Here’s How One Skincare Brand Is Using AI to Diagnose Clients’ Skin From Home

Founder of Ragan Skin and award-winning skin and dermal therapist Isabella Loneragan reveals the power of AI technology to Anita Quade.

Isabella tell us about why you have customised the re-launched Ragan Skin site’s AI offering?

“There are some truly incredible technological advancements in play at the moment and I genuinely believe that AI today can supplement human-based expertise – but the key word I’ve used here is supplement. The AI we’ve launched on takes into account the current limitations of AI. It isn’t just a means to lead people to purchase points, as so many other AI ecommerce business offerings are – because my dedication extends beyond just providing solutions. I consider it my role to deepen my customers’ understanding of skin health too.”

Tell us about the technology revolution you have harnessed as part of your business…

“The global skincare market is in the midst of a spectacular revolution – and I love it – but the reality is that AI cannot replicate the lived-experience and expertise of a human professional. It’s for this reason that I have made it a key part of my business strategy to be extremely selective in the AI we’ve implemented on and moreover, I’ve thoroughly considered how to give my customers maximum benefit from the technology.

I’d never put my name to something I don’t wholeheartedly believe in; and it’s only after dedicating scrupulous attention to the diagnostic quality of our featured AI, along with the efficiency of the skincare regimens curated by me and recommended through the technology, that the new has come to life.”

How you have tested this technology experience?

“I’ve been using the same AI Skin Diagnostic technology in my clinic for some time now. Its accuracy is remarkable, but I deliberately chose against implementing some of the Haut.AI- designed elements on because I want to keep the process as simple and as impactful as possible for my customers. I made sure the technology is as good as it can be to diagnose each user’s unique skin conditions but the prescription of a regimen to tackle those conditions has been curated by me personally.

In a nutshell, it’s a supplement to my expertise which is now so much easier for more people to access. The experience is never going to be as reliable as an in-person consultation, but it really is the next best thing and the answer to unlocking clinic results at home.”

What are the advantages of utilising AI for you salon and Ragan Skin?

“The advantages are endless and ever evolving; but at the crux of it, AI skin diagnostic tools reduce the emotion of self-analysis. When I started in dermatology, we were trained to give clients a mirror and to ask them what they saw and wanted to change. Typically, clients hated this exercise – it was generally too confronting and most wanted to fix their hair before anything else.

AI-powered photos for skin analysis however allow people to look at themselves in a more objective way. In clinic, it also helps me as their skin therapist to show key elements of their skin analysis more easily before developing an effective plan for change. It allows clients to see exactly what I mean when I say, “you have redness – see here?” and “pigmentation – is here”. The AI Skin Diagnostic technology on currently shows texture, wrinkles, pigmentation, redness/ capillaries etc. It’s so much more powerful when you can show clients the evidence clearly in front of their eyes via AI photos in ways that the mirror technique can’t.

I also must add that as a skin therapist, it keeps me accountable and really helps me to create achievable goals for the client, because after a treatment, we can circle back to the photos to see the changes in the client’s skin.”

Ragan Skin founder, Isabella Loneragan

What has been the feedback from clients utilising this technology?

“Overwhelmingly positive. For example, the following two reviews are from Ragan Skin customers:

“I have to say the technical prowess of your skin analysis process left me in awe. It was fast, efficient, and effortlessly guided me towards flawless skin insights.” – Christine L.

“I really enjoyed it; it was something I have never done before. I find a lot of brands have skin quizzes, but not many have a skin scanner, so it makes it more personalised.” – Lauren B.”

How has AI revolutionised the skincare market?

“ In a word – convenience. It’s allowing clients to analyse their skin and purchase the correct products for their unique skin needs from their own home.”

Do you find that this technology is just as effective as an in salon skin consultation?

“No, it’s not – not only for the reasons I’ve previously mentioned but also because as I cannot touch the client’s skin, and a lot of my analysis can come from touch. However, it’s a great alternative for those unable to get to a skin clinic. It’s the next best thing.”

How difficult has it been to get it ‘right’ for customers and was it an expensive experience?

“It’s VERY difficult. It has taken the better part of a year to get it right, working on it virtually full-time; and yes, it’s costly.”

Can you share with us your plans for Ragan Skin this year?

“We’ve got some really exciting plans in development. What I can share in relation to is a soon-to-come an expansion of our skin scan tool to accurately identify further skin conditions such as hydration levels, uniformness, pores analysis and more. We also plan to provide more insights from me online about the product range and how to get the best results for your skin. Education is key.”

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2024 print issue of Professional Beauty.

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