The Future of Beauty
The beauty industry in many ways has been a standout in implementing new technology among its retail peers. From creating enhanced experiences involving augmented or virtual reality to smart dressing room mirrors that recognize you and recommend purchases based on your shopping history, the industry is routinely investing in technologies and unafraid of experimentation.
Tackling Health and Personalization Through Technology
L’Oreal recently introduced the UV Sense, a tiny sensor worn on the fingernail that detects the presence of harmful UV rays and alerts the user to apply sunscreen. It can last up to 4 weeks, powered by sunlight, and connects via NFC to a smartphone. The UV Sense follows L’Oreal’s previous iteration on the UV-detecting wearable, 2016’s My UV Skin patch, which stuck onto skin like a band-aid, and also communicated with a wearer’s mobile device.

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Personalization is something retailers in every segment have been working on perfecting, but in few industries is it as relevant as in the beauty world. With countless different hair colors and skin tones and types to account for, leaving out any one combination could leave a sizable number of shoppers out in the cold.

Once again, L’Oreal is positioning itself ahead of this trend with two innovative twists on providing customers with makeup to perfectly match their skin tone and a skincare product produced on the spot based on customer input about their skin type. The first, Lancôme’s Le Teint Particulier, utilizes a camera to photograph a user’s skin, then feed the images through an iPad-powered algorithm, according to Fast Company, which tried the machine first-hand at South by Southwest. The result is a one of a kind custom-mixed foundation L’Oreal told Fast Company will be a perfect match for “almost 100% of women.”

A ‘D.O.S.E.’ of Something New
L’Oreal’s new D.O.S.E. machine, also debuted at SXSW, collects data entered by a user on a tablet and runs it through an algorithm before delivering a bottle of skincare product tailor-made to the customer’s exact skin type. The customer can even ask for the product to be a cream or a serum, etc.
Technology is playing a big part in the beauty world’s evolution. From skin health to designing a perfectly matched foundation color to new and innovative in-store experiences, every aspect of the beauty market is getting a high-tech makeover in recent years. The time spent developing these new services is proving a strong differentiator for beauty, and seeing how other retail markets work to catch up should be interesting to watch.