In recent years, the skincare industry has witnessed a significant shift and is growing at a rapid pace. According to a report, the global skincare market is estimated to be 189.3 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
People are beginning to use beauty and skincare products at an increasingly high rate and the demand for quality products is skyrocketing.
While many skincare companies only preach about AI in skincare and focus only on marketing strategies and mass-producing lotions and creams, Hyderabad-based startup SkinKraft is walking the talk.
Started in 2017, SkinKraft is a dermatologically approved and scientifically customized skincare brand. What is more interesting about this startup is that it uses artificial intelligence and data-driven technology to understand skin/hair concerns and then customizes products based on individual requirements.
Furthermore, in July 2020, IncNut Digital, which houses SkinKraft, had raised around $4 million as a part of its Series A funding. The startup said the funds will be used to strengthen and expand its R&D labs, overall infrastructure as well as invest in AI-driven data technology.
AI in skincare is not something new; however, not many companies are tapping into it. Therefore, to learn more about the role of AI in skincare, we decided to speak to Chaitanya Nallan, Co-Founder & CEO, SkinKraft Laboratories.
During the interaction, Nallan has talked about the whole ball of wax and how the company is going to fare in the coming years.
Second to None
The prime reason behind SkinKraft’s emergence was the tens of thousands of skincare queries and questions from women readers.
“We found that ideal skincare begins with an understanding of skin, and its characteristics, issues, and needs. This realization resulted in the foundation of SkinKraft,” said Nallan.
The company started out with three products — cleanser, moisturizer, and an active. They are uniquely designed for individual needs and concerns, and work together as a regime.
Even though customization was a unique proposition then as it is now, SkinKraft was able to curate such a regimen. And it received a tremendous amount of positive response from its consumers and it led to expansion.
Today, being a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, SkinKraft is bullish on leading the custom-care segment in India.
“Back then in 2019, we had close to a million women who had registered. Most of SkinKraft’s consumers were from the Tier 1 cities and we were selling exclusively via our website SkinKraft.com,” Nallan added. “But now we have 7,50,000 customers with 40% from Tier 2 & 3 cities and we are also present on Amazon.”
The Data-Driven Approach
When it comes to providing a customized skincare regime, SkinKraft is in the saddle. The company with its innovations in the segment has brought AI in skincare to the mainstream. It uses AI and data to provide accurate product suggestions to customers.
Wondering how it works?
Through a holistic assessment of the customer’s skin, similar to a dermatologist assessment.
Users are asked certain questions about their skin type and lifestyle choices. Then based on their responses, the algorithm analyses her/his current skin requirements and creates a skin profile — SkinID.
What happens next is that the SkinID is used for a detailed analysis that charts out the problem areas and the ingredients required to manage them. Then, a customized skin care regimen is recommended to the customer, which includes ingredients corresponding to the specific requirements as outlined in the customer’s skin profile.
Over and above, once the products are assigned, the company keeps a regular check on how it’s working for an individual and ensures that the daily regimen is constantly adapting to the evolving needs of the individuals’ skin.
“We are taking on the latest technologies, from AI to augmented reality, to offer customers a more hyper-personalized and tailor-made approach,” said Nallan.
“We are implementing ML and predictive analytics to further fine-tune recommendations while enhancing the process. We will also introduce face-tech that relies heavily on ML & AI to complement the supplier profile questionnaire (SPQ) and also to track the progress of the products over time.”
What is #IAmMyType?
While SkinKraft is all out on producing proven skincare products, the company has also managed to get a strong grip on marketing.
Released in February this year, #IAmMyType is SkinKraft’s first-ever brand campaign. It is an ad film with a 360-degree multimedia plan Pan-India across TV, print, digital, theatre, and outdoor.
#IAmMyType highlights the fact that each individual has his/her own distinct personality, set of religious beliefs, habits, lifestyle, philosophies, political instincts, and professions. From the very beginning, the campaign was well-received by everyone because of the strong messaging.
Recently, the company has extended the narrative of the campaign #IAmMyType with a video series featuring opinion leaders, innovators, artists, and experts across the industries.
The messages from this unique caliber of people have now been extended as inclusive, diverse, and progressive portrayals of independent individuals, celebrating the movement of being unique.
“It is a special video series which is raw, unscripted, shot on phones/laptop, and straight from the heart,” said Nallan.
“The leaders we have featured put out a powerful message, reiterating the idea of challenging stereotypes and refusing to be slotted into any one category. That too in a very distinct and unconventional manner.”
Looking into the future, SkinKraft is currently focusing on expanding its online presence across tier 2 & 3 markets. It is actively building on its presence in the marketplace. Its products are live on Amazon with single SKU offerings along with the core regimen.
During the conversation, Nallan has also stated that Myntra and Flipkart are also in the pipeline. Additionally, the company has got many exciting products underway for its website as well as the marketplace.