Kiehl’s is more than 160 years old. That’s old. But with age comes wisdom and the skin care brand is utilising this skill to offer something new to the South African market. Way back when your experience at a chemist was pretty personal. Chemists would mix various medicines and base ingredients to prepare your medication. Kiehl’s is playing on that old school “apothecary” feeling with their new custom skin care product called Apothecary Preparations.
The idea is simple. Much like the Nike Gait Test I blogged about, each visitor to a Kiehl’s store gets a personalised assessment to determine the best solution for their skin. The assessment is done with a simple test conducted new school via a tablet. However, once completed there is an old school type personalisation that I thought was pretty rad and reminiscent of a small town apothecary (or at least what I think a small town apothecary would seem like).
Once the leather box is opened, you’re guided to answer a few questions via an iPad. However, the iPad works in conjunction with an Apothecary Preparations skin atlas which had a distinct text book type feel. The atlas provides images of skin concerns for any pigment or age. You work through the questions via the iPad and the atlas.
Once you’re done with the questionnaire (which involves selecting numbers of skin issues that relate directly to the atlas) the tablet runs an algorithm which has been formulated by Kiehl’s chemists and research department. The algorithm determines your two main skin issues.
Your Kiehl’s expert then mixes two select concentrates focused on assisting with your major skin concerns (these vary from wrinkles and redness to pore minimising. There are five concentrates in total). The Kiehl’s expert mixes a sample in a test tube – the sample consists of two concentrates mixed in to Skin Strengthening Concentrate and uses a dropper to let you test out the serum on your skin.
And now the fun begins
Once you’ve decided you’re happy the Kiehl’s expert will send your information from the tablet to a small portable printer. The printer prints a custom label with your name, skin concerns and the concentrates you need. It has a very old school hand written apothecary label feel. The label is placed on a box which includes a Skin Strengthening Concentrate as well as the two concentrates you need for your specific skin concerns.
You then take the box home and mix your own custom Concentrate yourself. You add the two concentrates to the main bottle and mix. Easy as. You then use your custom product between toning and moisturising.
I love the mix of old school throw backs with technology that allows a, for the most part, custom product. I think, for most of us, we’re moving in to a time where we want to spend money on things we know will work for us and items that are customised to our individual needs – which is what the Apothecary Preparations does rather well. However, I also prefer that the consult, while conducted by a human, is actually based on simple Science to ensure you get what you actually need rather than what someone thinks you need (because then I’d likely only trust a dermatologist).
I also love the custom label that gives you instructions as well as a break down of your specific mix. I’ve only recently started using the concentrate and so far so good! I’ll be sure to tweet an update in the next few weeks when, hopefully, the results will be more obvious. The Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations will only be available in the stores in Sandton City and the V & A Waterfront for now. It costs R1495 for the main concentrate and your two complexes which, if you know high brand skin care products, is a fair price. The only downfall is that you will need to go in to a physical store for your consult. I’m pretty obsessed with online shopping and despise malls but you’ll have to make an exception in this case. However, the gorgeous leather bound skin atlas and old school chemist case is worth the trek to find parking.
Disclosure: Kiehl’s gifted me with my own Apothecary Preparations consult and product.