Deciem blasts celebrity beauty craze: 'Skin care is not merch'

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 24-Oct-2022

The Ordinary maker has slammed celebrities entering the industry, which includes actors Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Idris Elba and more

Deciem, the maker of The Ordinary, has blasted the influx of celebrities entering into the beauty business.

The Canadian brand owner said "skin care in not merch" on Instagram, as it criticised A-listers launching cosmetic companies. 

A series of posts titled 'We are scientists - not celebrities', stated that “valuable space” is being taken up by celebrities who have never shown an interest in beauty before.

Indie brands working on innovations to push the skin care industry forward are being crowded out, the Estée Lauder Companies-owned business argued.

“Over the last (almost) 10 years, we've worked hard to start changing the perception of the skin care industry—from a place of mistrust and fluff, to one that is unable to promise what isn't there,” Deciem said in an Instagram post.

“As more overpriced and over-marketed celebrity brands continue to enter the market, less space is available for innovation, revolution, and breakthroughs from young, independent brands.”

Deciem added it will always “celebrate and encourage new energy and creativity in this industry”, as long as it does not impact the future of the beauty sector.

Celebrity-owned skin care brands are increasingly popular ventures among the rich and famous.

Actor Jared Leto was the most recent with his new desert-inspired lifestyle brand, Twentynine Palms, which launched on 19 October 2022.

Musician Travis Barker also launched a CBD-infused skin care line in September.

Ciara, Winnie Harlow, Stella McCartney, Hailey Bieber, Kate Moss, Ellen DeGeneres, Harry Styles and Idris Elba, meanwhile, have all released skin care brands in the past 12 months.

But it was the launch of Brad Pitt’s Le Domaine skin care line which caused the most uproar within the beauty industry.

It led to five indie beauty brand owners penning an open letter to Pitt, requesting the actor to close his new venture.

The letter came after the Fight Club star unveiled the genderless beauty brand on 22 September, a partnership with French winemakers Famille Perrin who supplied ingredients from its Château de Beaucastel vineyard. 

Entrepreneurs from Carra, Highr, Lionne, Ohana and Elth were the original signatories, but more have offered support since that time.

The group described Pitt's La Domaine as "another buzzy but ineffectual celebrity beauty brand". 

They urged the celebrity to shut down his business to invest in small cosmetic businesses: "If this industry is an industry that you truly want to be a part of, then invest in or partner with us. Think of it as becoming our executive producer. 

"Invest in early-stage founders who are already in the arena, building innovative solutions to make the industry more inclusive, sustainable, and climate-friendly."

Entrepreneur Elon Musk also made headlines last week, after entering the beauty industry with a new fragrance called Burnt Hair and selling over 20,000 bottles within the first 24 hours.

You may also like