Custom Creams

Writer Kate O’Brien | January 13, 2015

Is yours an extra-hot, decaf soy, almond or rice-latte? In our ever-growing world of bespoke the choice is very much ours, and judging by the demand for made-to-measure skincare, the trend is set for even loftier heights.

Californian brand Odacité is a perfect example. When French-born founder Valerie Grandury discovered she had breast cancer, she quit her movie production role in Hollywood for California’s cleaner air. There she soon started whipping up a base of aloe vera juice and cold-pressed oil with wild-crafted essential oils, creating purely natural cleansers, moisturisers and serums. Demand quickly grew and Odacité is now shipped worldwide, stamped with a freshness start and end date.

The company’s latest collection of 18 serum concentrates address specific skin conditions, enabling customers to tailor a personal regimen. Not truly bespoke some might argue, but these targeted super-active formulas certainly come close. Each drop delivers a concentrated dose of vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that collectively address pretty much any concern; from lackluster sagging skin to capillaries, tired eyes and blemishes. The oils are colour-coded and categorised based on their key ingredients and actions. For example Po+R Pomegranate Rose Geranium is formulated to hydrate skin, while Pa+G Papaya Geranium targets hyperpigmentation. For even more customised recipes, oils can also be mixed.

“You only need two to three drops because the formulas are super specific,” Grandury explains. Odacité is available online and in partner retail stores.

Parisian brand IOMA brings the most advanced skin-probe based techniques to the wider world via their cutting-edge diagnostic devices, found in select department stores in France, Singapore, Jakarta and the UK. Powered by MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology, these devices establish accurate readings across seven skincare parameters giving customers their unique SkinCode number, which is then used to customise skincare prescriptions.

“IOMA offers seven specific skincare ranges each addressing a precise skin concern”, such as fine lines, firmness or dark spots, explains IOMA’s Olivier Deldycke. “Or you can opt for the truly bespoke MA CRÈME, precisely formulated for your skin from amongst 40,257 possible formulations. Once you know your skin, you can then buy our regular products on line.”

A follow-up skin assessment a couple of weeks later enables customers to see results for themselves. Recommendations can also be tailored to meet seasonal, hormonal and other skin changes.

London’s go-to celebrity facialist Alexandra Soveral takes a more hands-on approach to bespoke. A genius at mixing her own potions, Soveral formulates personalised blends featuring the client’s name on the label. Once on file, this bespoke formula can be re-created in any form from facial oils to body lotion, soap or candles. “Many companies make products specifically for dry skin, but we need to get to the core of the problem and actually rebalance the skin first rather than simply using a particular [dry skin] product,” she explains.

Soveral is quick to point out that for many of today’s skin concerns a more holistic approach is needed. To this end she works closely with a naturopath, nutritionist and hormonal expert to get to the root of skin issues (as for many nutrition, stress and hormonal issues are clearly evident via the skin). “My facials are bespoke until the skin is normalised. But results don’t happen overnight and once the skin starts to rebalance, by creating the right environment for it to thrive and be healthy, we can then use a regular skincare range. In artificial environments – those with regular air conditioning or dehumidifiers – the skin gets really dry and must fight harder.”

Fortunately, you don’t need to visit Soveral’s basement apothecary in West London to purchase her therapeutic creations, as her on-line bespoke service includes a detailed questionnaire with a choice of over 50 essential oils. Customers simply tick those oils they wish to include in the blend, or they can leave it to the experts, based on their specific skin concerns.



Nothing is more bespoke than using your body’s own healing factors, anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors as working ingredients
~ Barbara Sturm