The actor Jared Leto is the latest of a list of celebrity men to release a skincare line, though I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple more had been announced by the time this is published.
He joins Harry Styles, Travis Barker (drummer and recent husband of Kourtney Kardashian) and Brad Pitt in this recent wave of famous beauty brand owners, and while they might all talk about how excited they are to be entering this space when they give interviews to the beauty press, we’re anything but enthused. Leto’s brand Twentynine Palms is inspired by a specific Californian desert. Styles’ Pleasing is all about playfulness and gender fluidity. Barker calls his Barker Wellness because the products contain CBD. And with Le Domaine, birthed on his Provence estate and winery, Mr Pitt is working hard to ‘preserve Earth and its ecosystem’, apparently.
When I heard about each of these brands, my first response was, ‘Why?’ It’s hard to see the correlation between these celebrities, who have nothing to do with the beauty industry, and moisturiser. Or is it? Could it be something to do with the fact that they look great and the global beauty industry is worth £395.7bn in 2022? Not content with the fortune that comes with being super famous – and the opportunities it brings to stick your fingers in lots of other lucrative pies, celebrities want a slice of skincare, too.
The reason I begrudge this so much is threefold:
- We don’t need more skincare brands
- They’re charging outrageous prices for their products
- …yet they don’t know what they’re talking about.
The skincare business is completely oversaturated. It’s unnecessary and wasteful to bring another new brand – along with all its production processes, packaging and shipping – onto the market. We know that consumers are already overwhelmed with the sheer number of options for looking after their skin, and that’s just with established, well-known brands. Is anyone asking for a ‘Moisturising and Anti-aging serum with GSM10® and ProGR3®’? (Le Domaine) Or another ‘lightweight, fragrance-free moisturiser’? (Barker Wellness) Another body wash? (Twentynine Palms) Really?
And those prices. I know a lot of products are expensive, but at least in the case of cosmeceutical skincare, that’s usually because it costs an awful lot of money to research, develop and test a product in clinical trials that show it actually does what the brand says it will. Pitt’s serum costs £290, while Kim Kardashian wants £105 for 30ml of her ‘glow oil’. It contains vitamin C (though not a very effective kind) but so do a lot of cheaper, clinically proven products.
Then there’s the entitlement that comes with entering a market you know nothing about and relying on your fame to sell your product. There are medical-grade skincare brands that invest millions into R&D and skin science, furthering dermatology research; and others founded by cosmetic doctors with decades of experience actually touching, treating and improving their patients’ skin – professionals who use their own time and money to expand their knowledge of skin and deliver that expertise where it’s really needed. Or small brands started in home kitchens with the ingredients that have been used to heal skin conditions in someone’s culture for centuries.
These are the influences the skincare space needs, not an £85 eye cream with pear extract in it from someone who readily admits he has no interest in skincare – Leto told Vogue, ‘I’ve never been really interested in beauty products.’ How inspiring.
The Tweakments Guide Takeaway
Don't waste your money on celebrity skincare. Instead, choose brands within your budget that are well-researched and clinically proven. Better yet, let a true skincare expert analyse your skin and tell you what you really need.
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