For beauty consumers, enthusiasts and professionals, we live in exciting times. No longer are we limited to advertisements of Photoshopped, porcelain complexions. More and more, beauty brands are showing us who we see, admire and stumble upon in real life: people of all genders, skin tones and types, shapes, sizes and abilities, from all backgrounds across generations.
While there’s a lot to celebrate this Diversity Awareness Month, at IMAGE Skincare HQ we continue to strive each day to promote diversity in everything we offer. We acknowledge the progress, but we also recognize that we—and the beauty industry at large—must never stop listening to the communities who have historically been underrepresented and taking action to move toward a more inclusive future.
According to market intelligence agency Mintel, almost 17% of U.S. consumers feel left out of beauty advertisements, and that number rises to 25% if you segment out Gen Z consumers.
We want that number down to zero—and that’s why our motto is “No Skin Left Behind.”
Diversity in Beauty and Skincare: Going Beyond Shades of Makeup
What exactly is diversity in beauty and skin care?
A diverse brand creates products for people with different skin tones and hair types, as well as universally suitable products that can be customized to every person’s individual needs.*
We also strive to take it up a notch. Every physician-formulated product we create is underpinned by our unique philosophy that it’s our responsibility to cater to not only all skin tones, but also all skin types, ages and genders. No matter who you are or how your skin looks and acts in any environment, we strive to bring out your healthiest, most radiant skin. Our comprehensive range of products can be layered and switched up for different seasons and reasons—for skincare that keeps up with you.
We also give the power of customization to IMAGE professionals, the licensed estheticians all over the country who harness the performance of our products to unveil their clients’ best skin. IMAGE professionals are able to mix and match formulas in various concentrations to treat a comprehensive spectrum of concerns, versus offering a predetermined routine from a one-size-fits-all menu. This innovative “professional-as-chemist” philosophy disrupted the beauty industry 19 years ago when IMAGE was founded and is more relevant today than ever.
What Are Inclusive Beauty Standards?
Today, there’s a movement to make beauty standards more inclusive, but there’s a lot more work to be done.
In fact, we believe the only beauty standard that exists is the one that you decide for yourself, without outside pressure. Beauty is what you want it to be. Beauty is unique, and it looks a million different ways.
Unfortunately, in our digital age, social media has amplified insecurities—the Mintel survey shows a whopping 67% of consumers agree social media has created impossible beauty standards.
This is why representation matters.
But representation means far more than including different types of people in advertisements and websites, and formulas for all skin types and shades of makeup for all skin tones.
Beauty companies must work to be transparent about ingredients, continually work on inclusive beauty initiatives (including those that increase accessibility to underserved communities), and include more diversity in the workforce—and even clinical trials.
Jonathan S. Weiss, MD, FAAD, adjunct clinical professor of dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine, told the Dermatology Times, “The lack of diversity [in clinical trials] causes significant gaps in our ability to treat patients of all skin tones and skin types optimally. Different skin types respond differently to the same disease states in terms of appearance … and without diversity in studies, we have no way of knowing how these different skin types will respond to treatment.” As a company dedicated to serving “all skin,” IMAGE Skincare includes people of different backgrounds in our clinical trials to ensure our formulas deliver visible results to everyone.
This Diversity Awareness Month, we pledge to continue our efforts to “leave no skin behind.” We’re grateful to be an active part of this movement in the beauty and skincare industry, and can’t wait to share what strides we’ve made year after year.
*Per Mintel US Beauty Study