Sequential Skin: beauty tech’s new approach to genetic analysis and microbiome skin care
On the face of it, Sequential Skin is like a lot of other tech-driven skin analysis tools and platforms. Consumers buy a testing kit (S$128; that's 128 Singapore dollars or about $93 US dollars), send back a data sample, and get personalized results and skin care product recommendations.
What the company hopes will set it apart is the combined analysis of both genetic and microbial data provided in conjunction with personalized data interpretation and product recommendations from Pétronille Houdart, a trained pharmacist and product development expert.
A beauty-forward approach
The Sequential Skin analysis relies on a patch that consumers apply to their forehead, remove, and send back to the company. And a media release that Sequential Skin shared with Cosmetics Design suggests that this is a much more convenient and skin care – friendly style of gathering material from the body.
“We have a significant competitive advantage over other companies that specialize in skin characterization and detection,” asserts the release, explaining that most “imaging the skin remains crude and inaccurate; whilst saliva / blood samples for DNA are inconvenient, unfamiliar and medical.”
Skin care data for research and reporting
Tech for tech’s sake is rarely interesting, valuable, or successful. Most would argue that with any new technology must come a remarkable benefit to the consumer and / or an advantage to the company behind the tech.
Accessible, personalized skin care recommendations are the consumer benefit here. And the advantage Sequential Skin gets (beyond sales) is data. After a Sequential Skin consumer orders and receives a kit by mail, that consumer must then register their kit on the company site.
Each kit has a unique QR code and customers are asked to enter their full name, gender, email, date of birth, preferred skin care brand, and how much they spend on a typical day cream. And then, in smaller font, at the bottom of the Sequential Skin registration page, there is 1 opt-in consent statement: “I wish to participate in future genetic and skin microbiome research and development using my de-identified data,” and one that needs to be ticked simply as stipulation of much of the information that the consumer already entered: “I am happy to provide Sequential Skin to analyse my skin sample for the current skin report.”
And it is with these provisions the Sequential Skin will gather valuable data (big data) that can be used to not only better the startup company’s business model but also for genetic and microbiome research with applications in and beyond beauty.
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of the news website CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily articles about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.