Launched this week, the ‘Gallinée Skin Health Testing Kit’ was a simple-to-use patch that could be applied to the skin for 10 seconds, put in a test tube and posted to the lab for analysis in a pre-paid postage pack. Consumers then received an in-depth skin health report within three weeks, detailing the bacterial populations found on their skin, both good and bad, and lifestyle and beauty advice on how to best boost microbiome diversity. Gallinée then also provided a personalised skin routine recommendation using its microbiome beauty products.
The kits – developed by Sequential Skin with first versions finalised back in 2019 – had been launched in the UK and France via Gallinée’s website and were retailing at €80/£80, with €50/£50 redeemable against any branded products purchased following the test.
‘Diagnostics is a very big growing trend in beauty’
Marie Drago, founder and chief creative officer of Gallinée – recently acquired by beauty major Shiseido, said the kit was a “natural evolution” for the brand given it had long been a pioneer in the microbiome beauty space.
“I think microbiome testing in beauty is going to be a big thing in the next few years,” Drago told CosmeticsDesign-Europe. “…Diagnostics is a very big growing trend in beauty,” she said.
Beauty brands had long offered detailed questionnaires to ascertain skin care or hair care needs, she said, but empowering them with “proper data” via at-home kits like this was where the future of beauty was headed.
Dr Oliver Worsley, co-founder and CEO of Sequential Skin, agreed: “As Marie says, testing is important. The evolution of technology in this industry has only happened recently – and I’ll probably be challenged on that – but in terms of getting down to high resolution of sequencing and understanding your genetics, epigenetics, microbiome, these are all really recent things. And it makes sense that these continue to grow, as they become cheaper and more accessible.”
Working with Gallinée, Worsley said, had been an important step forward in bringing Sequential’s at-home testing kit to a wider market and ultimately empowering beauty consumers and brands with individual insights on the skin microbiome.
Are consumers ready for at-home microbiome testing?
Asked if consumers were ready for this level of detailed insight on their skin microbiome, Drago said: “That’s such a good question, as it’s something that has not really been done before and it’s a very new way of seeing skin care. There was a little bit of unknown about how consumers were going to react, and I’m happy to say we launched 48 hours ago and we’re already super happy on the results.”
Importantly, she said that for Gallinée this test strengthened the “dialogue” with its consumers, which had always been an important part of daily business for the brand.
Worsley added: “I think [consumers] are becoming more ready for this, but of course we need to continue that education.
“…I’m not sure the consumer is necessarily ready to appreciate the different types of analysis we can do, but the fact we can identify important bacteria on the skin is different to sequencing,” he said, providing insight on the exact amount of different bacteria on the skin rather than just percentage breakdowns.
Looking ahead, he said the longer-term goal would be that consumers tested and re-tested using the kits, following adjustments made to beauty routines.
Tracking acne, eczema, sensitivity and ageing
Drago said there was “so much” potential to explore with the at-home skin microbiome test kits for a variety of skin issues and types, from acne prone or eczema prone skin to sensitive skin or even ageing skin because the test report gave consumers their skin's biological age.
However, she said the tests also held appeal for consumers identifying as having ‘normal skin’ or those who had no specific concerns, because the whole idea of caring for your microbiome remained about “building the resilience of your skin”.
Worsley said this was key and Sequential Skin was sharply focused on deepening its understanding on every day skin changes and needs.
“Combining host genetics and epigenetics with the microbiome is quite a key aspect for us. The more we understand and the more data we collect, we’ll be able to draw these links with what these microbes are really doing on the skin.”
Tracking how products then interacted and influenced these microbes, he said, and being able to offer highly personalised recommendations for products or routines was where the true future opportunities for beauty could be found.