The Struggle of Offering Inclusivity Through Complexion Products
Licensed Esthetician, Jennifer McKeever shares her thoughts on the beauty industry’s struggle to provide inclusive complexion products for all skin tones. In this article, she discusses challenges related to representation, limited shelf space, and the importance of embracing diversity in the beauty industry-one of the reasons why it is BE exists and it is our goal to make Black Estheticians more visible in the skin care industry as well as the products we need for skin of color.
The beauty industry has struggled for years to provide a wide range of complexion shades to suit all skin tones. While noticeable progress has been made in recent years, many consumers with deeper skin tones still struggle to find a shade with proper undertones that matches their skin.
Lack of Representation in the Beauty Industry
One of the biggest challenges brands face is the lack of representation in the beauty industry. Historically, the beauty industry has been dominated by white, Eurocentric beauty standards. As a result, over the years, many brands have focused on creating complexion shades that cater to lighter skin tones, while deeper shades are often an afterthought. The historic lack of diversity and representation in the beauty industry has created a significant barrier for brands trying to create inclusive foundation ranges.
The Complexity of Creating a Wide Range of Complexion Shades
Creating a wide range of complexion shades is not as simple as adding more pigment to the formula. Each shade requires its unique formula, and the production costs can quickly add up. For smaller brands or those with limited budgets, it may not be financially feasible to create a broad range of shades. On the other hand, luxury brands with higher price points don’t always expand their ranges as their target consumer unfortunately often isn’t people of color. As a result, some brands may choose to focus on their best-selling shades rather than expanding their range, leaving many consumers with deeper skin tones struggling to find a shade that matches their skin.
Limited Shelf Space and Geographical Location
Another challenge that brands face is limited shelf space and geographical location. Retailers may only have a limited amount of space to showcase a brand’s products. We must also keep in mind that certain geographical locations will not have many deeper shades on the shelf if that location doesn’t have many people of color that make up their local demographics. As a result, brands may choose to focus on their top-selling shades rather than broadening their range. Retailers may be hesitant to stock products that they believe won’t sell as well, which can further limit the availability of deeper shades.
Brands’ Priorities and Market Demand
Although there has been a growing demand for more inclusive complexion ranges, some brands may not see it as a priority or have the ability to do so. This may be because they don’t see a significant market for deeper shades or don’t believe that creating more shades will result in higher sales. Brands may also face pressure from retailers to prioritize their best-selling shades over expanding their range, which can limit their ability to cater to a broader audience.
The Importance of Embracing Diversity in the Beauty Industry
The struggle for brands to create more inclusive foundation ranges is a multifaceted issue that involves representation, production costs, limited shelf space, and demand. While progress has been made in recent years, there is still much work to be done. Brands must continue to listen to their customers and create products that cater to all skin tones. It’s essential to celebrate and embrace diversity in the beauty industry so that everyone feels represented and included. The more we embrace diversity, the more likely it is that brands will prioritize creating inclusive complexion ranges.