According to reports by Roy Morgan, over 5.3 million Australian women purchase cosmetics in an average six months, but how many are incorrectly recommended for their skin type?
Aussie serum specialists, BOOST LAB, decided to minimise the risk involved with online shopping and the chance of purchasing the wrong products, with the launch of its latest innovation.
Say hello to, Skin Advisor.
The AI recommendation engine offers consumers personalised skincare advice in less than one minute - and it's free.
BD spoke with BOOST LAB founder, Craig Schweighoffer and ex-Marie Claire acting beauty director, Iantha Yu, about all things Skin Advisor, and why they believe this will be a game changer in the industry.
First up, Craig Schweighoffer:
Can you tell us about the new BOOST LAB Skin Advisor?
Skin Advisor is an AI facial analysis and recommendation app that we introduced to our website, making it easier than ever for consumers to self select the products that are suited to solve their skin concerns, be that blemishes or dry skin, under eye bags or any other skin ailment.
Skin Advisor gives free, personalised skincare advice in just a few minutes by prompting the user to answer a few questions like their age and location, then asks for a selfie which is optional but highly recommended for best results and analyses the users skin condition using algorithms, 100 metrics and more than 30,000 images of demographically representative people.
It delivers personalised skin advice and recommends the products and or regime specific to the users skin concerns, taking the guesswork out of forming a skincare regime based on trial and error. All images are automatically deleted, so users can shop confidently knowing their information is protected.
We’re closing the gap for those who are unable to go in-store, or prefer to shop from the comfort of their own home and arming consumers with a better understanding of their skin. We’re looking to expand this tool and offer this in-store. We’ll be announcing details of this in the coming months.
How did the idea come about?
We’re always looking to make our customer journey easier. For us that started with our easy to understand packaging.
Skin Advisor takes things one step further - we’re removing the friction out of the product selection process by arming consumers with real time, personalised, dermatologist level advice. Ultimately giving consumers the tools they need for good, healthy skin.
What was the process like working with AI technology?
Almost 12 months from conception to launch. Matching all the elements with the various algorithms took several months to get right. We’re always looking to innovate so we’ll continue to evolve Skin Advisor.
Why was it important for Skin Advisor to be free for consumers?
This was a non-negotiable for us. It was important for us that consumers can have thorough, accurate and real time advice in an evolving space that has been plagued by misinformation and industry jargon.
How has it been received so far?
We’ve been overwhelmed by feedback from consumers, most commenting that they love the freedom and accessibility to such a high level of information, and that they’re noticing their skin concerns diminish or improve thanks to the product recommendations.
When you look at the numbers, they tell us that: consumers are spending 4 x longer on the site; conversion rate is 2.5% higher; and 30% increase on shoppers adding to cart.
How does this technology change the game for the beauty industry?
I think it will be a game changer. We live our lives in front of the camera now, driven initially by social and more recently by COVID. Beauty AI is just an extension of where we are at and COVID has just fast tracked all of this and led us into a more powerful digitally empowered economy.
From beauty AI to virtual fitness and meetings - everything has changed and expectations shifted. Real time is now a non-negotiable and AI brings brands closer to the consumer, and it wont stop there.
It can be used as a whole body solution with advice on not only skincare, but makeup with virtual try-ons and also nutrition advice. So with this shift to real time and convenience, human touch can never be replaced, however AI is one part of making it easier to purchase what we need and when we need it.
What's coming up next for BOOST LAB?
We have lots in the works and a couple of projects under lock and key so we won’t give too much away, however consumers can expect to see us in more of their favourite beauty e-tailers and in-store locally and overseas.
We also have a number of new serums launching later this year that will complete the ‘skin concern’ portfolio of products in our range, plus our take on a serum mask.
And Iantha Yu:
What do you love about the BOOST LAB Skin Advisor?
The BOOST LAB Skin Advisor is so easy to use, and only takes about two to three minutes to diagnose your skin. I love that the process is really simple - all you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself (such as your age, location and skin type), and take a selfie on your computer or phone.
With that information, BOOST LAB Skin Advisor examines your complexion and gives you a score out of 100 on how your skin fares when it comes to hyperpigmentation, smoothness, redness, freckles, shininess, texture, and even eye bags.
Care tips are offered on BOOST LAB's Skin Advisor; consumers will learn ways to improve their skin (eg. if you scored low on smoothness, it'll recommend to use products that are formulated with hyaluronic acid, ProVitamin B5, vitamin C, vitamin E, argan oil and ceramides).
BOOST LAB Skin Advisor will also recommend a few serums from the range to try, where you can add them to cart right away and have them delivered to your door.
How does this technology change the skincare game for consumers?
BOOST LAB Skin Advisor is a serious game-changer because it takes the guess-work out of buying skincare. Instead of researching different ingredients and wondering if they'll improve your skin, BOOST LAB Skin Advisor will literally look at your skin and tell you what you need to use. It's as easy as that.
What about for the beauty industry?
A reason why BOOST LAB Skin Advisor is a refreshing offering in the beauty industry is because it offers advice on how to improve your skin in general, along with an explanation of *why* your skin is behaving a certain way.
BOOST LAB Skin Advisor doesn't just push products for consumers to buy, it educates them in the long run about skincare in general.
What skincare trends are exciting you at the moment?
Right now, I'm obsessed with honest skincare. Marketing spiels and fancy TVCs will forever have their place in the beauty industry, but I think consumers are savvier than that; they are doing their own research and know exactly what they're looking for.