The firm uses computer vision and machine learning technology combined with inputs from a lifestyle and environment questionnaire to formulate personalised skin care products for the consumer.
Since the brand launched in 2018, co-founder Navneet Kaur has observed that skin issues related to sun damage often occupy a priority among its consumers.
“We realised that pigmentation and other signs of sun-related damage were one of the highest concerns that people would mark. That made us think about sunscreens – were they not being used as they should be and why?” said Kaur.
This prompted the team to start consumer focus groups to understand why people chose not to use sun protection despite understanding its negative effects.
Some issues consumers reported experiencing with sunscreen included tacky textures, residual white casts on the skin, greasy skin after-feel and interference with make-up.
“All these problems pointed to the fact that it wasn't very easy for consumers to use and loved using sunscreen as part of their skin care routine. And because you don’t see the immediate results of sun damage, sunscreen became a skippable step in the beauty regime.”
It became apparent to Kaur that developing a sunscreen that could address all the usability issues was a huge priority for the company.
“YOURS is all about preventative skin care and how we can educate people and take better care of their skin so those problems can actually be delayed or not happen at all,” she said.
This is especially significant today considering that many people are spending most of their time indoors and in front of digital screens, she added.
“There’s a surge of digital activity worldwide due to the pandemic lockdowns—people are spending time indoors and in front of screens, more than ever. This means increased exposure to blue light, a high-energy, short-wavelength light that can cause premature photo-ageing, including hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.”
Designing the dream
After eight months in development, the firm developed what Kaur dubbed the ‘dream sunscreen’.
Yours Sunny Side Up Sunscreen Mist is an SPF30 sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays as well as blue light that is scheduled for launch in July.
As a water-based mist, the product can be easily applied under or over make-up at any time of the day without leaving a white residue over the skin.
“Our consumer-base is made up of mostly women who spend a lot of time in the office and are exposed to blue light. They wear make-up as a form of expression and with this sunscreen mist, they can do so easily without messing up their make-up,” said Kaur.
The product was formulated with actives extracted from the butterfly bush flower; an alpine flower that grows high up in the Swiss Alps.
“This flower is found in the highest altitude of the Swiss Alps and they are exposed to very high radiation from the sun directly. As such it has properties that protect itself from such high radiation levels,” explained Kaur.
Despite being a personalised skin care brand, Kaur noted that the team did not see a need to develop a bespoke sun care product.
“While we were developing the product, we realised there was no need for personalisation. When it comes to sunscreen, in all honesty what matters is protecting the skin against the harmful UVA and UVB rays,” explain Kaur.
“Fundamentally, we believe in providing the right product to the right user – what we call customer-product fit.”
Kaur believes the category will evolve from a ‘beach and outdoors’ necessity and into an ‘urban essential’ given the increased digital media consumption.
“Consumers are far more informed now, giving rise to a demand for everyday products that repair and protect the skin from such damage. This trend is already evident in a growing category of products that are anti-light pollution and anti-ageing.”
Moving forward, Kaur said she hopes to see more innovation in the sun care category.
“As the category evolves, we will see the development of new, innovative formulas that sit well under makeup, are easy to re-apply even with makeup on, and multitask—like protecting the skin while treating skin concerns like hyperpigmentation.”