Why should formulating chemists care about personalized beauty?

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (masterzphotois)
© Getty Images \ (masterzphotois)

Related tags Personalization customisation beauty tech Npd

A lot of what’s going on in the personalized beauty space today relies on algorithms, data, and all things digital. But ingredient makers are getting in on the trend too, helping chemists trouble shoot NPD for personalized and custom formulation options.

Many of the recent innovations in personalized beauty are in the tech space. Entire brands, such as Proven Skincare and the Atolla Skin Health System, rely on increasingly sophisticated algorithms to determine the product formulations that are right for their customers. And soon-to-launch tech tools like P&G’s Opté and the Cutitronics white-label device rely on a digital ‘understanding’ of what any given consumer’s skin looks like in the moment.

Personalized beauty technology is getting evermore sophisticated

Proven Skincare “uses artificial intelligence [AI] and big data to develop individualized skin care product formulas,” ​as Cosmetics Design Editor Deanna Utroske​ noted in an Indie Beauty Profile column featuring brand founder Ming Zhao​ late last year.

As Zhao explains in that profile, her brand (Co-Founded with Amy Yuan), “is a technology-first CPG company built on the understanding that everybody’s skin and life is unique and therefore, their skincare solutions should be too.”

Atolla Skin Health, another personalized tech-driven beauty brand, launched one year ago this month.​ The brand, led by Founders Megan Maupin and Sid Salvi, “is built on giving and getting data and feedback from our users….[about] uniquely combining key measurements of skin health with an extended dermatological history and products preferences to make the most efficacious product that someone loves to use,” ​explained Salvi in his remarks to the press when the brand first launched. And their concept shows such promise that just last month Atolla closed a $2.5m round of seed funding led by Lyra Growth Partners.

Consumer held beauty tech devices promise personalized results

P&G has developed a consumer held device that lays down a minimum amount of pigment to effectively airbrush skin in real life. Cosmetics Design readers my recall hearing about the Opté at or following last year’s CEW Connected Consumer event in New York City.​ And that device​ is set to launch later this year.

Similarly, Cutitronics ​has a high-tech consumer-held tool set to launch soon. This tool is all about skin care (not color) and will help aestheticians, brands, formulators, and ingredient makers—like Cutitronics’ partner Croda​—learn and adapt to the realities of consumer skin care practices.

Ingredient makers are getting in on personalized beauty too

It’s not all about beauty tech. Conventional specialty chemical makers and natural ingredient suppliers are getting in on the personalized beauty movement too. The Dow Trends Lab, as an example, offers an online interface and product prototype formula collection that guides chemists through a simple hair care customization experience.

The full online trends platform from Dow comprises several current beauty trends that a spokesperson for the company puts under the headings of “sustainability, personalization, and digitalization.”​ Those trends include Holistic Beauty, Well-Being, Values-Driven Beauty, Urban Beauty, and more​.

Beauty tech innovations promise to fine tune product formulation briefs. But what’s key with a platform like the one from Dow, so far as the personalized beauty conversation is concerned, is that it's an opportunity for formulators and product development experts to find a way into the custom beauty concept and maybe even blend up a prototype to try for themselves without getting carried away with AI.

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