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As someone who revels in applying a ridiculous amount of products to her face, the idea of custom skin care brands is a bit unnerving. For the most part, it’s a very real reminder that, well, my extensive routine doesn’t really have to be extensive. I’ll admit that part–okay, a whole lot-– of my obsession with serums, masks, and all those other add-ons is powered solely by hype.
I see a product everyone can’t stop raving about and immediately feel an indescribable urge to try myself and confirm whether they’re right or simply taking on the (annoying) role of beauty hypebeast. In the end, I’m either dissatisfied with the time wasted (I won’t namedrop any of the disappointments) or have just enough positive results to warrant the addition to my already-crowded routine. Custom skin care makes this entire process obsolete.
Instead of spending money and time to test something for weeks or months, risking breakouts or some mystery infection, the legwork is done by a professional. Whether it’s an in-person consultation, online quiz or formula targeted to one, specific ailment, the gamut of personalized products is growing at rapid speed and I’m actually here for it. Though I doubt I’ll be retiring my pile of face masks anytime soon, time has taught me that it’s okay to have one of those “stay put” regimens anchoring your overall routine. And while the custom trend has undoubtedly become a mainstay in the hair department, thanks to brands like Prose and Function of Beauty, it’s time we stop sleeping on the skin care side of things.
Here are a whopping 8 up-and-comers to keep your eye on and maybe even take for a spin.
Smart skin care is the only kind of skin care we want, making this newly launched customizable brand a must-try. Start by visiting the Skinsei website, where you’ll be guided through a series of prompts (28 to be exact) that assess everything from the air quality where you live to sleep habits to diet and so much more. From there, you’ll upload a makeup-free selfie for further analysis and based on your photo and answers, Skinsei’s proprietary algorithm will generate a 3- or 5-piece regimen specific to your needs and lifestyle.
$45 per 3-product subscription box, $69 per 5-piece subscription box. For one time purchases, for one-time purchases at get a 3-product box for $49 and a 5-product box for $79, all at Skinsei’s website.
Curology is undoubtedly the OG of this carefully curated list. Like Skinsei, you’re prompted to answer a series of questions, except you’re paired with an actual expert who will continue to check your progress, even after you’ve received your custom products. As for what you’re actually getting, it’s a cleanser and moisturizer delivered to your door for as little as $19.95 month. You can also kick off your experience with a free trial on Curology’s website–major key!
For just $20 per month, this custom brand creates prescription treatments based on a makeup-free selfie and a skin profile created after you answer a series of questions about your skin type, history, and overall concerns. It’s like visiting a dermatologist office, but online, since there are actually skin professionals assessing your profile. Plus the before-and-afters on Dermacare’s website are pretty convincing.
Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations
The Ultra Facial Cream ($30) and Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($49) have long been on our wishlist, but we’re seriously glad we haven’t overlooked this underrated custom sub-brand. If you go ga-ga for serums like me, this in-store experience is a must-try. Simply tell a Kiehl’s pro two of your top skin concerns and based on your answers, they’ll create a custom blend that promises to address whatever issue you’re dealing with. You can learn more on Kiehl’s website.
This brand’s moisturizer is a cult classic, but we were ecstatic to see it get a 2018 makeover that actually caters to a myriad of concerns. Simply choose from three different hydration bases and then customize it with one of five targeted formulas. At just $39 a pop on the brand’s website or at Sephora, it would be unwise to pass it up.
SkinCeuticals Custom D.O.S.E
It took over 3 years for SkinCeuticals to craft this custom program. Available in just some dermatologists’ offices, a custom machine (yes, a literal machine) analyzes snapshots of your skin along with a dermatologist analysis over a series of 85,000 algorithms to create a serum combo that addresses your biggest concerns. The machines house seven powerhouse ingredients and two types of bases so you’re getting your money’s worth.
Obsessed with clean beauty and/or facial oil? This brand creates custom face and body oils specific to your needs. Simply answer a few questions on the brand’s website and they’ll create a dream formula using all of your favorite and most suitable ingredients. What’s even better is you can also customize the product label to fit your personal style. Oh, and the product is created within 24 hours so you don’t have to wait long.
Olay’s Skin Advisor
Groundbreaking AI technology is used to analyze a quiz and picture of your skin before determining its age and recommending a personalized regimen (all Olay products of course) based on your skin type and concerns. Get started on the Olay website.