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Custom Skincare

by Marianne Navada
custom skincare review technology

Up until recently, when beauty products claim to represent us, the strategy relies on categorization: your skin color, skin type (i.e. dry), gender, or age. But technology is making it possible to truly purchase custom beauty products with ingredients picked specifically for a person’s needs, goals, and lifestyle using artificial intelligence. The process: you answer a questionnaire about who you are, your goals, environment, and lifestyle. The software then provides a list of ingredients based on the data you inputted—a beauty product just for you. 

The Market

Currently, there are three main players in the custom skin-care space. Atolla and Proven Skincare, both founded in 2016 and Y’Our Skincare in 2018. Given the importance of technology in the marketing strategy, all brands emphasize their founders’ ivy league backgrounds, from MIT to Stanford. This represents a break from the traditional beauty marketing strategy, which relies on celebrities and someone’s looks or story to sell a product, or on a defining ingredient. The sell relies less on: “look at us; we look good and we can make you look good too,” and more on “trust our system, because we’re smart”.

Another advantage of customer skincare, traditional products are designed for long shelf-life. This new type of production negates this need. You get a custom formula monthly. This can mean easing up on the preservatives.

Overall the concepts sounded promising, so I decided to try it. 

Choosing the Brand 

This is not a paid content.

I decided try Atolla for my first custom beauty product. Here’s a breakdown of the decision: 

  • Plant-based ingredients: Although all brands are cruelty-free and free of sulfates and parabens, only Atolla and Y’Our Skincare offer vegan ingredients. Left with the two, I went with Atolla, and here’s why:
    • One Product: I love that you only get a serum. It’s simple. 
    • Sustainability: Atolla has a clear sustainability mission statement, from packaging to their products.
    • Follow-up and Progress: Atolla offers a skin test in your monthly kit aside from your feedback, to monitor progress. 
    • User-experience: The websites presents clear information on how it works and not to mention that it’s beautifully designed. I know this is subjective, but the color-scheme, fonts, graphics, and images just worked for me. 

On Taking the Survey

Quick, simple, and informative: I answered about 20 questions + an account creation form. I got 3 automated and thoughtful emails after I inputted my email and finished my order. I got a welcome mail from the CEO and founder after taking the survey, a receipt/order summary, and last, what I should expect in the next 30 days. 

The Next Step

I’m quite excited to receive my product. I’m a minimalist when it comes to taking care of my skin and relate to the Scandinavian philosophy. The concept of customized beauty ingredients speaks to a simple and edited skincare routine. 

Atolla charges $39/month for the subscription.

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