Embracing The Unsexy Revolution

AmLactin and Kerasal
AmLactin and Kerasal

How TikTok and a New Design Challenge are Redefining Beauty Essentials

Swiping through endless picture-perfect beauty products on Instagram, one trend turns the carousel upside down: “unsexy products.” Things like foot repair lotion and dry skin moisturizer aren’t usually the stars of your social media feeds, despite their importance in our daily routines. But brands like AmLactin and Kerasal are leaning into this newfound recognition by launching the #UnsexyDesignChallenge, bringing celebrated utility and functional beauty into the spotlight. TikTok influencers are at the forefront of this trend, sharing the behind-the-scenes essentials they swear by. From tongue scrapers to men’s razors, these products are quietly performing miracles without seeking the limelight. AmLactin and Kerasal, known for their transformative effects on dry skin and damaged feet, are recognizing this shift in consumer appreciation and inviting design enthusiasts to give their products a visual makeover.

To join the fun, participants need to: 1) follow @AmLactin and @Kerasal on Instagram, 2) create an original packaging design for either AmLactin Daily Nourish 12% Lotion or Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair Ointment, 3) post their designs on Instagram using the hashtag #UnsexyDesignChallenge, and 4) tag @AmLactin or @Kerasal. Easy peasy, right? The contest runs from now  to June 21, 2024, and three creative geniuses will be selected as winners. The chosen designs will be brought to life in a limited product drop, and the winners will each receive a cash prize. As if that’s not enough, these designs will be featured across both brands’ social media channels, giving the winners some serious exposure.

“Our products might not make your ‘shelfie,’ but trust us, they’ll give you soft, smooth, radiant skin, helping you feel more confident in your own true skin,” said Heather Choe, Head of Marketing at AmLactin. “The prettiest, most aesthetic packaging doesn’t necessarily mean the most effective formula. Our products deliver real results, and that’s what matters most. This contest is about celebrating the effectiveness and having some fun with our fans in the process.” Whitney Kopp, Head of Marketing at Kerasal, is equally enthusiastic, “The #unsexyproducts trend is all about celebrating products that don’t need to follow the latest design trends to get the job done. We’re excited to see how our fans can turn our ‘unsexy’ packaging into something they want to have on their shelf.”

TikTok Is Making “Unsexy” Beauty Products Seem Very Appealing. The trend is giving familiar standbys a new name. It’s a reminder that there’s more to beauty than pretty packaging. The corner of the internet known as beauty TikTok (or BeautyTok, for short) is usually filled with eye candy. Each day, my feed surfaces jewel-tone fragrances that glisten beneath their sculptural caps; celebrity-approved body creams that perch in pristine bathrooms worthy of an Architectural Digest photoshoot; or lip oils and body mists that shimmer in front of a resort backdrop. Each one refers to their armfuls of tested-and-approved creams, lotions, ointments, and tools with an eyebrow-raiser of a name: “unsexy beauty products.” For audiences numbering in the hundreds of thousands (and in a few cases, millions), TikTok recommendation videos are currently singing the praises of humble, drugstore-oriented skincare and beauty with the same fervor usually reserved for the latest luxury launch. The tongue-in-cheek “unsexy” moniker comes from two directions: the packaging—which favors straightforward product descriptions over flashy, photogenic designs—and the purpose. From video to video, participants in the trend share recommendations for items to treat common conditions like dandruff, dry skin, eczema, or rosacea. To be clear: The products defining this TikTok movement aren’t new. Some, like tubs of Vaseline and bottles of hydrocortisone cream, have existed on the market for a long time. Others fall under the umbrella of “medical grade skincare,” with dermatologist-backed formulas and studies proving their results. All that’s different with “unsexy beauty products” is the terminology—and the tone of the conversation. Openly discussing the diaper ointment that treats irritation or the drugstore facial cleanser that clears breakouts is a refreshing twist in an app saturated with paid placements and sticker-shock price tags.

“This is currently my favorite trend on TikTok,” creator @_bousso told over 179,000 viewers on her “unsexy” product review. “These are products that are affordable but might not look aesthetically pleasing, but that just get the job done.” Her haul included a bar of Dial soap and a Dove Acne Clear cleanser. Commenters who tune in without posting themselves also enjoy the change in perspective. “It’s so refreshing to find a video I actually trust [because] you’re not sponsored by this or anything,” one viewer wrote under creator @sarah.kidwai’s reviews of First Aid Beauty’s Bump Eraser Scrub and a generic Hydrochlorus Acid Spray.

Digging Deeper into the Unsexy Product Trend, the unsexy product trend isn’t just about celebrating overlooked items in our beauty routines; it’s about challenging the notion of what it truly means to use products for effective self-care. If you look at the community comments and testimonials, it’s clear that these products are beloved not for their looks but for their performance. Reddit, for instance, has been blowing up with threads dedicated to the efficacy of these unassuming products. The #UnsexyDesignChallenge takes this trend a step further by inviting consumers to engage with these products on a creative level. It’s an opportunity for fans to celebrate functionality while having some fun with design. Whether through intricate renderings, whimsical doodles, or quick sketches, participants can bring their vision to life and maybe even see it on store shelves.

So, get your creative juices flowing and participate in the #UnsexyDesignChallenge! This is your chance to celebrate the beauty of functionality, highlight the unsung heroes of your self-care routine, and have some fun in the process. Who knows? Your design might just be the next big thing in the beauty world. Ready to embrace the unsexy side of self-care and swap tips on the products that actually work? Share your secret stash with #unsexyproducts on TikTok and show the world that sometimes, it’s the unsexy products that deliver the sexiest results.