Clarisonic, the brand that introduced and popularized vibrating and rotating cleansing brushes, was shut down by owner L'Oreal in September 2020, but Clarisonic inventor Robb Akridge has already moved on to his next innovative beauty device, The Opulus. Using a similar business model as Nespresso and Keurig, the Opulus will feature skincare products in single-serve pods.
How It Works
Launching in January 2021, Opulus Beauty Labs chief brand officer Michelle Balmer calls the Opulus a beauty appliance instead of a device as it is not used directly on the skin like the Clarisonic. The appliance works by taking single-serve solid pods called "opoules" into its chamber, heating and whipping them up with a blade within the appliance to activate the ingredients contained in the opoule. Akridge, who is also a scientist, shares with Glossy that based on scientific literature, warm products are better absorbed by the skin, and this is one of the things that Opulus offers.
With most skincare actives in bottles, the risk of ingredients being exposed to oxidation and bacteria causes them to lose potency after some time and that is another thing that Opulus seeks to change with their single-serve delivery system. Sustainability is also another driving force behind the Opulus. Balmer, also a Clarisonic alum, calls the appliance a "forever bottle." It is rechargeable and should last a long time, while the pods or opoules are free from plastic. Instead, they will be wrapped in recyclable paper.
At present, Elle reports that there are three opoules to choose from — hyaluronic acid, retinol and vitamic C. These three ingredients are the most popular in skincare now and Opulus Beauty Labs is only wise to capitalize on them. Well + Good says that the "Retinol Plus" collection will be the first to come out in the market. Well + Good adds that Dr. Robb and the rest of the Opulus team also has plans to expand into professional grade skin care such as chemical peels and brightening treatments and may soon turn their focus to hair and body care using their opoule system.
Marketing in the Time of Covid-19
Glossy writes that the success of Opulus will depend on convincing consumers to invest in the appliance which will cost around $300. After that, the opoules will be available in a range of prices. Another challenge brought about by Covid-19 is limiting the chances of consumers to test the product in physical stores. Balmer shares that with Clarisonic, it was also challenging to sample the device, but they managed to grow the previous brand by forming relationships and building goodwill with customers.
The Opulus Beauty Labs team plans to focus on the brand's website. Akridge mentions that the brand will use online videos to educate and woo potential buyers to make a leap of faith with this new offering. He is also forging connections with dermatologist partners to help educate consumers and move the brand along. The company is also negotiating with Joyce Beauty to sell the beauty appliance in China "as soon as possible," said Balmer.
Elle Magazine has already bestowed their Future of Beauty Award on the Opulus. May that be a good start for this ingenious new appliance.
Related article: Elle Magazine Unveils Its 2020 Future of Beauty Awards