Beauty Can be Touched—Design for Disability-Friendly Packaging
Image Credit Victorialand Beauty

Within the beauty industry, 'beautiful' usually represents something visual. If you are reading this now without the assistance of a screen reader, perhaps you've already recalled a scene that made you hold your breath. Maybe ‘refined people’, enchanting waterfalls, or awesome architectural monuments come to mind. But it doesn't take long to recognise that beauty is much more. No waterfall is complete without the characteristic roar of water surging, hissing, and slamming on slippery rocks as it snakes its way through valleys and mossy jungles. And what is a breathtaking architectural monument without a sneaked touch of its mosaic walls, or a whiff of the foundations that disclose its history?


Accessibility in Beauty Means Recognising Multiple Modalities

Those of us gifted with sight are often minimally appreciative of the other senses—the senses of hearing, smell, taste and touch—since we regularly discount their importance and relevance in our lives. 

Yet we subconsciously know how beauty is much more than what the eye sees. Beauty is the texture of a baby's cheek—how it's silky, plump, and delicate. It's the smell of health, which smells like nothing when one is healthy, but during times of sickness, appears frighteningly irretrievable. Beauty is the flavour of pristine water and the quivering sound of an acoustic melody.

It is now time for this recognition to no longer be an afterthought, but a conscious one.

CyR.U.S., a Universal Touch System for Identifying Products

Victorialand Beauty embodies not only the usual ethics we embrace on Yuty—like conscious production and sustainable practices—but also leads a conversation on accessible design and beauty beyond the modality of sight. 

When founder Victoria Watts first launched Victorialand Beauty, she had been pursuing a personal quest to solve severe hyperpigmentation. However, upon learning that her fourth child, Cyrus, was born with a rare hereditary disorder that led to visual impairment, she recognised a gap in the beauty industry. It simply was not serving individuals without full sight. Symptoms of her son's condition included vision loss or blindness, retinal detachment, and strabismus. Inspired by her son Cyrus, Victoria created a new touch system for identifying products to enhance current packaging methods.

Her remarkable system, The CyR.U.S.™ System of Raised Universal Symbols, is a tactile recognition system comprised of raised trademarked symbols for product packaging. 

Simple, elegant symbols recognisable by touch and visually logical, they're on every Victorialand product.

One raised, outlined dewdrop indicates face oil, while two smaller dewdrop outlines above each other represent face serum. The CyR.U.S. 'tactegraphics' (their word for tactile emojis) were extensively user-tested to specify the right elevation and thickness for the visually impaired population.

"We listened to the voices of our visually impaired community and learned that handmade beauty product markers using tape, tags or handmade Braille labels, are outdated models," says Victoria Watts on the CyR.U.S. website. 

The goal of the CyR.U.S. system is widespread adoption within the beauty industry. Any brand can get in touch with the organisation and arrange to have the tactegraphics on their packaging. 

CyR.U.S.’s bold manifesto is a powerful sign of change. As the shift toward greater inclusivity continues, a philosophical zeitgeist is happening. We're redefining beauty beyond outmoded norms. 

Yet, there remains an unmet need for alternative dimensions of perception to be acknowledged. We need to recognise the needs of individuals with disabilities. We need to admit that beauty is not only in the 'eye' of the beholder, but in the touch, smell, taste, and sound as well. 

Experience Victorialand Beauty and support the CyR.U.S. mission.

Victorialand Beauty

Skin-Loving Sleep Mask

£44.00 | 50 ml / 1.7 oz

A dreamy blend of organic CBD and energising Olivine is all about beauty sleep to the max. It works overnight to ensure that your skin gets its glow on by morning. Fatigued skin will awaken to look hydrated, youthful and radiant—good enough to go naked. Dreams do come true!

Victorialand Beauty

Skin-Loving Face Oil

£43.00 | 30 ml / 1 Fl oz

This luxuriously rich oil is formulated to quickly absorb into the skin to leave it looking firmer and gorgeously glowing. With key ingredients Revinage®, Gatuline®, In-Tense and Rosehip Seed Oil.

Victorialand Beauty

Skin-Loving Moisturizer

£43.00 | 30 ml / 1 Fl oz

This revitalising and nourishing cream is formulated to lock in moisture and reduce hyperpigmentation (brown spots) and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Rosehip Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid and Meadowfoam Seed Oil give your skin a dewy finish and radiant glow.


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