Wednesday, 17 October 2012

World’s first DNA skin test for personalised anti-ageing at Organic Pharmacy

Image: The Organic Pharmacy

There are so many active ingredients in skincare products, so how do you know which will be most beneficial for your skin’s own needs? geneOnyx, a provider of genetics analytics for cosmetics, may have the answer, with the launch of a world-first on-the-spot DNA skincare test.

Launching as an in-store treatment at The Organic Pharmacy, Kings Road, London, the geneOnyx DNA skincare test is designed to help consumers identify the most beneficial anti-ageing products for their skin, by identifying variations in the gene that relates to collagen breakdown – the process that causes skin to age.

Unlike most DNA testing, it requires no lab, no skilled technicians and no time: a swab of saliva is simply taken, which is then injected into a DNA microchip for analysis. This microchip is plugged into a USB device to provide test results within 30 minutes. The geneOnyx database will then provide a list of active ingredient recommendations that are directly related to each person’s skincare requirements.

This service doesn’t come cheap at £295 for a one hour consultation, but if it really works then it could save women a fortune in expensive skincare products that don’t live up to their claims. And given that the technology is also being used to improve genetic research, testing and treatment for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, the geneOnyx DNA test has some pretty hefty credentials behind it, too.

Would you invest in a service like this?

Boots Little Me Organics ad banned by ASA - the murky waters of organic labelling

The beauty industry is no stranger to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) banning adverts because of misleading communication, but I was surprised by the reason for a recent Boots Little Me Organics advert being banned.

Following a single complaint that said “claims that the product was ‘organic’ were misleading because they implied it met an independent organic standard,” the ASA upheld the complaint and has said it mustn’t appear again in its current form.

However, rather than the judgement being based on something that was said within the advert, the ASA took issue with the actual brand name ‘Little Me Organics’ misleading the consumer into thinking the products either met a defined organic standard, or used a high proportion of organic ingredients (when in fact, the product had less than 5% organic ingredients).

Rather than this directly being related to text used within an advert as is the usual realm of the ASA, this delves into the much murkier waters of organic labelling and the fact that there is no legal definition of what constitutes a beauty product to be organic.

As it stands currently, beauty products are allowed to be called organic if there is any organic ingredient within the product – so although consumers think they are buying an organic product, it could actually contain just 1% of organic ingredients.

But while there is currently no legal criteria for calling a product ‘organic’ - something the natural beauty sector has long taken issue with, it seems that brands who use the word ‘organic’ on an advert – even if it is just within the product name, now risk being punished by the ASA instead.

With organic certification being so costly to brands and often confusing to consumers (because different organic certifications have different standards), surely it would be a lot easier for everyone involved if the law was just changed to set a certain legal criteria for organic beauty labelling? After all, for foods to be labelled as organic, under EU regulations at least 95% of the ingredients must come from organically produced plants and animals, so why can’t the same be done for the beauty industry?

What do you think?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The new face of Chanel No.5 is a man… and Brad Pitt no less!

Using a celebrity to represent a fragrance is nothing new, of course, but now Chanel has made the bold move of using a man to represent its iconic women’s fragrance, Chanel No.5, as it is revealed that Brad Pitt will be the new face of the perfume.

Launching next week, it is the first time that Chanel has used a man to front a women’s fragrance campaign. “To keep a legend fresh, you always have to change its point of view,” Andrea d’Avack, president at Chanel Fragrance & Beauty told WWD. What a fantastic quote! Chanel No.5 is indeed a legend in its field and continues to outsell its rivals more than 90 years since its launch. So it’s a brave – and expensive – leap by the fashion and beauty giant, whose investment in Brad Pitt alone will be in the millions.

Could this be a new page in an industry that is well known for its use of female celebrities within its marketing campaigns? It will be exciting to find out and I’m sure Chanel’s peers will be watching the impact with great interest.

If you can't wait until next week, here is a little teaser campaign, complete with Brad Pitt's husky tones. Enjoy!