Skin and Hair Care Products: Health or Beauty Marketing?

Look through magazine ads over the years and you’ll see a pendulum swing from the marketing of skin and hair care products as health preparations to beauty and back. From “Dermatologists say…” to “Hollywood’s Loveliest Lips” to the lab-coated Clinique specialists to Chanel’s celebrity photos, marketing fashion swung from one extreme to the other for a century.

What’s best for digital marketing?

Online consumers love looking at beauty products.  Health information is one of the most popular topics on the web. So which way should you swing with digital marketing for skin and hair care products? It depends on the platform you’re using.

Google tells us that consumers search most for information, even when the subject is skin and hair care. Tutorials, solutions to problems, and information about a brand’s environmental and social responsibility or healthy ingredients get the most engagement in blogs and vlogs (videos) and get the most search traffic.

But Pinterest and Instagram are platforms that demand great photos, and iconic brands like Chanel focus on big, beautiful professional pictures on blogs and social media in general. Best choice: great photos on highly visual social media channels linked to information-rich blog posts.


Influential beauty brands like Birchbox, L’Oreal, and Maybelline — and some of the savvy smaller ones, too — go big with content marketing, producing online magazines filled with quality content on multiple beauty and wellness topics.


Unlike print magazines, great online content is affordable.

The beauty of health

Women like to browse photos of made-up models and trendy hairstyles. As consumers, they also respond to ingredients, testimonials from trusted advisors, and solutions for health issues like thin hair or skin blemishes. All these topics show up with eye-catching photos on Pinterest and Instagram. Infographics are popular here, along with models, products, and ingredients. Where health topics related to disease or injury are likely to show up with photos suggesting medical diagnoses and disorders, skin and hair health issues are much more likely to showcase pretty pictures.

Focusing on the beautiful results of skin and hair care products, even when they’re truly healthy, can also simplify compliance with marketing regulations. A photo of a radiant model doesn’t promise a cure for anything.


The health of beauty

At the same time, it’s effective for beauty products to use text that calls out health benefits. Consider using scientific support for skin or hair care ingredients, health-oriented terms like “phytochemicals” or “paraben free,” and references to research or regimens.


Google tells us that make up searches soar in the run-up to Halloween. Other holidays also see make up searches — including that well-known make up holiday, Prom Season. But skin care and hair care products, like other health-related topics, get searches year round. Let your content reference health benefits and answer health questions. Let your images focus on beauty.

You’ll get the best of both search and conversion worlds.






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