The multi-billion dollar skin-care and cosmetics industry is renowned for prolific product reinvention. Its offerings are relentlessly reworked with minor modifications here, slight variations there, and over-hyped product transformations everywhere. Yet rarely are any of these developments truly revolutionary.
In recent months, however, several companies have carved out innovative niches for themselves in the beauty industry, launching ground-breaking products and services designed to meet the needs of cosmetics consumers in unique, cutting-edge ways.
For once, the hype surrounding these newly launched beauty industry innovations is actually warranted.
Skin Inc. — World’s first skin supplement bar
Ladies, happy hour for your skin has arrived! Founded by Singaporean entrepreneur Sabrina Tan, Skin Inc. is the world’s first skin supplement bar, offering serums that are custom mixed and matched according to your skin type. Using unique caviar-inspired encapsulated serums from Japan, Skin Inc. has nine unique serums available; each designed to solve a different skin problem. Over 200 different combinations can be blended to create a skin-care cocktail that will satisfy the exact taste of your skin.
OnePure — Halal Cosmetics for Muslim Women
With an estimated 70 percent of Muslims worldwide living by the code of halal, it’s surprising that it has taken this long for the beauty industry to cotton on to the potentially lucrative niche of halal-certified cosmetics.
Recognising this gap in the market, Canadian Islam convert and former make-up artist, Layla Mandi, recently launched OnePure skin-care products, specifically formulated to meet the needs of Muslim women, allowing them to remain true to their religious principles.
Based in Dubai, OnePure offers a range of certified halal cosmetics that contain no pork or animal bi-products and no alcohol, which are common ingredients in standard cosmetics, but haram (forbidden) according to the Koran. In fact, everything right down to the fluids used to clean the production equipment is certified halal. Hence OnePure’s slogan: “Be sure. 100%.”
OnePure products are currently sold through the company’s website, on-board Saudi Airlines and in Dubai’s Souk al Bahar shopping mall, and the company is in negotiations with leading hotel chains to make OnePure products available to hotel guests. OnePure also plans to launch a body and hair care range, as well as a line of products for Muslim men.
Odacité — Organic skin-care products with freshness labels, shipped direct from the lab
You probably don’t drink sour milk, but are you smearing out-of-date cream on your skin? Skin-care products deteriorate with age, becoming less effective and unhygienic to use, yet the emphasis of the importance of product freshness hasn’t been a high priority in the beauty industry, until now.
With the mantra ‘Freshness is the Key To Effectiveness,’ Los Angeles-based Odacité offers freshly-made organic skin-care products each labelled with a ‘Freshiency Date’, showing the month of manufacture and the month after which the product will begin to degrade.
In order for Odacité’s preservative-free products to be shipped to customers immediately, they are made in small batches and are only available for purchase online.
Customers are advised to refrigerate Odacité products to help preserve them, and to further emphasise the brand’s fresh point of difference, the company even sells branded mini-fridges.
Beauty Alert — Expiration date stickers for cosmetics
Another example of the trend towards freshness labelling in the cosmetics industry is the expiration date stickers for cosmetics developed by Seattle-based Beauty Alert.
Designed to protect consumers from the potential risks associated with using out-of-date makeup and skin-care products, the stickers come in versions specific to cosmetics that will expire three, six, 12 or 18 months after the date they are opened.
Consumers simply write the date they opened the product on the appropriate sticker, affix it to the product bottle or jar and they’ll be reminded to replace the product once that period of time has passed.
U*tique — Upscale beauty product vending machines
The terms ‘upscale’ and ‘automated retailing’ are not typically found in the same sentence, yet 29 year-old Mara Segal created a vending experience so elegant and streamlined that it managed to transform people’s preconceived notions about machine-delivered products.
Making its debut at Los Angeles retailer Fred Segal earlier this year, U*tique bills itself as the world’s first interactive, touch-sensitive, fully automated luxury store for “life’s little emergencies and indulgences”.
The upscale beauty product vending machines offer an assortment of premium “must-have” personal-care products such as makeup, skin-care and hair-care items, dispensed to on-the-go consumers with just a simple swipe of their credit card. Users can make swift purchases or explore products in more detail by viewing short videos about product benefits or product demonstrations.
Segal is in the process of installing U*tiques in hotel lobbies, upscale gym locker rooms, nightclub lounges, premium shopping malls and airports across the United States.
Cecilia Biemann is an innovation-obsessed journalist, freelance writer and trend watcher who spends much of her time scanning the globe in search of the world’s most exciting new businesses, products and services. A senior trend hunter for Trendhunter.com and a regular contributor to Springwise.com , there isn’t much in the realm of cutting-edge business innovation that escapes her. www.ceciliabiemann.com