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What customization means to the personal care industry

By Belinda Carli, director of The Institute of Personal Care Science , 13-Feb-2017
Last updated on 13-Feb-2017 at 16:02 GMT2017-02-13T16:02:18Z

Belinda Carli, director of The Institute of Personal Care Science
Belinda Carli, director of The Institute of Personal Care Science

Customization is set to be one of the biggest trends for personal care in 2017 – so just what does it mean to the Personal Care industry and what should brands and formulators be doing to customise their offerings? Here are a few options to consider…

Consumers want products to suit them. Their lifestyle, their skin, their tone, their look, their mood – and they want to be able to tailor their product to suit their changing needs or preferences on any given day.

Customisable bases with optional actives

Indeed, the skin needs of consumers can change on a daily basis, especially where they may be affected by adverse environmental conditions or hormonal changes.

Providing consumers with a ‘base’ product in serum, cream or gel-crème form that can be added to with selected ‘active concentrates’ is the best way to enable consumers to pick and choose what their skin care product will do for them daily.

The base product should contain key emollients and humectants to suit the general skin feel and performance needs of your target market, as well as an anti-pollution agent to keep up with this growing trend.

The ‘active concentrate’ should then be specifically created to be extra hydrating, purifying, anti-ageing, or whatever concern your target audience may require; the base and actives should then be provided as a starter kit with optional base and active concentrates available for single purchase later.

When creating this customization offering, make sure your dispensers and instructions are very clear to ensure safe and effective consumer use with each application.

Customizing color

Imagine this: a lip-gloss base that glides on with subtle color for everyday wear; but today, your consumer feels a little more playful, so wants to add more sparkle or a splash of hot pink or maybe red to their everyday base.

Tomorrow they may be wearing clothes that clash with their normal lipstick choice, so they want to make it more apricot or plum to match… If you can provide a great feeling, adjustable base product with multi-colour palette, it not only makes it possible for a consumer to adapt their lip-gloss to their mood and clothing, but is also a way to fully engage your consumer with your brand and product.

But it needn’t stop with lip-gloss! The same can be done with eyeshadow palettes (create everyday base colors with color or sparkle concentrates to enable customizble glamour options) and liquid or powder foundations that could have extra color (or whiteness) added to suit seasonal skin tone changes to help a consumer match their skin tone perfectly at any time of year.

Make sure you pair any customizable color products with video instructions – it will not only help you sell product to consumers in the first place once they see how they can tailor product to their exact needs, it will also make sure they mix and create colors effectively for good brand loyalty!

Customising scent

This year we’ll see customization come into its own with aroma. There is nothing like a smell to evoke emotion; and the ability to alter a base scent to suit a mood or occasion is a product space that hasn’t had many entries yet!

The base scent should provide a balanced aroma to suit your target market but have room for concentrated notes to be added to alter the aroma profile in various ways. Careful use of dispensers on the concentrates and clear instructions on how much to use would be required to ensure consumer safety and amazing aromas are created.

The brands that can create customizable fragrance will really capture this sector of the market.

You’ve got to have an app!

If you are going to provide a customizable product to consumers, then you need to provide it with easy to follow instructions to ensure they get success.

Even better, pair it with an app that enables them to select a look or mood and then provides clear guidance on how to get that from your product pack.

Instructional videos are great for promotion and directions but there is nothing like an app to really drive brand loyalty and self-selection for the best results.

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