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Olay Skin Advisor Aims to Simplify Skin-Care Regimens for Mass Shoppers

The new web site from P&G-owned Olay analyzes the skin's condition via selfies and provides shoppers with personalized skin-care regimens.

Olay is set on simplifying the mass aisle for skin-care shoppers.

The Procter & Gamble-owned brand in October quietly launched, a web site that analyzes the condition of one’s skin and provides a customized Olay product regimen based on that analysis. The brand is rolling out a paid media plan this month to start generating consumer awareness of the product.

“This category is so hard to navigate — more than it’s ever been with the number of brands and [stockkeeping units] out there,” said Eric Gruen, associate brand director for Olay. “We saw a perfect intersection where we had an opportunity to enable her to get to the right products personalized in a simple way.”

Olay Skin Advisor utilizes the P&G’s proprietary, artificial-intelligence-based VizID Technology. The system relies on an algorithm drawn from database of tens of thousands of images of women’s faces. When a consumer takes a selfie, no matter her chronological age, Olay Skin Advisor assigns a “skin age” and determines a preventative and corrective regimen. The consumer is also directed to answer a series questions related to skin-care desires and preferences, and those answers factor into the regimen as well.

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Olay considered integrating the technology into a Skin Advisor app, but is holding off for now, as research indicated women were spending “a good amount” of time entering search queries on Google while also shopping for skin care. Olay’s research found that browsing in the facial skin-care aisle is top purchase influencer for the facial skin-care category, but only 67 percent of women were able to find what they were looking for. The web site is meant to be used when a woman is standing in the aisle, confused about what product to buy, Gruen said. In November, a digital marketing campaign with paid media is set to launch. Paid media will also support specific search queries, such as “how do I take care of my skin.”

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Skin Advisor comes on the heels of a sku cut earlier this year, and a streamlining of the collections within Olay’s range, like the Olay Eyes collection that launched this summer with clear, issue-specific lableing on the outer packaging, such as “dark circles,” “puffiness,” and “fine lines.”

The issue of a cluttered, confusing skin-care aisle has been a hot topic for mass brands as of late. Earlier this year L’Oréal Paris introduced its Skin Expert platform, an initiative the company said was put in place to streamline its future skin-care offerings.