Strategic Insight - Design Innovation for Skincare
New and evolving meanings in skincare
At Recipe, we are always on the lookout for new launches, service offerings and emerging patterns of consumer behaviour, whether informing our skincare-focused work for brands such as Cetaphil, or looking to new opportunities across the health and home sectors.
We analyse the changes we see to further understand how and why products and experiences are evolving in what they provide, how we value them and what meanings they hold. Most recently we’ve been examining some new products and services within skincare which respond to, provoke and articulate changes in consumer drivers.
The growing demand for ‘premium sustainability’ across categories such as food and fashion has driven increasingly diverse product offerings and brands, claiming varying degrees of sustainability. Within the skincare category, more specialized claims have arisen, with multiple aspects to consider when making a purchase. With this increase in ethical ‘noise’, it’s no surprise that a third of Gen Z and millennial females who would switch to sustainable skincare and beauty products have trouble finding them.
Branching out beyond fashion, Net-A-Porter now has a designated section for sustainable products called Net Sustain. Shoppers can filter the products on offer by attributes such as: Locally Made, Considered Materials / Ingredients, Reducing Waste and Animal Welfare. These categories resonate with the values consumers are searching for, whilst enabling simplified, informed decision making.
Net-A-Porter’s decision to identify and celebrate brands which achieve and meet specialised and specific sustainability criteria is reflective of the increasing demand for sustainable beauty, but also of the nuanced needs of consumers and the varied meanings and signifiers of ‘sustainability’.
Skin type diagnosis
Products that offer personalised skincare and personal care are on the rise. Popular examples, such as Function of Beauty require consumers to fill out a survey or quiz to help narrow down the best ingredients and formulas based on their own self-assessment.
Hauto goes further still. Launching in Summer 2020, Hauto is an at-home self-test which examines your skin on a cellular level, identifying any issues based on the proteins present and recommending brand neutral, ingredient-based skincare ingredients to implement into your routine.
The simple 3-step process of swapping your cheek, inserting the swab into a device and receiving the results on your smart phone 20 seconds later brings the accurate feel of a lab-test into the consumer’s own home. Accompanied by strong science and medical cues, the product offering reaffirms its efficacy. Whilst the level of analysis and specific remedy suggestions provide a sense of certainty and confidence in the result. Could technology such as this eliminate trial and error in skincare selection, managing consumer dissatisfaction and even validating the improvement a product can bring on an individual basis?
With ever-advancing biochemical technology, the compounds and ingredients in everyday, off-the-shelf skincare products are providing more targeted benefits, giving rise to more purpose-built, potent, ‘active’ skincare offerings.
In March 2020, Givaudan announced the launch of Synchronight™, an innovative new skincare ingredient that is activated by the skin’s microbiome. It shields the skin from blue light and other digital stresses, allowing melatonin its natural role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
Synchronight™ will be launched in a night cream called ‘My Blue Guard High Performance’ which also features DreamScentz™, a fragrance technology aimed to enhance the sleep experience, which is also found in some Radox products. The two chemicals achieve a complex layering of effects that unify and enhance the relationship between skin health/appearance and sleep hygiene. This launch is reflective of a more holistic approach to skincare and personal care, as well as an increasing consumer understanding of complex biological interrelationships.
Hygiene and immunity
Similar to other personalised skincare offerings, DUOLAB requires consumers to fill-out a survey to assess and make recommendations for their individual skincare needs. In addition to ingredient and formulation, DUOLAB recommends the rotation their products should be used in, with slight changes every 14 or 28 days to adapt to skin’s evolving needs.
Additionally, DUOLAB utilizes a bespoke 3D device for mixing and optimising the temperatures of products just before they are applied at home. By controlling the experience through a closed system – including its sterile, airtight capsules – DUOLAB has created a distinctive platform that allows the boundaries of what skincare can and should do in the domestic home to be pushed.
3D products and packaging have the potential to elevate skincare by introducing discreet technology, providing hygiene benefits and creating new behaviours and rituals that enable new benefits and optimise skincare products at the point of application.