It's been five years since Function Of Beauty, a brand founded by MIT engineers and chemists, launched with completely customized haircare. The brand, which boasted virtually endless possibilities of customized formulations for both shampoos and conditioners, took the beauty world by storm. The super accessible quiz made personalizing your haircare set so easy, it's a wonder that no one had ever done it before. Since then, the brand launched customized hair treatments (including leave-in conditioner, serum, and mask), and now, the bran is finally expanding in to body care. Function Of Beauty's new body wash and lotion just launched on Tuesday, July 21, and they aren't just as good as you'd expect — they're better.
"Now that we feel really confident with how we've been doing haircare over the last five and a half years, what's next?" Zahir Dossa, Function Of Beauty CEO and Co-Founder, tells me over Zoom. "We think that the next foray into [personalized and customized beauty] is body care." According to Dossa and Sam Mang, Function Of Beauty's Senior Vice President of Brand & Innovation, the body care project has been in the works for quite a few years due to continued requests from their customers. They worked to perfect their haircare before expanding into a different category, and now, they're launching in a way that they know will satisfy their loyal customers.
"We started with understanding what the category dynamics are," explains Mang. "For body wash and body lotion, we know that the number one need is moisturization. We kept that in mind as we designed the algorithm. These products are a little less customized than our haircare products because the needs in this category are pretty straightforward. We never want to overcomplicate the quiz with questions that don't directly impact the formulation."
The quiz starts off asking about your skin type — is it balanced, dry, or very dry — and that then determines the level of moisturization that your skin needs. From there on, the customizations go into fragrance and color.
"We know that the secondary driver in these two categories is aesthetics and how pleasurable these products are to use," Mang explains. "We're focused more on the sheer delight of using body wash and body lotion, and that's really where we've expanded [the customization process]. Starting from the hair and working your way down your body, we want you to be able to look at your time in the shower as a moment of self-care, which is why we're excited to bring the same fragrances that we have in our hair products to the body products as well. We also want you to be able to bring [your chosen] color into your shower as well, since all of the products are meant to exist as a family." (You can choose what color you want for each Function Of Beauty product — perfect for styling the perfect shelfie.)
Unlike the haircare products, the customization of the body care products is a little less involved. "We're starting off our body care category without any body goals — like anti-aging and toning — but we're constantly adapting based on customer feedback, so we're definitely open to implementing body goals in the future," Mang says. "If we make a claim such as 'anti-aging,' we want to make sure do it at a level that's true and efficacious, so there has to be some testing on that. Specifically for anti-aging, the main cause of aging skin is loss of moisture, so keeping skin hydrated is the number one prevention for aging."
Since the brand's launch, their team has been focused on science-backed results that can be perfected in their labs, so these body products are more meant to bring the spa-like feeling of personalized body wash and lotion home with you.
The skincare-first focus of these products offers deep nourishment and luxurious application without ever stripping the skin. The body wash is modeled after the jelly-like texture of gentle, nourishing face cleansers, containing hero ingredients like sunflower seed oil, apple extract, glycerin, and sugar beet extract. According to Dossa, sulfates usually used in other body wash formulations to boost the lather and make for a really foamy wash. However, they were able to achieve that same lather without the sulfates.
Meanwhile, all formulations of the body lotion (regardless of how dry your skin is) contains vegan squalane, which is often seen in luxury skincare products; Function Of Beauty claims to be one of the first to offer the ingredient in body care. For dry and very dry skin types, the body lotion also adds in Brazilian-sourced cupuaçu butter for deeper nourishment.
I had the opportunity of trying out the products prior to their launch. I received them after my conversation with Dossa and Mang, so I knew what to look out for and what experiences I was hoping to have with the products. Full disclosure, I've been a long-time fan of their customized hair products, which I've been using on and off for the last two years. That meant that the bar was set pretty high for their new product category, and I'm happy to say that they did not disappoint.
My skin type is very dry, which is what I selected for both the body wash and lotion. I picked the nude (p)each scent for both, and (like the basic gal I am) chose pink for both colors so they could match my current haircare bottles. Upon first opening my package, I was delightfully pleased with how cohesive the bottles looked next to the shampoo and conditioner bottles from the line, which lived up to the promise of cute aesthetics. But of course, appearances mean nothing if the products don't work the way they're supposed to.
To be honest, I've never really been picky with my body wash. I'm a big fan of drugstore products, and my body seems to like them. I'll occasionally branch out into something more pricey if a brand I love launches one, but once that runs out, I usually just go back to my trusted body washes that I've been using since high school. Though this body wash is only $10, it felt just as luxurious as other ones I've tried that are three or four times its price. The lather was just as foamy as I wanted it to be, but my skin still felt super soft and supple afterward. I was even able to use the body wash to shave, and I haven't noticed any ingrown hairs or uneven texture in the past two weeks that I've been using it.
Unlike my body washes, I'm extremely picky about my body lotions. My skin tends to run extremely dry — flaky knees and elbows are my worst enemy — so I'm always on the hunt for body lotions that feel hydrating but don't sit on top of my skin all day. I often notice that very nourishing lotions sit on top of my skin, leaving greasy prints with everything I come in contact with, or quick-absorbing lotions don't keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. I loved how quickly the lotion absorbed into my skin, but somehow made all the difference in my skin's texture the whole day. I also loved how the scent stayed on the surface of my skin for literal hours after my first use, and every use since.
Though I'm pleased with how much I loved the products, I'm genuinely not surprised — Function Of Beauty products have become staples on my beauty shelf, and now I just get to add these to the fam.
Function Of Beauty's new body care products are now on sale on their website. The 8-ounce sets are available for $19.99, and the 16-ounce sets are available for $29.99. You can also purchase each of them separately in 16-ounce bottles for $19.99 each.