The U.S. beauty devices category was sluggish last year, according to research from Kline, which cited a slowdown in innovation.
Michael Todd Beauty, which has bucked the industry’s sluggish sales trend, hopes to generate a big buzz with its pipeline of products cultivated for the expanding base of at-home spa customers.
In particular, the company has identified consumer interest in duplicating medical spa services such as dermaplaning and microdermabrasion.
“These are affordable, medical grade beauty devices for men and women to use,” said Erica Parker, vice president of Education and Regulatory Affairs, for Michael Todd Beauty who also serves as the brand’s on-air spokesperson. “These devices allow you to have an at-home spa experience. You no longer have to book an appointment to get anti-aging treatment, hair removal or skin rejuvenation.”
As an added extra, Michael Todd Beauty is injecting fashion into the once clinical-appearing business with vibrant colors and patterns.
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The retail industry is reacting. Michael Todd Beauty has gained footage at Ulta Beauty which first put the brand’s devices into the mix in 2015. A promotional gift display will be positioned near the entrance at all 1000-plus doors at Ulta Beauty doors for holiday. Forever 21 selected Michael Todd Beauty’s devices for its hip new Riley Rose stores. Beauty Brands, the 61-store up and coming specialty retailer, is launched Michael Todd Beauty in a four-foot linear section on October 1st. “Beauty Brands is a perfect environment for our products, with its focus on excellence, value and an ongoing commitment to professional quality,” said company co-founder and president Lew Hendler. Beauty Brands has more doors in the works with three more prestige retailers slated for Spring 2018 rollouts.
“It is refreshing to hear how Michael Todd is working closely with Ulta Beauty and other retailers on their in-store displays, which was very lacking by many brands and retailers in 2016,” added Kelly Alexandre, senior analyst at Kline. “Their fun designs also continue to be important to attract Millennial sales of the devices.”
The Michael Todd portfolio includes devices ranging from antimicrobial sonic cleansing brushes and an antimicrobial dedicated sonic makeup brush (which has been a hit on social media).
The two new items garnering attention as DIY spa options proliferate include Sonicsmooth and Total Refresher. The first is an at-home option for dermaplaning, a process that removes peach fuzz and exfoliates using a special safety blade. The other is a skin rejuvenation system for DIY dermabrasion.
“We’ve taken what we’re famous for — our patent-pending sonic technology — and combined it with specially designed medical grade safety edges,” Parker said while demonstrating the Sonicsmooth device.
Dermaplaning, she said, not only remove vellus hair women have on their face, but also exfoliates dead and dull skin in order better prepare skin for application of skin serums and creams. The process costs more than $100 per session at spas and lasts seven to 10 days before dead skin accumulates and hair regrows.
“What are we going to do? Live in a med spa,” asked Parker. Instead, Michael Todd’s Sonicsmooth retails for $99 and can be used once a week at home. For those concerned about a blade on their face, company co-founder, svp of sales and head of research and development Michael Friend used the product on a balloon without any breakage.
Parker shared independent testing results where an overwhelming percentage of users reported their skin was softer, smoother, and more radiant looking. “Ninety percent said they thought they could even skip makeup. And this is a pain-free way to remove facial hair.”
The Total Refresher is a two-in-one derm rejuvenation system with a unique mister attached to disperse toner. The company has reacted to market reports that at-home dermabrasion devices were not as powerful as spas with what it feels is an item on par with what’s used in professional locations.
The mister is viewed as a unique add-on to soothe and hydrate. “It is definitely a differentiator and a very smart feature,” said Alexandre. She added the pricing is favorable. “Our Beauty Devices Consumer Research report found that 44 percent of consumers who do not use an anti-aging device, don’t use one because they are too expensive. We also found that almost 50 percent of consumers indicated that an anti-aging device priced between $101-200 is on the expensive side, but worth it, which means that Michael Todd’s $129 price point is in line with what consumers are expecting to pay for anti-aging devices.”
Next up for Michael Todd Beauty, said Hendler, is an FDA-approved acne treatment light and other products to serve the swelling demand for at-home spa solutions.