Scottish skincare specialists Cutitronics and ishga have joined forces to introduce cutting-edge technology into the world of luxury spas, answering the growing demand for contactless skin care solutions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hebridean producer of luxury, organic skincare products ishga has hailed an exclusive partnership with East Kilbride-based beauty tech company, through which it will trial Cutitron technology in spas across the UK.

Cutitronics’ "disruptive technology brings the scientific rigour of the clinical trial directly to the consumer and spa user by analysing skin in real time, drawing on a wide range of external factors - such as weather and location – and recommending a tailored regime based on their unique skin care requirements on that particular day".

It was founded in 2014 by Dr David Heath who has invented a ‘Fitbit for skincare' product.

In partnership with ishga, the technology will be "integrated into the entire client experience within spas, empowering the therapist by streamlining the appointment process and offering them objective, data-driven insights on their client’s unique skincare requirements".

Spa users will also be able to extend the experience beyond the appointment itself, taking home the ishga formulations that they have trialled during their treatments and, with continued support from their consultant, achieve their desired skincare results at home.

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The announcement comes after Scotland’s most recent lockdown roadmap, which hopes to see the significant reopening of non-essential services, such as salons, spas and hairdressers, from the last week of April. This is "long-awaited news" for the severely affected UK beauty and hair industry, which experienced a 45% decrease in annual turnover in 2020 as a result of year-long closures.

By blending lab-based technology solutions with results-driven skin care expertise, this partnership will support UK spas as they prepare to reopen, helping them deliver a high-quality consumer experience that is also commercially viable, it is claimed.

Leon Trayling, director at ishga, said: “The last 12 months have clearly shown the need for businesses to learn from and adapt to customer behaviour. By working with Cutitronics to explore innovative solutions to the problems facing all spas, ishga is positioning itself firmly at the leading edge of the industry. We aim to demonstrate transparency in just what our products can achieve for customers and provide an adaptable omnichannel approach to treatment delivery."

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Wilma McDaniel, commercial director at Cutitronics, said: “Cutitronics chose to work with ishga for two reasons: its exceptional people and its exceptional products. Right from our early discussions with ishga, it was clear that the combination of ishga formulations and Cutitron technologies could deliver a 21st century skincare solution that brings fantastic results to consumers and therapists, while supporting the ambitious plans of both Cutitronics and ishga.

“Spa owners and therapists have a unique opportunity to position themselves at the forefront of the rapid digitalisation being witnessed in the beauty realm right now, and, in partnership with ishga, we are excited to help lead that charge.”

The partnership was made possible by a £122,000 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Through a robust process of design-test-integrate, the R&D partnership will support ishga’s ambitious expansion plans, helping them to stand out and scale up in the crowded but lucrative global beauty market, currently valued at $603 billion.

Rachel Mackenzie, Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s area manager for Innse Gall, said: “It is fantastic to see two incredibly innovative Scottish companies working collaboratively to provide a world-class solution for the global spa industry. This technology will allow users to monitor the skin in the same way that we track our steps, sleep and food intake, driven by advancements in the med-tech arena. It’s crucial for companies to embrace innovation if they want to remain competitive in ever changing markets and we are delighted to support this important project.”

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