As I am moving deeper into my twenties I’m becoming increasingly aware that my skin is losing its fresh appeal. My somewhat nonchalant approach to choosing beauty products, slapping on whatever appeals on a whim, is evidently not working. I was fortunate enough to skip the teenage acne phase (or so I thought) but life plays funny tricks on us and now (no jokes) my skin is screaming for help.
This is essentially what triggered my exploration of what I should be doing to treat my skin with care; and which beauty products I should be choosing. I was truly blown away by what I discovered: I can now buy custom-made beauty products created for my unique skin composition. How cool is that?! Beauty is no longer about “this product is great, everyone must use it”, but is about understanding my individual beauty needs, deep within the very nature of my skin; and co-creating my own one-of-kind product based on my needs.
There are amazing innovations in the beauty industry based on an in-depth understanding of the skin. Optiphi and DNALYSIS, for instance, have been working towards “perfected skin analysis”, where they analyse your DNA to determine an optimal routine. This technique has been tried and tested by Liezel herself. For more, read up on her experience here.
I have realised that genetics are not the only factors that determine the composition of my skin. The skin is largely affected by unhealthy habits (we’ve all had one glass too many or enjoyed a sneaky cigarette at least once in our lives) and it’s a sponge to pollution, noxious fumes and dust in the air. This in turn compromises the nature of our skin concerns.
Kiehl’s approach to personalise skincare targets specific skin concerns, such as wrinkle, texture, clarity, enlarged pores and redness. Drawing their influence from a rich history of apothecary knowledge fused with modern innovation, Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparation is an as an exclusive in-store service, where I can select custom-made facial concentrates targeted at my skin concerns. A skin expert will then mix my targeted complex with a skin strengthening concentrate and voila! I will have my perfect serum. For more, visit kiehls.com
Another pioneer of the personalisation skincare revolution is Sisley Paris South Africa, with the recent introduction of their Aram HUVIS scanner. I can simply visit an exclusive Sisley Paris counter in an Edgars store, and their consultant will scan my face to determine my specific skin concerns. This skin scanning innovation will test my skin on seven levels, namely: moisture, skin type, congestion and comedones, pore size and texture, melanin, depth of wrinkles and sensitivity. They will them prescribe me the appropriate skincare to target my particular skin concerns.
I am a firm believer that make-up is an art and I enjoy using it to enhance my features. Finding the perfect foundation match for my skin has, however, always been a bit of a gamble. Although testing the foundation on your wrist does the trick (for the most part), there are times when after application, I either appeared deathly pale or as orange as Donald Trump.
It is so great to see many top international makeup brands hopping onto the “customisation” train, with creative and innovative approaches to the concept of personalised makeup. An exciting innovation that is available overseas is the Lancôme Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation. With this a Lancôme colour expert will scan three crucial areas of my face to map out my exact skin tone match (from 8000 established skin tones). The captured data is then converted into a custom formula that is an unmistakable match to my skin tone. I can also select my preferred hydration and coverage level. Once they’ve whipped up my customised foundation, it’s then labelled with my name and specific complexion ID, so I can refil whenever need be.
Estée Lauder has a super cool in-store service available locally, where their consultants use a scanning device to determine customers’ exact skin tone and then they will match a foundation accordingly. They have also devised an online questionnaire on their website so that customers can find the perfect foundation to match their skin concerns. I completed the questionnaire myself and found it very informative. Using a sliding scale, I could tell them how much coverage I wanted, what finish I was looking for, how I would describe my skin, how light or deep my skin intensity is and how rosy or golden my bare skin is.I was then matched with my perfect foundation, which I could then add to my cart. For more, visit
Shade adjusting drops are also gaining traction. These can be added to foundation or tinted moisturiser to lighten, darken or counteract redness. This means that I wouldn’t need to alternate my foundation between summer and winter. Try the Gosh Mix & Fix Colour Drops (R227, Foschini and Truworths)
This cut-above customisation revolution has reached the hair experts as well. The likes of eSalon “made for your hair colour”, Function of Beauty’s personalised shampoo and conditioner, as well as Shampya are creating amazing products worth checking out. Another worth checking out is System Professional, who will analyse your hair to determine a customised routine. Based on your hair condition – what they called your hair energy – they will put together a unique care system. For more, head to their website.
An avant-garde beauty revolution is changing the face of the beauty industry, where “customisation is becoming the new definition of luxury”. Exciting times are ahead and I am going to keep my eyes peeled to see how South African brands are latching on.