Cosmetic sales have slumped over the past year, yet beauty tools sales have soared. Whilst the luxury appeal of the salon won’t be forgotten in a hurry, people are quickly coming to the conclusion that they could save money embarking on DIY pampering sessions at home. To have a real commercial advantage, beauty brands are looking for innovative ways to deliver premium-grade treatments and experiences to people at home, at a cheaper price point.
2020 saw us at Morrama working on multiple skincare projects; some purely strategic exploration pieces and others set to launch in 2021. We’ve taken our insights a step further and put together a three Future Skin Care concepts offering contrasting visions for what we might be seeing next on the market.
Designed to tackle breakouts and blackheads, the ‘Patch’ is a series of versatile patches which can be placed anywhere on the face and heat up or cool down depending on the treatment selected. Heating the skin encourages better blood circulation and when paired with a vitamin enriched serum allows better absorption of the nutrients. The cooling mechanic aims to sooth irritated skin - which is particularly important in the age of mask-wearing - and also helps reduce puffiness, especially around the eyes.
The most futuristic of the three concepts, we might have to wait 3-5 years for this technology to be available for use in consumer tech products, but it’s coming and there are plenty of applications for it in the beauty industry.
After a long day in a face mask imagine being able to just pop something on your face in the evenings that repairs your skin, stopping maskne in its tracks. Masque applies heat and blue light to those key breakout areas and when combined with a salicylic acid serum will leave your skin clear and healthy.
The key consideration for our design was when is it used? If you think about a typical skincare regime it’s either in the morning or in the evening, sometimes post-shower. We wanted something that could be easily put on the face even if you are wearing a towel on your head, or have an afro, making the design more inclusive. This meant no strap around the back. The idea is that it’s so simple it can be popped on for two minutes, perhaps even whilst brushing your teeth, and your skin is the perfect temperature for the Salicylic Acid treatment.
The other design consideration is the adjustable nose-piece. Adjustment here enables the mask to fit a wider range of face sizes whereas existing solutions are one size fits all and therefore fit poorly on smaller face shapes.
With our lives upside down and the stress of ongoing lockdowns, it’s more important than ever to take some time for ourselves. This final concept is not driven by future tech, but rather the mindful experience of massage. The vibrating dome glides over the face as you work to relieve muscle tension and aid lymphatic drainage whilst taking a moment to engage with yourself and focus on your own wellbeing.
The colour palette is designed to feel clean and premium and the material choices are lead by function. Plastics convey the appearance of ceramics whilst having the properties required for a device used in bathroom conditions whilst the copper alloy ball provides a naturally antibacterial surface.
“The pandemic caused a huge loss of revenue in the cosmetics market; moving into beauty-tech might just be the way brands can capitalise on the move to at-home skin ‘maintenance’. The question is, should it be?”
- Jo Barnard, Founder, Morrama
Beauty tools clearly have a place in the market for people who rely on at-home skincare products to look after their skin, particularly those who suffer from skin conditions and outbreaks. However, whether brands should be investing in these types of gadgets is another question. Marketing campaigns boasting an instant fix have lead consumers to believe that beauty tech is the answer to their anti-breakout prayers, and too often doesn’t live up to the expectation. As a result, the gadget gets used once or twice and then left at the back of a draw.
With sustainability in design top of the agenda, it’s important that we are producing products for the right reasons. Beauty tech products such as these three concepts combined with appropriate cleansers, serums, and moisturisers are proven to provide results. So it’s just about managing the expectations of the user and considering the product’s end-of-life.
This concept is was formed by Morrama for the purpose of exploring how skincare habits and needs will evolve beyond the pandemic and beauty brands might look to the world of technology and design to create accessible, high-quality at-home products as people realise they can save on the cost of salon treatments by doing it themselves.