Thursday, May 14, 2009

STI: Made-to-order beauty potions

May 15, 2009

Made-to-order beauty potions

Several brands now offer customised treatment for one's unique skin and hair condition. KAREN TEE reports


Singaporeans got their first taste of made-to-order beauty products when American brand Prescriptives launched its Custom Blended make-up in 1991.


Customers loved seeing their foundations and loose powders blended to match their skin tones right before their eyes.


Prescriptives left the Singapore market in 2005, with a Business Times report citing the closure of its Japanese production plant as the reason for its exit.


Since then, a few new brands have picked up on the concept of personalisation.


Except that instead of tweaking make-up, the trend now is to customise a skincare regimen.


In late 2007, two skincare brands, SCO and Skin Inc, which blend products to suit different skin types, were launched here.


Last month, Keraskin Esthetics, which offers customers a range of personalised facial treatments, was launched. 'Today, there is a growing number of people who understand that they have unique skin conditions,' says Darren Ho, product manager of Keraskin Esthetics.


'With a customised treatment or regimen, skincare solutions are targeted and combined into a single plan for ease of use.'


Janet Lim, group public relations manager of Spa Esprit which distributes SCO here, says all its customised botanical infusions have been tested to ensure they do not react with one another or on your skin.


The reassurance is echoed by Skin Inc's founder Sabrina Tan, whose range of nine serums have been tested to work well together.


Urban finds out more about the three personalised skincare brands - Skin Inc, Keraskin Esthetics and SCO - and haircare brand System Professional.


Skin Inc


This home-grown skin supplement bar offers nine serums (Photo 2) that addresses different skincare needs.


Each of these paraben-, colour- and scent-free serums was developed to tackle various problems such as pigmentation, wrinkles and large pores.


How to personalise: At the store, customers can take a computer-based diagnostic survey made up of a series of questions related to their lifestyle and skincare concerns.


The program will then come up with a recommended combination of three serums (the optimum number to achieve best results) to suit individual needs.


Up to 300 combinations can be created from the nine serums.


Price range: $178 for a three-in-one custom-mixed serum


Where: Skin Inc


Keraskin Esthetics


Launched last month, Keraskin is the skincare counterpart of French luxury haircare brand Kerastase.


Besides a range of products, three of the six facial treatments it offers can be personalised to suit your skin condition.


How to personalise: Products used for all six treatments come individually packaged in single doses (Photo 3).


Three of the six treatments can also be tailored to suit different skincare needs.


For example, the concentration of vitamin C in its Neojeunesse anti-ageing treatment ($235, 90 minutes) can be varied between 10 and 20 per cent. Vitamin C is said to stimulate collagen production to fill out lines and wrinkles.


The Immersion Ritual ($170, 80 minutes) comes with a choice of three facial masks for oily, dry or dehydrated skin.


Finally, a Hibiscus flower acid peel in two concentrations is available for its Peeling Floral treatment ($320 for two sessions of 80 minutes).


Price range: $80 for a toner to $390 for an anti-ageing cream; $90 to $600 for facial treatments


Where: J's Salon, Cinq Salon, In@Backstage and Action Hair Salon




New York-based SCO, which stands for Skin Care Options, comprises two ranges - Essentials and Infusion.


Essentials is a range of pre-blended products that can be bought off the shelf.


The Infusion range is the brand's customisation range, where botanical infusions can be added to products like cleansers, moisturisers and facial masks to target specific problems.


There are 26 infusions, including chamomile, gingko biloba and willow bark, which can be added to the products.


How to personalise: To find out which infusions are best for you, the beauty adviser at Mask will ask you three questions:

1 What is your biggest skin concern?

2 What is your daily regimen?

3 What products are you using currently?


Based on your answers, up to three infusions are then added to your skincare products.


Price range: $109 for a cleanser to $246 for a facial lotion


Where: Mask


System Professional


This is a line of professional haircare products that is sold only at hair salons.


The brand believes that haircare products need to address not just your hair type but also your scalp condition.


System Professional has more than 60 products, which can be used in about 300 combinations to suit your hair needs.


How to personalise: At the salon, a technician will use a microscope probe to examine the condition of your scalp and hair.


The information is then run through a computer program, which will then recommend a range of hair treatment products, including shampoo, hair serum and hair mask.


Price range: $27 for a shampoo to $110 for a set of hair treatment ampoules


Where to go: All authorised System Professional salons. For more information, call 1800-289-5509

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