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SkinActives: Do You Expect Your Cosmetics to Look and Feel a Certain Way?

Posted Sep 11 2012 2:01am

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Are you familiar with Skinactives ?  They’re a US based company that helps you create your own DIY cosmetics. You can peruse their Forum for recipes, then purchase active ingredients directly from them. Or, you can use their product selector to choose pre-made products that are customized for your needs. It’s a really interesting approach and I urge you to take a look at their website if you’ve ever had any desire to create your own beauty products.

Recently, the fine folks at Skinactives were nice enough to supply us with a series of products to try. I gave them out to a few of my Beauty Brain friends to try and overall I was surprised by their feedback. Before I tell you what they said let me set this up a little bit.

Since one of the products was an anti-zit blemish remover I gave it to someone in their mid teens to try. She’s typically a user of mass market product like Clearasil. The other products were designed for anti-aging so I gave them to someone more in the target audience range of early to mid 40s. This person typically uses very conservative anti-aging products that are of drugstore quality like the Olay line.

As most of you are aware, mass market products like Olay and Clearasil are formulated to be appealing to the broadest market possible. When you do this kind of  research you find that a standard white cream, not too thin, not too thick, with the right fragrance scores best among the largest number of people. When you get used to using that type of product with those aesthetics that’s how you expect your products to look, feel, and smell. That becomes your frame of reference  for that specific product experience.

Now consider the Skinactives products: they use customized bases with different types of active ingredients. The samples we received didn’t look like typical mass market products. They had a certain…earthiness to them because of the different ingredients they used. This doesn’t make them better or worse, but they certainly look and feel different.

So how do you think women with mass market tastes reacted to these DIY esthetics?  These products were so different to them that they almost couldn’t wrap their brains around why they should even use them. They said things like the “anti-aging cream felt nice but the smell was so bad I couldn’t use it.” And “the Collagen serum had a brown, natural look that was very unappealing.” My guess is if I gave those same products to someone who is a fan of natural or DIY products, rather than mass market products, they would have probably loved them. Isn’t it interesting how your frame of reference and your expectations can change your product experience?

What DO you think? Do you tend to like the homogenized “best for the masses” types of products? Or do you prefer the quirky individual products that may seen a little weird to someone else but feels just right for you? Leave a comment and share your quirky tastes with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

Even though the Beauty Brains don’t do traditional reviews, from time to time we like to share new products that we’re trying. We want you to know that we received free samples in exchange for a mention on our blog and that we’re not necessarily recommending you buy anything. We’re just sharing new product news; please do your own research before you buy. 

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