Have you stumbled across the skincare community on Instagram? Want to start a page, but not sure where to start? In a year and half I’ve grown my account to 2.5k followers with a 12% engagement rate, worked with brands like Sand & Sky and Briogeo, and made some amazing friends. If you’re searching for advice on how to start a skincare instagram page and succeed, you’ve come to the right place!
My Skincare Instagram Story
In December of 2019, right around the start of my first round of college finals, I decided to start an instagram page dedicated to skincare. I’d been dabbling in posting stories about skincare on my personal account, but my friends didn’t really get why this was something that interested me.
Just over a year later, my skincare and photographical knowledge has grown immensely, I’ve surpassed 2000 followers, and I’ve gotten the chance to work with some awesome brands. But I also had a lot of doubt and struggles along the way.
It can seem like the beauty community is oversaturated with accounts – what will you bring to the table that’s new and fresh? How do you maintain motivation to create content? With the increasingly troublesome algorithm, how do you know your hard work won’t go unnoticed? How can you stand out to brands when they already work with amazing accounts? These are all questions that ran through my head when I decided to take the plunge.
In this article I’ll share what I’ve learned in the hopes it helps you in your journey into the world of the skincare instagram community.
I. Don’t expect overnight success.
First things first, don’t expect to gain 10k followers overnight (and don’t buy your way to this milestone either!) While this is not true for everyone, my growth was slow but steady. I had to put in the time and effort. Ultimately, this has led to real relationships that not only allow me to steadily grow but also stand out to brands.
II. Be authentic in your skincare instagram journey.
Get inspired from other accounts but don’t copy. Create your own style! Don’t worry about what will get the most “likes” or whether your feed has the same aesthetic as another’s. Shoot what makes you happy, in a style that makes you happy. Don’t feel the need to buy every new skincare product to keep up (remember that a lot of people will be getting those as PR!) It’s not about how much stuff you have but the community you form and the knowledge you gain.
III. Post almost every day.
It’s important to be consistent. While it’s hard to create content all the time, I’ve found that posting every day (or almost every day) keeps me in the forefront of people’s minds.
If you’re like me and you have an extremely busy life outside of instagram, pre-shoot content on slower days! This makes my feed look cohesive and allows me to remain consistent even with other demands on my time.
IV. To grow your skincare instagram, engage with the people who follow you and like/comment.
Perhaps once my account gets much much bigger (if it does), I won’t be able to do this, but I currently make an effort to respond to every comment. It’s a way to show that I truly care and am grateful for every person who chooses to follow me. Even if I don’t follow someone, I like and comment on their feeds to support. Plus, it’s fun! I’ve had some great conversations with my fellow skincare bloggers that have enriched my enjoyment of the community and enhanced my knowledge.
V. But also don’t feel pressure to follow everyone back.
Your account should make you happy. If someone’s feed doesn’t bring you joy, or you just have too cluttered of a feed, you should not feel guilty about unfollowing. Follow the people you want to follow.
VI. Share “real life” on your skincare instagram.
Use your stories as a way to share more “raw” parts of your life – masking, routines, tidbits from your day. It’s a great way to show the human face behind the account, and make friends in the community.
And don’t be afraid to post your face on your skincare instagram if you’re comfortable! Your followers will love learning more about you as a person.
VII. Constantly push yourself to increase your knowledge of skincare and photography.
My photography style has changed immensely since I first started. I’ve learned more about lighting, shadows, and editing my images. I’ve also read more about skincare in order to write informative, helpful reviews. Work on your craft and the followers will come (and so will the offers from brands).
VIII. Be patient with PR.
It doesn’t come the first day. Sure, some small accounts do get lots of PR offers, but this isn’t totally common for new skincare instagram pages. And it can definitely be easy to feel jealous when I see other people get PR from my favorite brands when I’ve been turned down multiple time.
However, what I keep in mind is that, with consistent effort, offers will come. Not having a mailbox overflowing with PR packages does not mean your account isn’t funny, engaging, and great to follow. Your PR does not define you.
IX. When you do get PR/brand deals, don’t feel pressure to always give positive reviews.
One of my main mantras, and I explain this to all brands that reach out to me, is that my reviews will always, ALWAYS, be 100% honest. Just because an item is gifted does not mean I am obligated to like it or think it is a good product for my skin type. While you can certainly be diplomatic and kind (and remember that every skin type and person is different), it is not unfair nor is it wrong to dislike a product or admit it didn’t work for you. Your followers want your honest reviews, not an account that is bought and paid for.
Also, you don’t have to accept every product! Even if you’re a small account, you can still be picky.
X. Know your worth, & don’t let brands take advantage of you.
My last point about PR is this: Know your worth! Even as a small account, you have a lot to offer brands. I know pages with under 3K followers that have engagement rates of 40%+! That’s INSANE. Just because you don’t have millions of followers does not mean you’re not a valuable asset to brands.
Don’t shoot too high with your rates (an account with 500 followers probably can’t negotiate for a $1000/post rate) but do charge brands when they ask for deliverables. In general, unless you are dying to try the product, don’t accept product as the only form of payment – especially not if there’s a deadline or a lot of content requirements. Brands are constantly trying to shortchange microinfluencers in the hopes they can get free marketing. Don’t allow them to get away with this! The Influencer Pay Gap page is a fantastic resource to figure out a general idea of what you should be charging.
XI. Don’t feel pressure to buy lots of skincare you don’t need for your skincare instagram.
Sure, shelfies packed full of products are fun. But it’s most important to choose products that work for a) your skin type and b) your budget. When you have a consistent routine, don’t deviate just for the sake of buying into the hype.
XII. Finally, HAVE FUN.
Don’t let this account become your whole life. Make it a hobby and a passion (unless you want it to be your career, then this advice may not apply as much), but don’t do it if it doesn’t spark joy.
And there you have it – my advice after having almost a year of experience in this wonderful chaotic and beautiful skincare blogger community. I hope this helps, and if you have any questions feel free to comment or reach out through email/DM. Much love <3