Beauty and Brains: The Rise of Mental Health x Beauty Products

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The beauty industry has long capitalized off of the idea that we constantly need to look better, and that a product is the key to our better selves. For this reason, beauty routines can be a dangerous activity. But in recent years, discussions of social media toxicity and mental health destigmatization have surfaced. As the conversation around mental health increases, so are brands’ awareness of the link between beauty and mental health.

Photo posted by @rarebeauty on Instagram

Beauty always has trends: heavy blush vs. no blush; the glossy look vs. the matte face; au natural vs. beat face. Emerging is a connection of our products to our mental health. Makeup and skincare are now seen as “enhancing” our features and a form of self-expression, and our products are starting to reflect that. Especially during the pandemic, brands have started to incorporate messages of self-love and mental health care as a part of their mission.

Selena Gomez’s brand Rare Beauty, as the name suggests, is about recognizing your worth and feeling empowered to become more comfortable with yourself — not to become perfect. Rare Beauty pledged to raise $100 million over the next 10 years towards mental health services and 1% of all sales from Rare Beauty products goes towards the Rare Impact Fund. Forbes reported that by the time the Rare Impact Fund hits $100 million, it will be one of the world’s largest-known funds supporting mental health from a corporation.

So many other companies are raising similar efforts: Becca Cosmetics donates $5 from every U.S. purchase of one of its products to the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit working to protect emotional health and prevent suicides among teens and young adults. Model Adwoa Aboah and her organization “Gurls Talk” worked with Revlon on an event featuring panels about mental health and self-care. Philosophy raises funds for the the Hope & Grace Fund, which focuses on women’s mental health.

Photo posted by @lovephilosophy on Instagram

If you go to any beauty store, it seems that there is always an aspect of self-love to every product — beauty products and brands are now focused wellness of our mind and body, rather than self-erasure.

Brands now post self-care and mental health tips on their feed, showing how their brand is working to destigmatize mental health by including it as apart of their products and values.

Photo posted by @rarebeauty on Instagram
Photo posted by @drbrandt on Instagram

A lot brands, especially indie ones, address mental health due to personal connections. Respected dermatologist and founder of Dr. Brandt Skincare, Fredric Brandt, took his life in 2015. Following the tragedy, his company and loved ones established the Dr. Brandt Foundation, in partnership with The Miami Foundation. The foundation works to create awareness surrounding mental health and raises funds from their product’s earnings to develop platforms surrounding mental health issues such as depression and suicide prevention.

Mental health awareness is quickly becoming the new trend of beauty. Although there may be brands that capitalize on mental illness or mental health discussions and do things less thoughtfully, the direction things are going in is important: make mental health a part of your daily routine.


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