[ Article by Brittany Burhop Fallon, originally published on New Beauty on May 20, 2021 ]
Personalized skin care isn’t new, but oftentimes, you fill out a questionnaire about your skin concerns and lifestyle habits, and then an algorithm will spit out a match to a pre-formulated product. If you ask Chaz Giles, founder and CEO of San Francisco–based startup Revea Precision Skincare, he’ll tell you this segment of the beauty industry is one that hasn’t been approached correctly. “We’re not just making personalized skin care and pulling a product off the shelf. We can make over 3,300 different formulations to give you a bespoke product based on your individual skin parameters.”
Giles says another driving force that inspired the brand is that today’s skin-care products don’t accurately represent the diversity of the 8 billion people in the world. “The skin-care industry is stuck in the past,” says Giles, whose been working on Revea for two years. “Today, the average skin-care clinical trial runs with about 30 people. We are not a nation of three skin types, but thousands. It’s time for skin care to catch up to consumers and become more inclusive.”
Powered by a proprietary bioinformatics engine for skin—”it’s like 23andMe and StitchFix came together for skin,” Giles says—the technology measures more than 100 million data points for skin health, looking at metabolic factors rather than DNA. “We are using technology from satellite imaging, self-driving cars, oncology, research hospitals, etc. Our skin care is custom-tailored to your individual biology because we all respond to ingredients differently. We think about it like a personal trainer for your skin. With a trainer, you might start with flexibility, then move to strength, and then endurance. Your concerns aren’t all solved in the first three months by one product.” To gather the data necessary to launch a company with this mission, Giles and his team completed one of the largest skin physiology studies to date, which provided deep scientific insights, understanding and data required for this level of precision.
So how does Revea work? Currently, you have to visit Revea’s studio in San Francisco (it just opened in April) to have your skin biology—everything from hydration and dark spots to oxygen saturation and dermal fibers—measured by a Revea Bio Associate and a handful of high-tech imaging devices to identify the root cause of your skin needs. The analysis also builds an understanding of each individual’s skin concerns, goals and lifestyle, accounting for factors such as UV exposure, humidity, age, ethnicity, menstrual cycle, fitness, and daily habits. Within 10 minutes, a machine learning platform analyzes the layer-by-layer skin measurements and delivers a breakdown of skin’s radiance and health across seven parameters. Next, in a one-on-one consultation with the Bio Associate, your results, measurements and individual treatment plan are reviewed.
Lastly, the Revea team uses the bioinformatics platform to select the optimal ingredients for your skin phenotype and create your Precision Treatment Serums. The lab will formulate two serums (morning and evening) for each person, which will be delivered within 48 hours. And to complete the regimen, a skin barrier–building moisturizer is also personalized for you (each person gets to choose their preferred formula from four different textures). “We display the four moisturizers in a flight that each person can come in and touch and feel to see what they like,” says Giles. “One is an aqueous gel with a mattifying effect, one is a gel-cream, one is a unique water-in-oil, and one is a rich cream. And all of our products are cruelty-free, as well as free of fragrance, colorants, silicones, phthalates and parabens. And our packaging is sustainable and refillable.”
For all of us not living in the Bay Area, the company plans to roll out a digital platform this summer to offer the technology to the masses (though the experience won’t be quite as advanced as the in-person diagnostic). And because many of us live in four-season climates, Revea knows our skin changes often—it also changes with hormone fluctuations, etc—and will therefore be offering new skin measurements every three to four months via mobile check-ins. The studio experience, including the three products, is $450—the cost for the online version has not yet been announced, so stay tuned to NewBeauty for updates!