Monday 5 September 2016

Bespoke Skincare – Trying Out A New Emerging Trend

One of the big emerging trends in skincare is for bespoke formulations. Long gone are the days when skin was crudely classified as either normal/dry, combination or oily. Beauty regimes have become equally more sophisticated, moving well beyond the simple "cleanse, tone and moisturise".

Customised skincare, though, is a big leap beyond. It’s skincare that’s been brewed to better meet the needs of our own person. While we’re not talking about formulas as distinct as our own DNA, we are talking about creams and serums that come in thousands of different combinations.

I liken it to an online dating service. Generally you’re asked to fill out a web survey about yourself, lifestyle habits and skincare preferences. The results are used to build a skin profile which is matched against the various formula combinations the brand has to offer.

Who’s doing it?
Romy Paris launched a solution last September, closely followed by Haute Custom Beauty. More recently Nu Skin has entered the fray, and it is their AgeLoc Me system that I have been trying out for the past month.

Nu Skin AgeLoc Me
Skincare is dispensed via a special gadget resembling a Nespresso machine. Inside are three serums, plus a day and a night moisturiser – all housed in special airtight containers. The machine has an onboard clock, so it knows what skincare to deliver when.

You simply place your hand under the sensor and a precise amount of serum, day or night cream will be dispensed in sequence.  A small counter on the LED display will tell you how many days of each particular skincare type you have left.

When you first order the machine you’ll be sent the device together with a reference set of skincare to be used for 30 days, before the bespoke solutions arrive.

The online survey

Generally you take this a few weeks into using the reference set.  Questions start at name, age and gender, and go on to include ethnic group, geographic location, level of exposure to pollution, hours spent in the sun , as well as rating various aspects of your skin (pigmentation, lines etc).  

At the end of the survey you will be sent a code, which refers to your particular skincare combination. You use this when ordering the bespoke skincare, a week or so before finishing the reference set (either online or via the AgeLoc Me app).
You can re-take the survey at any time, say for a change of season or if you’re having particular skin concerns, to fine tune the solutions. There are over 2,000 different combinations in total, which is at the higher end of the bespoke systems currently available.

-    Easy to set up and use
-    Hygienic with no messy tubes or pots
-    Ingredients remain sealed so no air contamination 
-    Serums are mixed fresh so retain potency
-    Travel pots are available so you can use the skincare when away from home
-    Solutions tailored to your skin’s specific needs (theoretically)

-    Cost. The device is £607.04, plus around £200 for the monthly replacement sets 
-    Locked in to one particular brand of skincare

Final Thoughts 

I love the idea of topical formulations that are tuned to my skin’s own needs. The delivery mechanism gets a thumbs up too – the dispenser is convenient, hygienic and (it has to be said) a lot of fun.

However, it’s pricey (the set-up cost and residuals) and I’d want to know at the outset that the formulas are going to suit my  skin - I had small outbreaks with both the reference set and the bespoke creams. 

More on the Nu Skin AgeLoc here.

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