The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed beauty habits, but it’s not the only factor at play. Social networks — TikTok and Instagram in the lead — have quickly become major trendsetters, whether in skincare or makeup. However, while users are having a blast sharing increasingly elaborate beauty looks and techniques, it’s skincare that’s really appealing to people on a daily basis. The goal is to achieve a flawless complexion to avoid having to apply endless layers of makeup.

On TikTok, the #skincare hashtag already has some 138 billion views, reflecting the public’s infatuation with skincare, especially among younger people. It is now a question of structuring beauty routines around prevention, whether to get rid of imperfections, or to protect skin from pollution or the harmful effects of UV rays. The focus is on tailor-made skincare products based on effective and natural ingredients, based on the concept of holistic beauty, which encompasses cosmetics and wellness.

The quest for flawless skin

Wrinkles, blemishes and sagging skin seem to be of particular concern to consumers around the world, regardless of their age. According to the first ever Beauty Trends Report from the beauty platform LookFantastic [1], salicylic acid was the most popular beauty ingredient of 2022. The ingredient was the subject of an average of 60,500 searches per month, and its hashtag had no less than 370 million views on TikTok at the end of 2022.

Consumers aim to camouflage wrinkles, fine lines and dark circles, but also to fight against sagging skin. As such, collagen was the second most popular ingredient, with more than 60,000 monthly searches on average, and nearly 2 billion views on TikTok in 2022. It was followed by retinol (49,500 searches, 2.4 billion views); hyaluronic acid (49,500 searches, 760 million views), which is popular as an anti-wrinkle ingredient; and vitamin C (49,500 searches, 2 billion views), which is a major ally for dull and acne-prone skin.

TikTok success

Throughout the year, TikTok has become the new incubator of beauty trends, allowing users to express their creativity. Countless techniques have made their ’appearance’ on the social media site in 2022, starting with ’brow lamination,’ the most popular beauty trend of the year with no less than 49,500 monthly searches, on average, and a hashtag viewed 1.5 billion times. The focus of this technique is getting perfectly shaped and especially full, bushy eyebrows, so you don’t have to use makeup to fill them in.

This beauty treatment comes ahead of other, such as microblading (49,500 searches, 2.9 billion views), eyelash serums (12,100 searches, 530 million views), and ’soap brows’ (12,100 searches, 350 million views). Generally speaking, it seems that the most popular beauty techniques are those that seek to reduce the time spent in the bathroom, as well as the layers of makeup used to compensate for what can be perceived as ’flaws.’

But TikTok is not only a trendsetter. The social network can also send the popularity of certain beauty brands soaring. This is the case of Charlotte Tilbury which, although already successful before the TikTok era, is now the most popular brand on the media. The brand saw no less than 450,000 monthly searches in 2022, while its hashtag has been viewed 1.7 billion times. The same goes for The Ordinary, the most popular skincare brand of the 2022, according to LookFantastic. According to the report from the British platform, the brand is the subject of an average 135,000 monthly searches, and its hashtag has no less than 2 billion views on TikTok.