The product selection is continually evolving based on customer feedback, and took initially around 6 months of intense research, alongside a friend of mine who is a highly experienced facialist and skincare expert. I have been developing skincare products in the industry for almost 10 years (meaning I have tried literally 1000s of samples), and she had been a facialist for just as long, so we put our heads together to come up with the famous formulas that get results time and time again, and we started with those.
I would take a look at all online reviews for these products to ensure their popularity, then analyse the ingredient list to assess the key actives and validate their claims and their price point (you’d be surprised how many hero products are performing through basic plumping humectants such as glycerin and not much else). I’d also review the ingredients to see if the formula contains silicones, fragrance, essential oils, animal derivatives etc - so it could be categorised for those looking to avoid specific ingredient types during the assessment.
These products were then arranged by what skin concerns & price point they made sense for, and where there were gaps the research began for new products that might fill those. Looking into industry awards, key industry thought leader reviews, best-selling items for popular brands etc, and gradually populating the missing items. I then reviewed these predominantly on their ingredients lists, again making sure their active story matched their claims & price tag. I also delved into their overall online ratings, the noise on social media, the positioning of the brand etc, to ensure they would be good enough to make the lyst!
I then trialled each of the products (where I had not previously tried them), to make sure the sensory was great, there was no pilling etc and to review their effectiveness (to some degree, as not all products are suitable for my skin so I am not the best to judge those). This is a key part of developing a product, so with many years of experience rejecting 99% of formula samples that go on my face I am very quick to rule something out which doesn’t cut the mustard.
The launch line-up on the SkinLyst site was 165 products. I wanted to keep it relatively small, so it really is harnessing the best of the best products on the market, and not becoming overwhelmed by lots of great similar-performing products.
The edit is continually evolving. I found some products were rarely being selected, so I am regularly auditing what is not being chosen, analysing why and either determining the specific user it would be relevant to, or removing it from the system. Our clever tech can now read ingredients lists so can automatically categorise products based on their INCI (which we always double check to be sure!)
My real focus with SkinLyst is to curate a proven list of hero products, as close to guaranteed to work for you as possible, and ensure you are getting maximum bang for your buck, in this wildly overwhelming industry (and eradicating the bathroom shelf full of half-used beauty products that most of us end up with today!