Spreading Clean Beauty

How to conquer the indie skincare market: the heritage narrative and other strategies

The indie skincare market has experienced a quick rise, pushed by the small brands proficiency at detecting consumer behaviour trends and generating solutions that match them. 

However, all brands, no matter their size, can emulate successful indie skincare strategies in order to conquer new market niches and approach particular consumer groups. Learn more about these potential plans of action and how to adapt to them.

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What is indie skincare and what do its followers look for

Indice skincare brands in fact comprise a mix of multiple business models, from start-ups to local and small sized companies. 

However, they do share some characteristics, including the building of a close relationship to their customers (Gen Z and Millenials, mainly) and a quick picking-up of trends. 

At the same time, the indie skincare consumer can be defined by the following features:

  • A desire to be part of a community. This is particularly true after the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, one in four US consumers takes the community values of a brand into consideration when spending on fashion products and view «community» as an important CSR measure. 

Translated into consumer behaviour, this might be a key reason why indie skincare consumers choose small brands, brands that are present in their own neighborhood or that they sense help building community and empower diversity through their actions.

  • Moved by product transparency. Indie skincare consumers demand brands to help them understand how their products, ingredients and formulations are safe, high-quality, and eco-ethical.

This is enhanced by a new “expert” approach to cosmetics, where celebrities, influencers or doctors are helping educate information-avid consumers.

  • Narrative-focused. This is particularly true around ingredient traceability, which has become a key narrative for products. Indie skincare consumers are interested in knowing about a brand’s origin and their products’ stories. This may include the founders’ stories, or the place and people involved in ingredients sourcing. 

Female-fronted businesses, as well as those that are inclusive or respect traditional knowledge and heritage across the world are preferred.

  • A connection between skincare and emotional and psychological factors. Indie brands are making consumers aware of the link between skin health and mental health. For instance, they link chronic skin conditions such as sensitive skin or dermatitis with the potential to suffer from depression and anxiety. But they go one step further: they embrace narratives where skincare products don’t “fix problems” but help consumers with their self-care and self-acceptance. 
  • Ethical and sustainable: Today’s consumers are cause-oriented and want brands to demonstrate their ethical and eco-friendly values authentically. Indie skincare brands are boosting their narratives around this issue by taking specific measures such as talking about their recycling programs, their sustainable farming programs or their ethical supply chain.

SENSERYN™: The active to mimic the indie skincare success

Aiming at helping brands emulate successful indie skincare strategies, at Provital we’ve developed SENSERYN™. This locally-sourced, sustainable active is part of the sensocosmetic trend and is aimed at calming reactive skin. 

By activating the sensory bitter taste receptors, this active helps calming the skin and thus is oriented at improving the consumers’ skin health, including:

  • Resistance to inflammation and inflammatory sequelae reduction
  • Optimises anti-dermatitis microbiota
  • Prevents the vicious cycle of dermatitis and superinfection

All in all, the active restores comfort to consumers’ skin and helps them avoid the symptoms of itching, stinging, redness, and desquamation associated with reactive skin or dermatitis. 

But what makes SENSERYN™ ideal for indie skincare and cosmetics? Simply put, it matches with many of the indie skincare consumer’s preferences mentioned above: 

  • By targeting sensitive skin, it aims at a product category that is naturally connected to emotional and psychological well-being. 

At the same time, this is enhanced by the active’s sensocosmetic approach, which links skin health and the central nervous system and neurotransmitters.

  • Its “km-0” and organic origin and a link to heritage provides an ethical, sustainable and traditional frame for product narratives. Senseryn™ is made from ethically-sourced hops at a family-owned supplier in the Segrià region in Lleida (Catalonia), very close to Provital’s headquarters. Furthermore, this farm is organic certified and ensures sustainability and the protection of the local environment and promotion of biodiversity.

In fact, this goes hand in hand with the emergence of Catalonia in consumers’ minds as a land that merges both innovation and tradition.

Through responsible and ethical cultivation, SENSERYN™ is a cosmetic ingredient that captures the essence of its place of origin to improve the well-being of people and the planet through the senses, all while respecting the area’s particularities and traditions.

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