Skin Share: shareable skin care

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After learning about the premise for challenge 4, our group was immediately struck by the beauty industry and the changing standard for beauty while in self-isolation due to COVID-19. We reached out to Rad, an engineer who designs personal and protective equipment for healthcare workers (she’s extremely busy at the moment!) while working as a cosmetologist on the side. We asked a lot of questions about her work as a cosmetologist and what inspired her to start performing beauty services as well as why she continues. Our interview was very insightful, and by the end we had three main takeaways that we were interested in focusing our design around; 1. That a lot of people are not wearing makeup or keeping up with beauty regimens that they would be normally, providing a unique opportunity for people to focus more on skincare; 2. That working as a cosmetologist provides Rad with a unique opportunity to share her knowledge with others and teach when possible, which is part of what makes her work so rewarding, and 3. There is a big cultural component of learning and sharing beauty. We thus tried to incorporate all of these main takeaways into our initial designs. 

We then presented our four favorite ideas to Rad in a follow-up interview. The first design was an app for uploading a picture of your own face and then experimenting with various beauty procedures, with the possibility to follow tutorials uploaded by professional cosmetologists. The second design was an app intended to connect people with cosmetologists (virtual appointments, basically) in order to get help with beauty procedures. The third design was a sharing and collaborative space for cosmetologists to post inspiration and develop trends in order to hit the ground running after quarantine was over. The fourth design was a skincare app in which users could specify which ingredients they had on hand, and they would then be provided with short, TikTok style tutorial videos for DIY skincare recipes. When we presented these ideas back to Rad, she was particularly excited about a few features. She really liked the idea of people being able to connect with cosmetologists, as this is a way for people to not only receive help, but also to keep beauty professionals at least partially in business. She was also a big fan of the skincare app and the TikTok style short tutorials. Thus, we decided to incorporate both of these ideas into one skincare app: Skin Share. 

In order to develop Skin Share, we first dedicated a significant portion of research on identifying precedents. We were particularly inspired by Sephora’s skin scanner and also their skincare questionnaires, as they are both thorough and revolutionize the way that people are able to find skincare products. However, these services are mainly used for identifying beauty products for people to purchase and not for DIY skincare. We were interested in incorporating a similar skincare survey in our app, however, for curating the DIY content that the user experiences. We also looked for apps that already existed for DIY at-home skincare and found that the best one is BeautyCraft, which has not only an outdated and unappealing interface, but also posts lengthy and hard-to-follow tutorials that are completely written out, with no visual aids. We then moved into traditional research, in which we identified what kinds of DIY methods and ingredients are popular for at-home skincare, finding several articles that provide common recipes and ingredients. Again, though, these articles involve reading long descriptions, checking to see if you have the ingredients listed, and then following written directions. We then conducted some benchmark research, wondering how we could fill in the gaps from already existing DIY skincare services. We noted that popular tutorial platforms are often video based, including IGTV and YouTube. However, one app that has become recently popular is TIkTok, partly due to the short video content available (the maximum video length is 1 minute) and the continuous stream of content. We established that by combining some of the best features and recipes from pre-existing skincare services and DIY platforms, such as Sephora and BeautyCraft with the engaging content style of TikTok, we could create a unique at-home skincare app that would not only be easy to actually use for making skincare products, but would also be inherently fun to engage in. 

Tik tok style tutorial video:

The concept of Skin Share is simple: every user of the app can contribute their own DIY recipes, and you can either view content that is curated specifically for you based on your skin type, goals, and ingredients on hand, or you can view general content from either everyone or from professional cosmetologists. You can also pay to connect with cosmetologists for individual or group consultations and more in-depth tutorials. Upon entering the app for the first time, it prompts the user to fill out a skin care questionnaire, which then provides curated content for the user on the “for you” page. Including this survey was particularly important, as many people have limited ingredients in their homes due to shortages from COVID-19. The user may also choose to “browse,” which includes content from all user of the app, or “trending,” which includes popular content from verified cosmetologists and professionals. Additionally, the user can add their own content, search for content, or connect with a professional for an individual consultation. The goal of Skin Share is to provide a fun and easy-to-use platform for DIY skincare recipes while also connecting professional cosmetologists to normal people looking to improve their skincare routine while in self-isolation. 

Skin Share prototype:

Skin Share draws on principles from all three of out previous challenges. In terms of attention, there is particular emphasis on sociopleasure, due to the sharing and teaching nature of the app, as well as physiopleasure, because the app focuses mainly on self care and taking care of your skin physically. Sociopleasure relates especially to Rad’s comments about the joys of being able to teach and share as a cosmetologist, as well as the cultural aspect of beauty and being able to share specific cultural processes and recipes. In terms of behavior, Skin Share draws on Cialdini’s principles of scarcity, as many people are experiencing shortages in money, time, and resources more generally, as well as authority, as both professionals and other people with successful recipes are allowed to share their content with others. It draws on Fogg’s principles as well, with increased motivation due to people being at home in self-isolation with no makeup or beauty regimen to keep up, as well as increased ability because the process for finding and conducting tutorials is as simple and enjoyable as possible. Lastly, Skin Share inspires others through admiration/skill, as they are able to see the beauty and ease of other people’s skin routines and recipes and copy these for themselves.   

Link to our presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14R8qZm5JA_fMkStOkmDGV2XwW7ztwa85sl4vD2K0DXk/edit#slide=id.g830d0933cc_0_68

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  1. Comment #2
    I think this is a really neat idea! Being able to connect directly with cosmetologists in a fun, Tik Tok-esque way could be super fun and useful. One concern I had was the legitimacy of user content: there’s already a lot of noise in the skincare industry and a ton of well-marketed products that don’t actually work. Is there any way to verify the validity of what people are posting, or scientific explanations for why the DIYs work?
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  2. Curology $$ Model
    Really like this idea – definitely something I’ve been looking for over the past few weeks. We talked a lot about the pricing model for the idea in class – and I think the model that Curology uses is one that is pretty useful. They provide you with the first month free – which allows you to speak to your cosmetologist and see if you like them/the product? Given that users are using ingredients from home – I feel like that subsequent cost could be pretty reasonable! They also allow you to postpone subscriptions as and when you like which is a bonus!
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  3. cool idea
    This is an awesome idea and looks like you have come across something that is new and novel but fits in well with the times. I was wondering why you were not thinking about integrating this within an exiting platform, e.g. hashtags within twitter/instagram and a channel t provide the recipes etc? I would love to understand more what made you think about a self-standing tech platform for implementing this idea.
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  4. Fun Quarantine Self-Care
    I love this idea for an app! I think it’s a great way for people who want to try DIY skincare at home to get inspiration and tutorials, and I especially like that you can be matched based on what ingredients you have on hand. If you were to take this project a step further, I think you could also see about integrating some tutorials into apps like TikTok, so people don’t have to open a separate app to find ideas. Maybe this could even be just an advertisement, to get people to come to your platform. If you wanted to work more with the idea of consultations with cosmetologists, maybe there could be a way for the cosmetologists using the app to send their clients samples of skin care products they might like, similar to a service like Birchbox. That way, the cosmetologists can further tailor skin care products directly to clients, and give them products that could help on top of DIY solutions.
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  5. Tik Tok spinoff is smart
    I think the tik tok idea is smart. People have lost all attention spans, but if they see something they like, then they rewatch it. So this could be a good idea to have this feed of skin care ideas and if you don’t like something, you’re onto the next, really easy.
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  6. I would recommend this to many friends
    I really love this design, and it seems pertinent to today’s needs. I totally understand the dermotoglist piece. However, I have some questions regarding users contributing their own DIY recipes: How would you think about possible liability issues that may arise? Also, how would the “curation”/personalization happen with recipes that are recommended by different users?
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  7. Awesome! Maybe Add a Search by Ingredient Feature?
    I think the overarching function and structure of this app were super well conceptualized and executed; I think that this app would gain serious popularity if it was released today. My really only piece of input is to consider a feature which allows users to search recipes by inputting the ingredients they have in their house? I think to offer this as a complement to sorting by product function could make the app even more optimally tailored to the current circumstances.
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  8. Neat-O
    What I really like about this idea is that it knots DIY (for quarantine boredom), connecting with others, and cost effectiveness into one package that I think under a TikTok-like UI could catch a lot of traction. The only conflict of interest I see here is that in the emulation of similar platforms like TikTok and Insta, popular accounts, especially in the beauty product space are rampant with product sponsorships. This might be a potential conflict in that this whole app is about DIY beauty products and you lose a strong motivation for people to want to share recipes and accumulate recognition in order to gain sponsorships from brands that sell non DIY products.
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  9. Originality

    Practicality

    Desirability

    Want it to be real

    great way to bring people together
    I love that this promotes the ideal of self-care in such a time of upheaval. I think its a brilliant way to connect people through relaxation! I would definitely be interested in using it. I might consider adding a feature by which users might connect to do a beauty/relaxation routine together.
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  10. Skin Share
    I feel like I have honestly been looking for this product because I’ve lost patience for long youtube videos, and this is absolutely a moment when people have free time to learn new things. I love that you build off of the already proven TikTok model to fill the need for skin care information. I wonder if there is a way to incorporate some sort of review system. I think with skin care in particular, people want some credibility to ideas before they experiment with them, having a user or a particular video were recommended or accredited by a lot of people could be a good way to leverage the platform.
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  11. Super cool
    This app would work perfectly with the current times. I think the rise of tik tok and social media would really expose this app in a positive light, and it would be one or two influencers using the app to get the ball rolling. Only thing would be creating a strong enough engagement platform to distinguish it from people just posting their own methods online. great app.
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  12. Great Idea!
    I really love this and wish something like this existed right now! I really need it :’) but something that could be cool is if you partnered or integrated some YouTube skincare professionals. Not just random skincare people but there are a lot of skincare experts on there that make content on YouTube and also on TikTok but some of them have been stressed about how people are spreading these dangerous hacks on skincare on TikTok because of no regulation. So I think it would be cool if the posts were approved by someone and if YouTube skincare experts could make some content on there and offer some more personal consultations that would be cheaper in addition to full-on dermatologists.
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  13. Great idea
    One thing that I really like about the app is the DIY feeling of it. The short, tik tok length videos particularly emphasize the “home made” element. Perhaps it could even expand from skin care to general body care.
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