When esthetician Ashley White launched her @skinclasshero Twitter account in 2018, she was going against industry standards.
“As a beautician, it was very taboo to share your knowledge online,” she said. Most beauty professionals were concerned that sharing skincare expertise online would hurt business. Now, with a loyal following of over 42,000, she’s proven them wrong. “The more I shared, the more dates I would get,” she said. Her inbox is also full of collaboration requests, and she’s worked with brands such as CeraVe, Topicals, Klur, and Volition.
“I feel like I became an influencer by accident, when all I wanted to do was get clients,” she said.
White is one of BIPOC’s skin care experts who helped make “Skin Care Twitter” what it is today and make skin care one of the topics of. hottest beauty of the platform. #Skincare was the most popular beauty hashtag during the pandemic, according to an October 2020 report from Twitter. Now that the beauty world has fully entered the era of skin influencers, brands and influencers are calling for credit to the black skin care experts who started the conversation on Twitter.
While visual platforms like Instagram and YouTube have become best known for their beauty influencer communities, there are many dedicated skincare influencers who see Twitter as their primary platform of choice. Users come to them with questions about exfoliation, SPF, and vitamin C.
“My focus is probably on Twitter the most,” said Tiara Willis, an esthetician who provides skincare advice to more than 274,000 followers on her @MakeupForWOC account. “It’s so easy; it’s very casual. I can create content on Twitter while I’m in bed without makeup.”
Sean garrette, added a beautician and global ambassador for Fenty Skin, “I would say my Twitter is neck and neck with my Instagram. It’s a crazy community on Twitter. I feel like I can be more myself with my audience. We have more intimate conversations and connections that I can’t really make on Instagram because it’s a more visual platform. ”
The community built by these experts caught the attention of Twitter, which recruited Garrette and Willis as well as esthetician Nayamka Roberts-Smith (@labeautyologist) and cosmetic chemist Esther Olu, for the beta version of Spaces before opening the feature to all accounts of 600 or more subscribers on May 3.
Skincare brands such as Topicals, CeraVe, and Fenty Skin have also taken note of branding opportunities on Twitter through organic engagement, advertising, and influencer marketing.
“Our followers engage and interact much more on Twitter than anywhere else,” said Topicals Founder and CEO Olamide Olowe, who noted that the platform facilitates “open dialogue more than other social platforms. “. She said the brand has been particularly focused on working with black skin care experts on Twitter.
“Black designers are the catalyst for many industries, including skin care. Some of the most influential and skilled black designers in the beauty space on Twitter go unrecognized for their diversity efforts. Many of the skincare trends we see on Twitter today have been heavily influenced by designers of color, ”she said.
Skincare experts on Twitter watched this game.
“I know a lot of great creators have followed me personally, and I know they get content from me sometimes because they’ll mention me in their videos,” Willis said. She also noted that many skin care trends and topics are started by black beauticians. The ‘two-finger rule’ for applying sunscreen seen on skincare vlogger videos, for example, “was definitely born or became popularized on Twitter by black beauticians,” he said. she declared. “Now it’s everywhere; you’ll see it in every sunscreen ad. ”
Professional estheticians have been joined in the online skin care world by skin influencers with a range of expertise, from dermatologists to consumers reviewing their personal experiences with the products. Willis noted that frequently skincare enthusiasts online will give “a greater level of authority to skincare influencers compared to skincare professionals.”
“Sometimes people use the name of the skincare influencer to undermine the job of a skincare professional by tagging them in the pro’s thread and saying, ‘Do you approve of this?’ And it’s like, ‘Well, I have 200 clients and I’ve been doing it for years, and I have experience. This person loves skin care. Why do they have greater authority than this professional? It happens a lot, especially with black beauticians and their work. Their experience is greatly undermined. ”
She said this happens frequently with followers of Hyram Yarbro, who decided to quit Twitter in September 2020. When he announced the departure, he said the reason for leaving was that “my presence here on Twitter contributes to the misrepresentation of minorities ”and has encouraged users to follow black skin care influencers including Willis and White.
BIPOC influencers have been particularly important to the rise of beauty on Twitter in general, said Stacey Minero, global manager of Twitter Arthouse.
“In the ranking of the best beauty designers on the platform, nine of them are diverse. There is a conversation around products and skin care that are specific to black designers and audiences, ”she said. In addition to skincare, Twitter also recruited top makeup influencers Zoe Amira, Jackie Aina, and Shaniah Bell for Spaces events in beta.
Twitter’s October 2020 Beauty Report was the first of its kind released by the platform, showing how beauty has become a new focus for the company.
“We sometimes mistakenly think that there aren’t as many beauty conversations on Twitter, because you think of other platforms that could be more visual. So we wanted to show that beauty happens, but it’s through a different lens, ”Minero said. “And that means it’s real; it is not filtered; it’s authentic, but it’s also relatable. –With reporting by Jill Manoff