We Now Live In A World With Customized Bar Soaps, Lotions And Shampoos

“What Does Your Sweat Say About You?” Asks Carolyn Aranda, Owner Of: Carolyn’s Natural Organic Handmade Soap We Now Live In A World With Customized Bar Soaps, Lotions And Shampoos

We Now Live In A World With Customized Bar Soaps, Lotions And Shampoos

With more data available, companies are personalizing everything from sports drinks to skin care to shampoo to suit individual needs.

Gatorade thinks it says a lot. Using a sophisticated analysis of an individual’s perspiration, the sports-drink brand plans to introduce a line of products to personalize their beverages. Depending on whether you are trying to become faster or stronger or achieve other fitness goals, Gatorade will soon be offering custom drinks for various “hydration needs.”

Thanks to new technology and the data it collects, companies are personalizing everyday items from sports drinks and vitamins to skin creams and shampoo. As more data become available on everything from sweat content to DNA, companies are customizing products to suit individual needs. The items are designed through in-depth questionnaires, doctor consultations, facial scans, DNA tests and even wearable perspiration collectors.

Shoppers’ expectations of how companies can cater to them have risen in tandem with enhanced data collection and manufacturing agility.

Customized products are a natural evolution of consumers’ digital experiences, says Leslie Harris, global general manager of L’Oréal SA’s SkinCeuticals line. “You can go to Netflix and decide what you want to watch and when you want to watch it,” she says. “Online there is personalized information curated to what is known about your habits as a user—it makes sense to me that it would extend to other aspects of one’s life.”

SkinCeuticals last year introduced a $195 skin-care service called Custom D.O.S.E, which involves users visiting a partnering physician for a skin consultation. Doctors enter their diagnosis into a tablet with SkinCeuticals’ patented algorithm, which creates the recipe for a made-to-order serum. A microwave-size machine in the doctor’s office, loaded with ingredients, mixes and bottles the serum in minutes and prints a label that includes the names of the doctor and patient.

“It’s increasingly coming down to personalization,” says Dawn Zier, chief operating officer of Tivity Health Inc., which owns weight-loss program Nutrisystem. Last year Nutrisystem introduced DNA Body Blueprint, an at-home DNA test that is the basis of a 40-page report on nutrition needs, metabolism and fitness suggestions based on the user’s genetic coding. The test delivers new insight into an individual’s weight-loss efforts, Ms. Zier says.

This year Gatorade, owned by PepsiCo, plans to launch Gx, which it calls a “customizable hydration system.” Although there are myriad sports drinks in stores, Gatorade says that today’s athletes, many of whom collect and analyze performance data with fitness trackers, should better address their individual hydration needs. “What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to get faster or stronger? Are you a fat burner, a carbohydrate burner, a very salty sweater?” says Brett O’Brien, Gatorade’s general manager. “All of those factors go into developing a plan to help you accomplish what you need as an athlete.”

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What personal information do you feel comfortable giving out to have a customized shampoo or sports drink made just for you? Join the conversation below.

Gatorade for the past few years has provided customized drinks for some elite athletes it sponsors by analyzing their sweat rate and type. A newly developed “sweat patch,” created with Northwestern University, now makes such sweat profiles possible for amateur jocks, too. “Technology is allowing us to democratize sports-fuel personalization,” says Xavi Cortadellas, Gatorade’s head of innovation and design.

To create a sweat profile and concoct a suitable Gx formula, during a workout athletes stick on their forearm a disposable patch that records how much sweat they perspire after about 30 minutes and how salty it is. They take a photo of their sweaty patch and send it to a Gx app, which uses image-recognition software to read it. Those results are combined with weather data, the duration and intensity of training and a questionnaire that asks athletes to detail their performance goals. Once the right Gx formula is determined, users buy concentrated pods of it online, load it into a special Gx bottle and add water.

Beauty brands already aim to serve different skin colors and conditions, but advances in technology allow them to be more precise. Procter & Gamble Co. in January previewed Opté Precision Skincare, a handheld wand that detects any variation in facial pigmentation and applies camouflaging serum to each spot. “Honestly, I had to wait for cellphone cameras to become much better quality and micro-processing to go through 70,000 lines of code instantaneously,” says Thomas Rabe, a P&G research fellow who invented Opté. “When I first started 10 years ago, I had something the size of a stereo.”

Mr. Rabe wanted to end the tradeoff many women make between looking natural or fully covering skin imperfections like sun damage, age spots and hyperpigmentation. “Even the most sun-damaged skin is actually only about 10% spots, yet we’re covering 100% of our skin,” Mr. Rabe says. “What if we target just the spots themselves?”

The wand, which is expected to cost $599 when it begins selling next year, scans skin at 200 frames per second as the user rolls it over his or her face. When Opté identifies a spot, an internal thermal inkjet printer deposits microscopic drops of serum, so the spot ultimately matches the surrounding skin. The process takes about three minutes.

Too many choices in the hair-care aisle have made it one of the most overwhelming to shop. That led to customized hair care, says Arnaud Plas, co-founder and chief executive of Prose, a line of made-to-order hair products. Users answer about 30 questions online about topics including their hair, diet, stress level, climate, fitness routine and shampoo frequency. “Not only are we going to ask hair-type and hair-texture questions, but we’re going to understand reasons you may have dry hair,” says Mr. Plas. “Understanding why is very useful to finding the right ingredients.”

Shleigh Knopp, a 27-year-old product manager at a tech start-up in Austin, Texas, was so frustrated with finding the right hair products that when she spotted a social-media ad for Prose, she clicked. She filled out the company’s questionnaire and held hair strands to her computer screen to make sure she accurately described her curl pattern and thickness. “I was desperate,” Ms. Knopp says. She didn’t mind the effort of creating a profile. “I’d spend that much time in a store figuring out what to buy.”

Last November, Ms. Knopp paid $25 each for specially formulated 8.5-ounce containers of Prose’s shampoo and conditioner.

Nutrition firm Care/of aims to demystify the world of vitamins. Customers spend about five minutes online completing a profile of their health needs and goals. Then they receive a list of vitamin recommendations and corresponding research that explains the company’s selections. Customers can select which vitamins they want in their monthly supply of daily vitamin packs. Each pack is printed with the customer’s name, which makes taking daily vitamins fun and builds lucrative word of mouth, says co-founder and Chief Executive Craig Elbert. “People do like posting photos of their name,” he says.

Meanwhile:

Bars Of Soap Make A Comeback As Sales Rise By Nearly 3 Percent Amid A Consumer Revolt Against Wasteful Plastic Dispensers

Bar of soap sales have risen by nearly 3 per cent over the past year nationally.

Bars of soap are increasing in popularity after decades of decline

Analysts said families are shunning products which come in plastic bottles due to an increased awareness of pollution in the environment.

Bars of soap are increasing in popularity after decades of decline as consumers turn their backs on wasteful plastic dispensers.

Sales of barred soap have risen by nearly 3 per cent over the past year nationally – and by up to 7 per cent in some stores, data shows.

In the year to September 2018, supermarket shoppers spent £68.3million on soap bars – up from £66.4million the previous year.

The figures, from consumer experts Kantar Worldpanel, show sales grew faster than liquid soaps and shower gel products over the same period.

Growth appears to be highest in upmarket stores such as Waitrose, which reported a 7.1 increase.

And brands such as Jo Malone and Chanel are marketing their own luxury bars, which is helping to bring them back into fashion. It comes just two years after a four per cent fall in solid soap.

Analysts said families are shunning products which come in plastic bottles due to an increased awareness of pollution in the environment.

The Daily Mail has highlighted how plastics are polluting the sea with its Turn The Tide On Plastic campaign.

Emma Priestland, of Friends of the Earth, said the rise of solid soaps was ‘great to see’, adding: ‘If more and more of us do it, it’ll put the pressure on those companies who continue to use unnecessary plastic packaging.’

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Testimonials

Lara Smith

I really like this soap. Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift!

Lara Smith

I really like this soap. Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift!

Tina A.

Customer

Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift! I really like this soap.

Tina A.

Customer

Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift! I really like this soap.