MIT-Developed Atolla Personalized Skincare

Monthly tests and a proprietary algorithm result in fully customized products

Founded by Meghan Maupin and Sid Salvi, with Dr Ranella Hirsch, Atolla brings a scientific method to skincare—removing trial and error, and drastically reducing waste. By using machine learning and a proprietary algorithm, the team at Atolla creates serums that are crafted specifically for each user—tracking changes in skin’s moisture, oil and pH levels due to diet, weather, allergies and more. Currently funding on Kickstarter, the fledgling company is offering a scientific and pragmatic approach, all founded on necessity and a genuine desire to solve a problem—properly. 

Named for the bioluminescent Atolla jellyfish, the brand sends each subscriber a user-friendly test kit to find levels of oil, moisture and pH. Using an accompanying app, users upload their results (there’s nothing to mail back for analysis), a few selfies and their skin goals—whether it be reducing lines, evening out complexion or clearing up spots. With the information gained—known as your Skin Sequence—from the test, Atolla not only matches the most effective ingredients, but also lets individuals pick from their preferred products.

We have all had the experience where understanding what is going on with our skin is too complicated to do ourselves. This is where the Atolla database and test comes in,” Salvi explains, “The test captures information about the many factors that affect your skin and uses our efficacy database to figure out what will work for you (leveraging insights from people who have similar skin to you). Think of how the brightness of your phone screen auto-adjusts: we auto-adjust your formulation to fit your skin, lifestyle and the environment around you.”

For example, for our Skin Sequence (ST554) we were given three options to combat sun damage (a selected concern), and selected rose-hip oil for its absorption capability and fragrance. But the difference with Atolla is that even here, with your personalized serum, the process isn’t finished. Every month, the brand sends a new testing kit and adjusts the formulas according to changes in environment, routine, diet and more. “Efficacy is paramount. We measure how well a product is working each month and continuously adapt the formulation for the customer to ensure his or her product always fits the his or her environment, lifestyle and skin health goals,” Maupin says. Plus, you can track your own progress on the app—with information and images. This constant flow of information means that the one-size-fits-all concept is entirely overthrown.

As Maupin explains, this kind of program will benefit all kinds of people—but two “types” in particular. “I think there are two key types of people that will have the most benefit. People who have had a new issue come up (hello adult acne! or cross-country move!) and have no idea what caused it and how to fix it. We have the answers and solution they’re looking for,” she says. Then there are the “Health-tracking nerds—people who already use fitness or hormone or other health-tracking apps, because your skin is a reflection of your internal health as well. We can provide them with a lot of additional insights from incorporating what they’re already tracking.”

While the science behind Atolla is anything but simple, the outcome couldn’t be more streamlined or efficient. For a pledge of $240 on Kickstarter, you’ll get a one-year Skincare System subscription, but there are other options of varying values.

Images courtesy of Atolla