Beauty Direct: The Top DTC Brands to Elevate The Skincare Game in 2023
It’s no secret
that the Skincare and Wellness industries are my darlings, when it comes to verticals I love to work and play in. I admittedly have what some may call a “problem” with buying and trying all the latest things, but I just call it “research.” To that end, there are a few brands I’ve been keeping a close eye on in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) beauty market, and there's no denying that there are some brands are shaking up the industry in exciting ways. The DTC beauty market has revolutionized the industry in the post-covid years, with innovative brands breaking through and captivating customers worldwide. So, to highlight some of our favorites CJK Consulting, with the help of Chloe Jasmine Living, compiled a list of the top 9 DTC beauty brands to watch in 2023, based on their innovation, commitment to sustainability, inclusivity, and customer experience.
#1 - The Ordinary – Kicking off the list, this stripped-down skincare brand has disrupted the market with its affordable and ingredient-focused approach. The Ordinary's straightforward packaging and no-nonsense philosophy have made it a favorite among skincare aficionados. Upon first finding this awesome brand on the Sephora backbar, the science nerd inside of me, screamed, “YESSSS!” While the business risk officer in my head went, “Whoooahh, I hope they are explicit AF in their usage instructions.” The Ordinary uses straight forward #science and #chemistry to deliver potent and effective skincare with their products. The brand's success can be attributed to its commitment to transparency and education (thank God!), demystifying complex skincare ingredients
and offering them at affordable prices. Customers are increasingly seeking brands that are accessible, affordable, and offer sustainable and clean beauty solutions. The Ordinary's focus on simplicity, affordability, and ingredient-focused formulations have earned it a loyal following among skincare enthusiasts across the globe. Go grab yourself some - so your face and your wallet will thank you! (hot tip: the multi-peptide lash+brow serumis just as, if not more effective than Latisse, Grande Lash, R+F Lashboost and is only $14.50)
#2 - K18 – When Tech & Beauty make a powerful+pretty baby! The first time I ran into and fell in deep, deep love with K18, was in January 2022, when I finally got my first haircut since Covid started. I remember the shine, the color-pop, the weightlessness and my hairdresser saying, “This is without conditioner!” WHAT?! He then told me the product name: “It’s this new molecular product, K18. You need it!” When tech industry veteran Suveen Sahib teamed up with beauty veteran Britta Cox to create K18, they set out to develop a line of haircare products using a scientific approach. The result has been nothing short of revolutionary.
One of K18's most popular products is the Leave-in Molecular Repair hair mask, which has garnered over
11 B-I-L-L-I-O-N views on TikTok. It's no wonder the brand has taken the haircare industry by storm.
Since its official launch in 2020, K18 has expanded into wholesale, entering over 500 Sephora stores in late 2021. And in 2022, K18's website visits grew by an impressive 107% compared to the previous year, hitting over 2 million visits, according to Similarweb.
What's more, K18 boasts a growth score of 90.3 out of 100, a score used by Charm.io to track how quickly a brand is growing.
#3 - Glossier - Glossier's minimalist packaging and natural-looking makeup have earned it a cult following among millennials and Gen Z. The brand's emphasis on individuality and inclusivity make it a standout in the beauty market. Glossier's success has been driven by its commitment to creating a personalized, customer-focused experience, both in-store and online. In 2023, we expect Glossier to continue to innovate and disrupt the beauty industry with its unique approach to branding and customer experience. The brand's emphasis on inclusivity and individuality will continue to resonate with customers who seek authenticity and connection with the brands they support.
#4 - Drunk Elephant – this skincare brand’s “clean” beauty philosophy has resonated with customers who want to avoid harmful
ingredients. Drunk Elephant has been a pioneer in the clean beauty movement, offering effective skincare products without harmful ingredients.
Drunk Elephant's commitment to sustainability and inclusivity has also been a key factor in its success, along with their creative, colorful and playful packaging. In 2023, we expect to see these values become even more critical for beauty brands as customers demand transparency and eco-conscious solutions.
#5 - Huda Beauty - Huda Beauty's bold colors and innovative products have made it a standout in the crowded beauty market. The brand's founder, Huda Kattan, is a makeup artist turned influencer turned entrepreneur. What sets Huda Beauty apart is its focus on creating products that are both innovative and practical, helping customers achieve the looks they want with ease. As customers increasingly demand practical and effective beauty solutions, Huda Beauty is well-positioned to continue to grow and innovate in the years to come.
#6 - Sunday Riley - This skincare brand prioritizes science and efficacy above all else. Sunday Riley's high-performance formulas have earned it a devoted following among beauty insiders and celebrities. According to The Derm Review, Sunday Riley has seen significant growth over the past few years, with a 400% increase in sales between 2014 and 2017. The brand's social media presence has also been strong, with a growth score of 89.8 out of 100 on Charm.io. As customers increasingly demand science-backed and results-driven skincare products, Sunday Riley is a brand to watch in 2023 and beyond. (CJK recommends Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, which has received rave reviews for its ability to brighten and smooth the skin.)
#7 - Fenty Beauty - Rihanna's cosmetics line, founded in 2017, has been a game-changer for the beauty industry, with its inclusive shade range and focus on diversity. Fenty Beauty has become a cultural phenomenon, with its bold colors and celebrity endorsements. I believe that Fenty Beauty's success lies in its customer-focused approach and commitment to inclusivity, while also having fun. As one of the top DTC beauty brands to watch in 2023, I expect to see Fenty Beauty continue to innovate and disrupt the industry with its unique approach to makeup. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention Fenty Skin - the inclusive and innovative skincare line on the rise. Founded by Rihanna in 2020, Fenty Skin has quickly gained a reputation for its high-quality, effective, and inclusive skincare products. Can we go ahead and give Rihanna the Music to Mogul Award of the Year – she is K-I-L-L-I-N-G-I-T right now!
#8 - Topicals - This skincare brand is all about inclusivity and representation, with products designed specifically for people with skin tones higher on the Fitzpatrick scale – aka – darker, more pigmented skin. Topicals' playful and retro-looking packaging, focused on inclusive messaging and effective formulations help it stand out in the crowded beauty market. In addition to the efficacy of their products,
Topicals packs a super punch when it comes to the minds advising the brand – Dr. Teng is a board-certified pediatric dermatologist and the Director of Pediatric Dermatology at Stanford University. Then there is Dr. Flynn, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in the Department of Chemistry, who, as a post-doc, Dr. Flynn is using genomics and proteomics tools to better understand how NGly1 operates at a molecular level. And that’s just to name a few, Topicals definitely has a powerhouse full of great minds from science to DE&I, paving a new and better path to skincare that thinks of it all. In 2023, we expect Topicals to continue to disrupt the beauty industry with its innovative approach to skincare. With a focus on effective, solution-focused formulations for more pigmented skin tones, Topicals is well-positioned to continue to grow and innovate in the years to come.
Image Credit @Topicals
#9 - Youth to the People - This clean skincare brand is all about sustainability and effectiveness. Youth to the People's vegan and cruelty-free products are packed with superfoods and other natural ingredients to deliver real results. My two favorite things combined into one brand – Natural and Effective. Boom! What sets Youth to the People apart is its mission to create clean, effective, and sustainable skincare products that are accessible to all. Youth to the People's sustainability efforts, such as using recycled materials in its packaging, have also helped to cement its place as a leader in the sustainable beauty space. But it's not just about sustainability - Youth to the People also has some seriously effective skincare products. The Superfood Cleanser (my GO-TO cleanser), featuring kale and spinach extracts, is a fan favorite for its gentle cleansing abilities. The brand's Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream (also a go-to for a balanced complexion) and Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial have also received rave reviews for their effectiveness.
The key to success in the DTC beauty market is a combination of strong branding, innovative products, and a commitment to sustainability, inclusivity, and customer experience. Having a message, mission and efficacy behind your brand and products is key to creating a fully integrated product strategy that will take you from launch to fan-favorite and keep you there for the long-haul. These brands have all demonstrated these qualities and are poised for amazing growth in 2023 and beyond.
We're excited to see, buy and try what's next for the DTC beauty market and how these innovative brands will continue to shape the industry in the days to come.
#DTCbeauty #beautyindustry #beautybrands #innovation #sustainability #inclusivity #customerexperience #cleanbeauty #theordinary #topicals #youthtothepeople #k18hair #sundayriley #Drunkelephant #glossier #fentyskin #fentybeauty #hudabeauty
*PSA: this post contains some product specific amazon affiliate links. All brand links are direct links to brand pages, no affiliation or paid sponsorship from brands.