This is part 2 of my Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth blog series. This series is about understanding how audiences respond to Electronic Word of Mouth content within Instagram and TikTok skincare communities, and how these responses differ. Through these blog posts I aim to explore some of the key finding and topics of interest I have encountered.
In this blog post I elaborate on how I think the way audiences talk about skincare online is changing towards more scientific conversations…
According to Fani Mari, “Now more than ever, consumers want to be thoroughly informed about what they’re putting on their skin and in their bodies.” (Mari, 2020).
I found that when I was consuming skincare content I was more drawn to content that had detailed information about the product and ingredients.
From my own experience it seems users within the online skincare community are interested in not only what the product does but what is in the product as well. Whilst I was conducting Netnographic research on my field site’s feedback loops I couldn’t help but notice how many questions users were asking about skincare product ingredients. (I can’t provide direct quotes from users due to ethical reasons but you can find more information about this finding within my field notes.)
This science-based skincare communication reflects a new era of intelligence, transparency and information (Murray, 2018).
Georgia Murray names this fundamental shift, ‘skintellectualism’, “whereby consumers are adopting a much more investigative approach to their routines, and educating themselves about the best ingredients for every stage.” (Murray, 2018). Georgia Murray also suggests that the reason for this change could be because, “the internet has turned skin care from recommended-by-friends or passed-down-from-grandma into a playground of inquisitive exploration run by consumers with high, industry-level standards.” (Murray, 2018).
Based upon my own experience and what I observed during my research it seems that skincare communities are increasingly looking for knowledge, research, and science-based expertise.
Dooley, I, 2017, ‘Milking it’, image, Unsplash, viewed 31st October 2020, <https://unsplash.com/photos/y_CSTKJ0bEs>
Georgia Murray, 2018, ‘Meet The Brains Behind The Future Of Beauty’, Refinary29, weblog post, 28 February 2018, viewed 31st October,<https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/02/191870/science-based-skin-care>
Mari, F, 2020, ‘Scientific Beauty Bloggers Are on The Rise—Here’s Who to Follow Now’, Byrdie, weblog post, 09 March 2020, viewed 31st October, <https://www.byrdie.com/best-scientific-beauty-bloggers-4690151>
Pikisuperstar, 2020, ‘Scientists female and male working together Free Vector’, image, viewed 31st October 2020, <https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/scientists-female-male-working-together_7333735.htm#page=1&query=science%20research%20&position=7>