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Talking about new technologies in 2020 sounds a bit retro, but it is the most appropriate term to encompass all new tools that are on the market and that are being directed to cosmetic industry. As we previously discussed in the post about the latest trends in cosmetic innovation for this year, the cosmetic industry reinvents itself every day and is very careful to apply the latest developments to personal care.

Thanks to this commitment between technology and innovation, the cosmetic industry has been able to adapt, in record time, to the new restrictions and behavior patterns due to the covid-19 pandemic. Below we have compiled the latest technological innovations applied to the cosmetic industry:

Artificial intelligence for better hygiene

Sephora has been one of the first companies to have augmented reality mirrors in its stores. With these mirrors, customers can try on makeup products without touching them. This means lower costs in sample material and greater hygiene in stores, thus increasing the level of consumer confidence (1).

Other companies such as Amorepacific have installed a series of augmented reality mirrors in their Seoul stores that analyse the skin type of the consumer. After analysing the photograph, the device recommends brand products based on the type and texture of the skin, in addition to showing a predictive result after using those products (2).

To help us choose the type of haircut or dye, Coty has designed an augmented reality mirror installed in hairdressing salons, which allows us to see the result before putting our hair in the hands of the stylist (3).

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Mobile apps

Mobile applications are not a novelty in themselves, but cosmetic applications to check the effect of certain products on your skin are.

Lancôme has launched an application to virtually test its makeup products, this app is integrated into its website, which facilitates the purchase process, allows the user to test the result of the product using augmented reality (4).

On the other hand, the L’Oréal innovation laboratory has developed the Skin Genius application, which scans the person’s face to analyse their skin tone and create a personalized profile that informs them about the type of skin, their needs and, of course, recommend them brand products (5).

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Gadgets

So far, we have seen how the cosmetic industry has adapted existing technology to the needs of its consumers. One step further we find gadgets that are specifically designed for their cosmetic function.

Neutrogena has innovated in the self-diagnosis of skin through the smartphone, they have designed a gadget that adheres to the iPhone, unfortunately it only works with iPhone. The Neutrogena Skin360 device scans pores, expression lines and measures the skin’s humidity to subsequently advise its most appropriate products for the skin type (6).

On the other hand, with the rise of personalised cosmetics, various gadgets are being launched on the market to create custom cosmetic formulas. These devices use specific ingredients as coffee capsules, such as Emulation by Basf and B2B Cosmetics or Perso by L’Oréal. So that the consumer can mix the ingredients as he or she likes, or according to the needs of his skin (7).

Another type of gadget with a wide market in cosmetics is facial cleaning devices. On one hand, there are devices such as Clenosan Beauty Tech that use the rotation of their interchangeable heads to cleanse, exfoliate, soften and activate the blood circulation of the skin. Another cleaning gadget is Luna by Foreo, this electronic device uses silicone filaments and 8000 pulses to remove dirt, grease and dead skin cells in 30 seconds, reducing daily cleaning routines.

Lastly, SpectraLite FaceWare Pro is among the most daring innovations in the field of cosmetic gadgets. This mask by Dr. Dennis Gross features 100 red LED lights that stimulate the production of collagen and 62 blue LED lights that reduce the amount of Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that causes acne after 10 weeks of use (8).

SpectraLite FaceWare Pro

E-commerce

Finally, it is worth mentioning online commerce, which, although it is not a new technology or a novelty, is going to undergo significant changes in the coming years.

These changes are related to the consumption habits acquired during confinement. Consumers who were forced to shop online for the first time have discovered new channels to purchase products, and the cosmetics industry wants to be present on those channels.

This will lead to large e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Cdiscount, Zalando or ASOS to include a cosmetic department on their websites, which will allow both large cosmetic brands and low-cost brands to sell their products directly on this type of platform. (9).

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The challenge of data protection

With any mobile application or technology assistant, the balance between providing good service and protecting user data is hard work.

The data collected by the applications and gadgets of cosmetic personalization, not only collect personal information but also physical information such as skin condition, treatments and others.

So the consumer must be informed about what data will be collected and which use will be provided.