Navigating the Thin Line: Influencer and Skincare Ad Misstep

In the ever-evolving world of beauty and skincare, influencers have become the new tastemakers, guiding consumers through the labyrinth of products and trends.

However, with this power comes a responsibility to use their platforms wisely and sensitively.

A recent incident involving a skincare company and an influencer brought this issue to the forefront, reminding us of the importance of mindful communication.

Let’s delve into this incident and explore the lessons we can learn from it.

On May 24, 2023, CBS News reported a story about an influencer and a skincare company that had to issue a public apology for referencing a school shooting in a sponsored video.

The influencer, Cecilee Max-Brown, was promoting a product for Biore, a well-known skincare brand, when she mentioned that she had faced “countless obstacles” this year, including a school shooting.

As someone who has been in the beauty industry for over five years, I’ve seen the power of influencers grow exponentially.

They can shape trends, drive sales, and, most importantly, influence the behavior and beliefs of their followers.

However, this incident is a stark reminder that this influence should not be taken lightly.

In the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini, he discusses the concept of the “weapons of influence” and how they can be used to persuade others.

One of these weapons is the principle of liking – we are more likely to be influenced by people we like or admire, such as influencers.

However, this principle also ensures the influence is used ethically and appropriately.

In this case, the reference to a school shooting was inappropriate and insensitive.

School shootings are tragic events that profoundly impact the victims, their families, and the community.

Using such an event to promote a product is not only in poor taste but also shows a lack of understanding and empathy.

The skincare company Biore, and the influencer, Cecilee Max-Brown, have since apologized for the reference, acknowledging that it was inappropriate.

This incident serves as a reminder to all influencers and brands of the importance of mindful communication.

It’s crucial to consider the potential impact of our words on our audience and to ensure that we are using our influence responsibly.

In the world of beauty and skincare, influencers have a significant role to play. However, this incident has shown that this influence must be used responsibly.

As we navigate this ever-evolving landscape, let’s remember the power of our words and the importance of mindful communication.


  1. CBS News. (2023, May 24). Influencer and skincare company apologize for school shooting reference.
  2. Cialdini, R. B. (2006). Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Harper Business.
About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.

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