty-Six. At first she admitted that she herself was skeptical. “The first thing I said was, ‘Another skincare brand – does the world really need it?’ Sephora did not respond to requests for comment.
“I [wanted to] really simplifies things for women and men. There’s so much BS and so much overload in the space – so much over-promise, instant fix. [And so there is a] great disappointment in what the products can and cannot do,” Foley said. The name Community Sixty-Six comes from the fact that research shows it takes 66 days to form a habit. Foley was inspired by the best-selling book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.
“The simpler something is, the more likely you are to stick with it,” Foley said.
Community Sixty-Six was soft-launched in February, but Sephora asked Foley to revamp the packaging to better meet the needs of its consumers.
Kate Foster shared similar inspirations for The Outset. “The idea was to take the guesswork out of clean, luxurious skincare and make it more accessible to everyone,” she told Glossy. “As skincare is a highly saturated market, we saw an opportunity for hassle-free and effortless essentials. We designed The Outset to be the classic white skincare t-shirt – clean, reliable and a universal staple in everyone’s wardrobe.
The rise of do-it-yourself skincare and lengthy, multi-step routines only required a pendulum swing.
“The opportunity we’ve seen in today’s beauty market is that many customers are struggling with stressed skin and irritation. More and more beauty consumers identify themselves as having sensitive skin. There are so many active ingredients in products these days that many customers mix these products with the good intention of taking care of themselves, only to end up with irritated and inflamed skin when the actives interact. we offer is what we’ve heard consumers are missing in their routines: a line of clean, ultra-hydrating, non-irritating essentials that are the daily foundation for beautiful skin,” Foster said of the proposal. of value from The Outset.
Although launched direct to consumer, Hailey Bieber’s all-new Rhode Skin launched with an extremely simple starter range: a serum, moisturizer and lip balm, all endorsed by its team of in-house advisors, including cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson and dermatologist Dr Dhaval Bhanusali. The brand’s slogan is “one of all that is really good”.
With people’s lives getting busier and the return to the office giving a throwback to the rushed morning prep routine, it’s no surprise that customers are returning to the simple.