Customisation is the new buzzword in the luxury industry. In the world today, where everything from clothes, bags to shoes and even towels are personalised, the Indian beauty industry is also moving away from conventional, on-the-shelf beauty products to personalised shampoos, creams, oils, moisturizers and nail polish. The advanced social media tracking features and artificial intelligence have made it easier for brands to learn and understand every consumer’s needs and have enabled young labels to personalise their offerings for each of their clients.
Brands such as Skinkraft, Bare Anatomy, Vedix, Freewill, Freshistry and Emcee Beauty, launched in the last three years, make each product with select ingredients, in most cases naturally sourced, chemical-free and parabenfree. The brands’ young founders, mostly from technology, make up and data backgrounds, use their skills to target and service equally young, social-mediasavvy clients, who know that ‘one product doesn’t work for all’ and are looking for environment-friendly solutions that work best for their skin and hair type.
Meenakshi Mandal, 35, an IT professional from Hyderabad discovered Skinkraft on Facebook six months ago. She was looking for products that would help treat her acne problem. Most mass products that she tried were harsh on her skin, making it dry. Skinkraft’s products reduced her acne and improved her skin health. “It’s like having my own skincare doctor. It is wonderful to have products that are curated specially for my skin,” says Mandal.
Skinkraft uses SkinID, a dermatologist-approved questionnaire, to understand customer’s skin type, skin concern and lifestyle choices on the website, says CEO, Chaitanya Nallan, 43.
Make up artist Maanavi Chhabra, 26, and CEO of personalised lipstick brand Emcee Beauty says that every lip colour looks different on different people. “The same shade of pink will look very different on two people, which is why one must customise lip colour. It allows you to be more individualistic,” says Chhabra. On Emcee Beauty’s website, customers can go through an easy,
user-friendly process of choosing a combination of up to four colours, its intensity and its texture (shiny or matt), and also assign the customised product a desired name.
Personalisation is the driving force behind these brands’ growth and success. Bare Anatomy has grown 10 times since its inception in March 2019. It now has 20,000 consumers. Skinkraft has delivered over 3 lakh products since July 2018 and Vedix has sold over 1.5 lakh orders since December 2018.
“Bare Anatomy’s products have helped add moisture to my hair and reduce frizz,” says Dikshita Pemmaraju, a 25 year-old lawyer from New Delhi. She
has been using Bare Anatomy’s shampoo, conditioner and serum for six months now.
To target the more aware and conscious customers like Pemmaraju, the direct-to-customer brands focus on social media and influencer marketing to reach out to the right customers. They are now also devising ways to reach out to a wider audience.
Founders: Rohit Chawla (39), Sifat Khurana (27) and Vimal Bhola (35)
Products offered: Hair oil, pre-shampoo mask, shampoo, conditioner and serum.
Customisation: Customers take a small quiz on the website, which includes questions about their lifestyle and hair profile—scalp and hair bond type, hair length, thickness, volume, chemical treatments done in the past, age and dietary details. The answers help the brand’s scientists formulate suitable customised formulations for each customer in their R&D Lab. “We get a lot of business from repeat users and referrals. Reviews put up by customers on social media have also been useful in building brand awareness. Our focus right now is to keep up with the market demand. We’re scaling up our operations and production capacity rapidly to be able to cater to the demand,” says Rohit Chawla. (bareanatomy.com)
Skinkfraft and Vedix
Founder: Chaitanya Nallan (43)
Products: Cleanser, moisturiser and hair oil, shampoo, serum
Customisation: Vedix provides customised hair care solutions through a dosha assessment questionnaire on the brand’s website and suggests Ayurvedic products based on dosha imbalances. Skinkraft uses SkinID, a dermatologistapproved questionnaire about a customer’s skin type, skin concern and lifestyle choices. The algorithm then evaluates the answers and classifies customers into 72 broad profiles. Each of it is then broken down into thousands of combinations, depending on the individual’s skin health and needs. A customised kit is then created, which includes a suitable cleanser and moisturiser. “We believe that in the next five to ten years, consumption patterns in the beauty industry will shift significantly from massproduced products to customised products across segments like skin, hair colour, etc. This is because of the confluence of three significant trends – Mass internet adoption enabling feedback loops and user input, AI-enabled understanding of ingredient effectiveness and modern manufacturing technologies,” says Nallan. (skinkraft.com and vedix.com)
Founder: Rashi Arora (30)
Products: Face cream, lotion, face wash and shampoo
Customisation: Customers must feed in information about skin/hair type, their problem, and finally choose a preferred fragrance and colour. Once created, the freshest products are delivered at your doorstep. “In south and west India, people are more educated and acknowledge the efforts being put by a company to create customised beauty products.” (freshistry.com)
Founders: Mohit Yadav (36) and Rahul Yadav (34)
Products: Shampoo, conditioner and hair serum made from natural or naturally sourced ingredients.
Customisation: A user answers close to 21 different questions and selects his/ her hair goals. These inputs are then processed in a set algorithm, which selects the key ingredients and creates a unique formulation. Once the product
is shipped and they receive customer feedback, the system analyses a consumer’s hair needs, suitable ingredients and user rating. “We are also working on computer vision, wherein we can identify hair properties from a selfie. All a user must do is answer questions about their lifestyle and select their hair goals. This will help us gain not just visible properties but even ones that are not visible to naked eyes like protein and water content in the hair fibre.” (joinfreewill.com)