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TikTok’s Fixation on ‘Unsexy’ Beauty Products Points to Opportunity for Personal Care Marketers

As consumers pull back the curtain on the less-glamorous aspects of their maintenance routines, a seldom-discussed subset of products are taking over the For You Page.

TikTok’s Fixation on ‘Unsexy’ Beauty Products Points to Opportunity for Personal Care Marketers

TikTok users are divulging the “unsexy” beauty products that anchor their maintenance routines.

Nizoral shampoo. Men’s razors. Magnesium oil. Dial antibacterial soap. Though different in function, these items are united in their respective designations as “unsexy” beauty products that TikTok users swear by.

Led by creator Sophia Pauline (@sophiappauline), the platform’s beauty community has recently been divulging the unsexy — but importantly, effective — products that anchor their beauty maintenance routines.

“These are my holy grail products that I feel don’t get enough hype because they’re not cute, they’re not trendy or ‘aesthetic’ necessarily, but they get the job done,” said influencer Morgan Peterson in one viral video, proceeding to showcase Dove Acne Clear Body Wash, Secret clinical-strength antiperspirant and Nivea body lotion.

The #UnsexyProducts hashtag has reached more than 42.5 million views on TikTok over the last month, with even OG beauty influencer Tati Westbrook — equipped with an Aquis towel and a Pretty Feet & Hands Rough Skin Remover — getting in on the trend. Micro-influencer @stephs.studios, meanwhile, is on her fifth video in an “Unsexy Products That Work” series, per the insistence of viewers.

“Beauty used to be a thing you did in private — you would kind of hide from people and then emerge in the wild looking and feeling beautiful and that was it,” said Marina Mansour, vice president of beauty and wellness at creator agency Kyra.

The trend, she said, is indicative of a broader shift in the way Gen Z and Millennials think about beauty; just as shoppers are demanding increased transparency from the brands they frequent, consumers themselves are shedding the long-prevailing hush-hush culture surrounding beauty upkeep.

“The reason there’s this rise of ‘unsexy’ beauty is because beauty doesn’t need to be sexy anymore, because it’s not for anyone but yourself,” Mansour said.

While beauty discourse oft dominates on TikTok, its a lesser-seen phenomenon for personal care products — specifically mass market offerings — to so wholly take center stage, and for a prolonged period of time. But with the platform having long fostered the kind of less-polished creator content that paved the way for this trend, there’s potential for personal care brands, too, to get in the mix and leverage the discourse in a more lasting way.

“The opportunity is very high for those brands; if you see the rise of unsexy products and you’re sitting on razors, shaving cream, foot creams — this is your time to shine because no one is really playing in it yet; there’s an opportunity for brands to be brave enough, to do something that makes people pay attention,” Mansour said.

Tags

  • cosmetics
  • makeup
  • skincare
  • viral

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