Bespoke beauty that’s affordable? Meet the future of skincare...
Cassie Steer, Beauty Editor At Large
Things are getting personal in beauty. From a wider range of foundation shades to campaigns fronted by models of every size, the industry is finally recognising our differences – and that’s spilling over into skincare, too
‘Just as we all have different body shapes and metabolisms, our skin is also very different, with some of us being intrinsically better at holding onto water whilst others are more predisposed to oiliness, for example,’ says Harley Street dermatologist and Clinique Derm Pro, Dr Emma Wedgeworth. ‘One of the first things I advise my patients to do is to make sure they personalise their regimes to their skin’s individual needs.’ The best way to champion your skin’s individuality? Get to know it a little better.
‘Most skin types fall into sensitive, dry, normal or oily categories, but there is often an overlap between them – which makes it difficult for people to determine what their main skin characteristic is. It’s often hard to tell just by looking, so in the clinic I tend to ask my patients about the behaviour of their skin instead. For example, does your make-up tend to slide off after a few hours of applying it? In which case it’s probably on the oily side. Or do you notice fine lines starting to appear by the end of the day? In which case it’s more likely to be on the dry side.’
Thanks to a wealth of information online, and brands starting to take their lead from consumer needs, we’re all becoming a little savvier and a lot more demanding. As well as ‘dry’ or ‘oily’, we’re now expecting our face creams to deal with the pigmentation on our forehead and the fine lines around our eyes at the same time (loading the dishwasher would be great, too).
“It’s so important to respect the unique biology of our skin”
There’s even DNA-optimised skincare, which takes your genetic makeup into account when prescribing products. ‘The point of personalisation in beauty is to allow consumers to express their unique character while offering clear benefits,’ says Senior Beauty Analyst for Mintel, Alex Fisher. But personalisation often comes with a hefty price tag. Or at least it did… cue Clinique iD, a revolutionary made-to-measure skincare concept from one of our best-loved brands.
Mix and match
Like the chicest pick ’n’ mix imaginable, the idea centres on creating your own custom blend in order to match your moisturiser to your skin’s individual needs.
How? Thanks to some rather innovative packaging. Hailing a new era in personalisation, there are five Active Cartridge Concentrates, which slot into three hydration bases for a tailored system, making 15 unique combinations in all. Sound a bit mathematical? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
To find your bespoke blend, pick your preferred hydration base (choose from Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion or Dramatically Different Oil-Free Gel) before selecting your Active Cartridge Concentrate. If you’re unsure what your ‘Active’ should be, Clinique have broken them down into five concerns. Then it’s just a case of pairing your cartridge – chock-full of targeted actives – with your base.
So whether it’s Irritation, Pores & Uneven Texture, Uneven Skin Tone, Fatigue or Lines & Wrinkles, all skin types are covered. ‘It’s so important to respect the unique biology of our skin by matching our skincare to its individual needs, and these needs can change over time,’ says Dr Wedgeworth. ‘We often forget that the skin is a dynamic organ, so we need to compensate for what’s going on in our lives – whether that's giving it more hydration after a long flight or when it’s been subjected to cold weather, for example, or tackling pigmentation post-summer.’
And that’s the beauty of being able to swap your actives and hydrators to meet the changing needs of your complexion. The result is a customised combination as unique as you, whilst being free from parabens, fragrance and phthalates – a bit like giving your skin a couture wardrobe with all the convenience (and affordability) of pret-a-porter. The future of skincare? Watch this (personal) space.