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Purpose Beyond Beauty: Brands championing mental health and authenticity

In the era of purpose-driven beauty, brands hold increasing power to make a positive impact, and many are choosing to shift the focus from achieving flawless skin as the ultimate goal. As it is mental health awareness week, we’d like to acknowledge some of the brands who are opening up the conversation around psychological wellness, and who more generally pose a great example of creating a brand positioning that is authentically tied to purpose.  

The Lion's Barber Collective

  • A collection of international top barbers, whose mission is to raise awareness for the prevention of suicide, inspired by the fact that the barber’s chair is a time that males may be likely to open up about how they are feeling. 
  • By training barbers to become mental health advocates, they create safe spaces for open conversations about mental well-being, something they coin their #BarberTalk mission. 

Our key takeaway

We are particularly inspired by the Collective for their persistence in ensuring their visibility and presence in spaces where mental health conversations may be less common. They are currently taking part in the British GT motor racing championship where they are racing, setting up a pop-up barber station, and actively engaging with an audience that is typically made up of 85% males.  


  • Eye-catching skincare brand topicals algin their stigma busting flare-up targeted skincare formulations with their advocacy for mental health. The brand has donated over $100,000 since their launch in 2020. 
  • This year, the brand’s fund is building programmes with five women-founded organisations to support mental health within BIPOC communities. 

Our key takeaways

The brand excels at shining a light on the interconnection between skin health and mental well-being and aligning this with their brand and founder stories. Topicals consistently provide support to underrepresented communities, in particular creating environments for fostering community building, combatting loneliness, and establishing genuine relationships.  

Rare Beauty

  • The brand’s Rare Impact Fund commits to bringing awareness and financial aid to those that need support with their mental health. 
  • Rare Beauty’s fund has recently pledged an additional $1.5 million grant to a range of organisations, enabling them to broaden the reach of mental health services and education for youth globally 

Our key takeaways

At The Red Tree, we often site Rare Beauty as a gold-standard example of purpose-driven beauty. The brand stands out for their ability to strike a balance between leveraging the celebrity status and personal story of their founder, Selena Gomez, to bring attention and understanding to the brand, while also prioritising their initiatives beyond sales. They consistently engage with their audience, actively increase the support to their causes, and make a tangible difference. Their commitment goes beyond superficial marketing, showcasing a genuine dedication to driving meaningful change in the mental health space. The fund’s top down approach also provides a great example of a purpose with a global reach.

War Paint

  • A male cosmetics brand, whose presence in this unsaturated market is inspiring a more openminded, inclusive community.  
  • In addition to partnering with organisations such as Norwich City FC, the brand’s founder is also behind JAAQ (Just Ask A Question), a platform that provides quick and free mental health information directly from trusted experts as well as celebrities and sports personalities with lived experiences. 

Our key takeaways

While the JAAQ platform certainly goes above and beyond to deliver support to those that need it, we also think it serves an excellent example of sharing information in an innovative and effective manner. The Q&A video format found throughout their website and social channels demonstrates the power of featuring real individuals and their stories, as well as emphasising the role of expertise in reinforcing the authenticity of an initiative 

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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