Last month, Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and specialty chemical company Lubrizol announced the launch of the first metaverse for beauty product manufacturers called the Argireline peptide verse. This interactive digital world offers users the opportunity to journey “Inside the Future of Beauty” by creating “avatars and explore a futuristic, visually stunning environment inspired by the structure of skin through engaging, informative displays while meeting, interacting and even speaking with other virtual visitors,” as detailed in the company’s press release.
Headquartered in Ohio, Lubrizol was founded in 1928 and maintains over one hundred facilities, employing approximately 8,800 people and selling ingredients in over one hundred countries worldwide. The company’s foray into the AI digital space is the latest move to expand and engage innovators by showcasing its Argireline peptide ingredient “in a way that has never been seen before.”
To learn more about the potential impact of Lubrizol’s metaverse innovation, the greatest benefits of this AI technology development, and the ways in which this technology can foster innovation across the cosmetics and personal care product supply chains, we spoke with Bianca McCarthy, Global Marketing Manager, Lipotec Active ingredients at Lubrizol for her insights.
About the Argireline peptide verse
When the Lubrizol team first conceptualized the Argireline peptide verse, its goal was to embrace “metaverse AI technology as an entirely new way to experience and access information for not only consumers, but also brands, formulators, and manufacturers,” said McCarthy. Because this technology also “has the potential to accelerate new product development,” it was a particularly appealing to the company’s product developers.
Lubrizol selected the Argireline peptide, which, as detailed on the company’s website, “is a hexapeptide designed to mimic Botulinum Toxin and creates an anti-wrinkle effect,” as the best fit candidate to focus on for its metaverse development and launch. “With the Argireline peptide verse,” McCarthy explained, “being able to walk into a 3D model of the skin and see how the skin reacts to the active ingredient is a learning opportunity that didn’t previously exist.”
Further, she added, the metaverse offers the opportunity to provide users “with dedicated areas and information for Argireline peptide, Argireline Amplified peptide, and the newly launched, Argireline YOUth peptide.” By engaging and interacting with users directly, “the immersive experience reduces the amount of time needed to understand a solution, how it can benefit the beauty consumer and whether it’s an ingredient to include within a new product formulation,” she shared.
Benefits of AI and metaverse tech
From a product formulation and development perspective, the Lubrizol metaverse offers cosmetic and personal care product manufacturers with substantial benefits and opportunities, particularly in the aspects of communication and enhancing product performance.
“The Argireline peptide verse provides a great platform for educating customers about our beauty ingredients to support their product formulation goals,” shared McCarhy, “and at the same time is transforming the way we analyze data and communicate solution benefits.”
For example, she illustrated, “AI allows us to create and train our own algorithms with multiple purposes and push the analysis beyond what a probe measures or a scanner acquires.” Further, in creating and launching the Argireline peptide verse, Lubrizol also created and launched a proprietary AI tool called SmiLearning.
This tool is a “smile rating technology based on a deep learning method, to analyze facial expressions,” she explained, and allows the company the ability to “go beyond conventional efficacy analysis, explore consumer feelings objectively and quantify the satisfaction grade of people when using a cosmetic product.” Lubrizol utilized SmiLearning during the Argireline YOUth peptide development process “to accelerate our work and expand our scope of analysis, resulting in the launch of this very exciting peptide active ingredient,” she shared.
Fostering innovation throughout the supply chain
Beauty product manufacturers throughout the supply chain are always seeking new methods of innovating product development, and information is a driving factor behind this process. For these formulators, “the push to get new products out to customers and consumers faster continues to increase,” said McCarthy, and “with tools like the Argireline peptide verse,” companies like Lubrizol are “supporting the sharing of product information in a new way.”
In this segment of the product supply chain, developers and formulators can utilize metaverse experiences to “reduce the amount of time needed to understand what an ingredient does and whether it fits with what they are developing,” she explained. Further, the AI metaverse “provides a fun, interactive learning experience that can foster out-of-the-box creative thinking and help formulators see their work” from a different perspective, she added.
Additionally, “the metaverse also complements how new generations are communicating and acquiring information,” she shared. Connecting with the next generation of product formulators and developers is a crucial step for ingredient manufacturers and is “something beauty brands are already recognizing and beginning to incorporate into their consumer experiences,” McCarthy acknowledged.
Moving forward, the Argireline peptide verse is the first step in a continuous journey for both Lubrizol and its beauty product manufacturing partners. Shared McCarthy, the company “is always looking for new ways to bring innovation to the beauty industry, and we anticipate the use of AI and metaverse experiences in our product development and education will continue to grow in the coming years.”