Are Personalized Beauty Products Worth It?
Customizable formulas tackle your skin concerns, taking everything from your workout to your zip code into account.
It takes almost two years, on average, for women to find the perfect moisturizer, says Michelle Henry, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and a Clinique global derm pro. “That’s a long time to be frustrated and a lot of money to waste,” she says.
But those days are ending. New custom skin-care products hit all your needs with smart, targeted precision. Want a formula that hydrates dry cheeks, plumps fine lines, and treats the occasional pimple? Coming right up. At the same time, just as we wear trackers that count steps and REM cycles, we can use technology to analyze our skin, says Jeff Rosevear, the founding scientist of Skinsei. And custom skin-care products mean your odds of scoring real results just jumped a few levels. (Related: I Took an At-Home DNA Test to Help Customize My Skin Care)
Hair-care formulas can be personalized too, which is welcome news if you don’t want to choose between volumizing and color-treated shampoos, for example. “Women often use different products to accommodate their needs and goals and end up with too many bottles,” says hairstylist Faith Huffnagle, the education director at Prose.
Discover the latest brands made to meet—or even anticipate—all your beauty wishes.
The DL on Custom Skin Care
Head to Skinsei's website, and take the 28-question diagnostic quiz to evaluate your skin (Do you break out? Is your skin sensitive?), your lifestyle (How often do you work out? How much caffeine do you drink?), and your environment (screen time? UV exposure?). Snap a selfie, and then Skinsei will generate a custom three- or five-product skin-care regimen, which may include Skinsei Staycation Jelly Face Mask (subscriptions start at $45, skinsei.com).
“These answers help us figure out not only your skin concerns but also the underlying causes,” Rosevear explains. “Let’s say you go jogging outside in a big city, where pollution can accelerate skin aging. We’ll give you a facial mist that protects it. We have hundreds of thousands of combinations.”
Younique, a direct sales company, also offers a diagnostic quiz on its website. Or you can build your own custom skin-care product regimen: Add up to three boosters (such as hydrating, oil control, and firming) to their cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and night cream, like You-Ology Serum (Buy it, $65, youniqueproducts.com).
Clinique iD (Buy It, $39, clinique.com) requires you to make two decisions to create your own custom moisturizer. First, what type of formula do you want? “The lightweight jelly or gel is ideal for oily skin; the lotion is made for dry skin,” Dr. Henry says. Second, what is your biggest skin concern? You can choose from five activators, from Lines & Wrinkles to Fatigue; your pick will then be set inside the moisturizer.
“A lot of my patients have some form of combination skin, and therefore need a hydrator that addresses more than one issue,” Dr. Henry says. “Two of the hardest skin types to treat are dry skin and breakouts. I recommend Clinique’s lotion with the blue Pores & Uneven Texture cartridge for that. And for sensitive, sometimes-oily skin, try the green Irritation cartridge added to the jelly.” (Related: Skin-Care Products Dermatologists Swear By)
Customize your hair routine
Your age, diet, workouts, and environment affect your hair just as they affect your skin. Prose will use this data to formulate custom hair care for you—preshampoo mask, shampoo, conditioner, and Prose Custom Hair Oil (Buy It, $48, prose.com ).
“Everything is taken into account. If you’re in freezing-cold Michigan, we add fermented-rice water to help tame static; if you’re in New York, there’s beetroot extract to remove hard-water deposits. There are 50 billion combinations,” Huffnagle says. Prose focuses on both what you want and don’t want in your products: “You can opt out of fragrance, silicones, animal by-products, gluten, and more,” she says. (Related: Why Your Hair Is Being the *Worst* This Time of Year)
Function of Beauty
If fragrance is the deciding factor for you in choosing a hair product, then check out Function of Beauty, which lets you choose from five scents, including pear, pineapple, and eucalyptus, as part of its in-depth hair quiz. The scent can be added to the Shampoo and Conditioner (Buy It, from $36, functionofbeauty.com).
To treat hair loss, Nutrafol offers seven different boosters; your recommendations are based on a five-minute online questionnaire. If you report exhaustion, for example, then a dropperful of Vitamin B-Booster (Buy It, $20, nutrafol.com) under your tongue can optimize hair follicle metabolism.