Are at-home skin analysis devices killing the salon industry?

Continuous developments in beauty technology mean that every year new machines are launching into the market. Recently there has been an uptake in at-home skin analysis devices and this could be a real issue for high-street salons in the future. 

Advanced skin analysis equipment is often a highlight of a beauty salon or spa trip and it is usually the selling point for treatments and events. Although a machine can ever replace a therapist’s touch, knowledge or experience, it supports the salon experience, which can only be a good thing. 

But with clients now starting to use at-home devices to diagnose their skin, will beauty therapists be competing with these tools for business in the future?

I’ve trialled several of these devices – where you take a selfie and enter in information about your skin issues, to which you’re then sent a recommended list of products to treat them. However, the information was basic. 

These tools are just clever marketing gimmicks. They make you feel like you’re getting a personalised service but you’re not – the end goal is to sell products to you, pushing whatever miracle cream or skincare ingredient is trending at the moment rather than what your skin actually needs. 

Plus, there’s a major issue with these self-diagnosis tools – they are client-led. Let me give you an example. When unwell have you ever tried to Google your symptoms and been presented with some scary web results? Well, this is the same thing. The device’s results may present the client with a worst case scenario which is far removed from the condition their skin is actually in. 

How can you future-proof your business?

The fact is a machine is not the same as a trained therapist’s eye or insightful know-how – a professional consultation needs to run alongside a skin analysis tool so clients don’t end up misreading their skin.

Clients will also not value your therapists knowledge and advice if you don’t value it first. Make a point of educating customers about your invaluable skills and show them how you can guide them to healthy, glowing skin, by delivering results. 

Lastly, you need to advise your clients on a personalised homecare regime which is bespoke to them, and don’t be afraid to push for those sales because if you don’t then an AI created by marketing professionals will. 

Justyna RostekJustyna Rostek is director of Guinot Salon in Earlsfield. Read her article on whether mobile beauty businesses are killing high-street salons

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