Shiseido combines hyper-personalised lotions with app

Photo: David Bokuchava /

How do you combine digitisation, hyper-personalisation and wellness? Shiseido puts them together, blending them into a new, luxurious subscription formula.


Two unique creams per day

Shiseido offers unique facial creams for 92 dollars per month (81 euros or 10,000 yen in Japan), prepared at home for you and fully customised to your skin. At least, that's what Optune promises. Optune is the Japanese cosmetics brand's new subscription service. This premium service is fully in line with the trends of personalisation, digitisation and self-care.

It all starts with an app for the smartphone, which takes pictures of your face and uses them to analyse your skin. Other data can also be entered into the app, from your menstrual cycle over the weather and air pollution up to your sleeping pattern. The more hectic your lifestyle, the more your skin changes, Shiseido has observed.


80,000 different possibilities

The app comes with a dispenser with five serums, which are blended into the perfect composition for each moment based on the photographic analysis. As such, the cylindrical device dispenses a unique, personal lotion twice a day. Up to 80,000 different combinations are possible, says Shigekazu Sugiyama, head of Shiseido Japan, where the service will be launched.

The cosmetics manufacturer is targeting women who care about skincare, but don't have the time to find the right formula. With a monthly contribution, women can keep using the app and receive the needed refills.


550 million euros of turnover?

Optune generates a potential turnover of 67.9 billon yen (about 555 million euros), according to Bloomberg analysts. Thanks to the subscription formula, Shiseido can save on marketing expenses, while the brand can still reinforce customer ties.

If the launch turns out to be a success, expansion abroad is within the range of possibilities, but it will be a challenge to meet the wider diversity of skin types, Sugiyama admits.