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If you work in marketing, we’re sure you can relate when we say that some marketing tools just don’t need to exist. We live in a fast-paced society where the next big thing takes over and completely dominates the scene, before you even realise it’s a thing. NFTs and Metaverse anyone? It’s our job (and passion) to stay ahead of the game, and we’re happy to say that some marketing tools are absolute genius ideas, but some… well, we could do without! 

As a Digital PR Strategist and Cosmetologist, with a 10-year background in the beauty industry, I know this all too well. And when I saw a particular trend popping up everywhere, let’s just say I had something to say.  

If you’re a beauty aficionado, you might already know what I’m talking about. But if you don’t, this is it: more and more brands now include a digital computer-assisted tool to calculate what skincare routine is best for you.  

The way this works, well it would ask you for your skin concerns. And it will then tell you what products to buy (and use) for your daily and nightly skincare routine. Sounds great, right? But does it actually work?  

From someone who never skips her morning SPF application and curates an Italian beauty page on Instagram – with almost 10k followers, here are the pros and cons of getting a computer to give you skincare advice. Let’s start with the cons…  

Self-diagnosis is hard to get right

Having a skin problem and recognising what it actually is are two VERY different things. If we consider that some skin issues look the same but could be symptoms of completely different conditions, it becomes even more difficult. And this is why it’s such a bad idea to ask consumers what their skin is like, if they have acne, and what their skin goal is.  

For example, acne and pimples can be a really common symptoms of a compromised skin barrier. But guess what compromises your skin barrier quickly? Using tons of actives like there’s no tomorrow! So let’s just say that you just told the skincare calculator tool you have acne and, naturally, it advised you to use some acids and other active ingredients. Unfortunately, you could be making your situation a lot worse and potentially causing long-lasting damage. Yikes. 

The same goes for some skin conditions that look alike, but are entirely different. Rosacea can look so similar to acne, but if you use acne cream on it – because you self-diagnosed yourself, your skin will definitely rebel against it.  

The bottom line is, don’t self-diagnose, only rely on the expertise of a specialist. More importantly, don’t use any old stuff on your face just because social media told you to! 

Overselling, anyone?

We get it, skincare brands’ focus is to sell products. They wouldn’t try to steer you away from buying their pots and potions, and why would they? But they’re not your doctor or specialist; their ultimate goal is to sell their line of products to you. This in itself is not wrong at all, but consider the amount of money and products you will waste by going down this route. 

If consumers keep jumping from brand to brand and try different things every week, their skin won’t be thanking them for it. Consistency is key with skincare. So, to have a tool tell you to buy an extensive AM routine and then an extensive PM routine to try from scratch can really be detrimental for your skin – let alone your bank account. Skinimalism is the new skincare trend in 2022 and there’s a reason for this…  

What about in-store skincare experts?

Now, this might be a problem for the future, but let’s imagine that these tools completely take over and everyone starts using them. We would have tons of well-trained sales assistants out of a job. And sure, times are changing and if the last two years have taught us anything, is that we have to be ready for whatever life throws at us.  

At the same time, though, we can’t help but wonder, “Do people really want to interact with just a computer?”. This would leave out all of the personalised advice that someone who’s been trained in cosmetology could give you in-store, and eventually lead to a surplus of skilled workers. This may be a long shot… but it’s certainly something to think about! However, these tools can have their pros. Let’s see what they are: 

They’re great if you know what you’re doing

Are you someone who knows the cosmetic world inside out? Do AHA, BHA and PHA make sense to you? Well, if you know your way around a product label, then a tool such as this one could be beneficial to you. After all, you’ll be able to evaluate the product recommendations, and make an informed decision.  

Sales could potentially go up

Let’s face it, beauty products today have become more and more affordable, with some great, cheaper options now available on the market. So, if you’re about to buy something and an algorithm tells you that the perfect pair for that is only a few pounds, you’ll probably add that to your list of items.  

This is great for the brand itself because it allows them to sell more products. But on the other side, what if those products don’t work for all the aforementioned reasons? They could lose a client because of this and, potentially, trigger a negative word-of-mouth response. Essentially, you need to tread lightly… both with your skincare actives and marketing tools!  

We hope we gave you some food for thought! Want to learn more about what we do and how we can help you? Check out our digital PR work, andreach out to us if you’re interested in a chat.