The beauty industry is one of the few that is yet to fully embrace technological developments. The fact remains that lotions and potions still dominate the sector, with many core ingredients untouched for decades. However, technological innovations are at last beginning to redefine the meaning of beauty treatments and the past twelve months have seen a noticeable surge in beauty tech products. Here are the up and coming technologies that will redefine the sector.
The beauty industry has certainly been comparatively slow to embrace disruptive technologies. There has, however, been a marked shift in attitudes over the last several years towards using technology in helping aid choices of product. Consumers still value the opinions of trained and qualified experts, and it is this expertise that is informing many of the newest technologies on the market.
It is not possible to have experts choose your products for you every time and in today’s hectic society it is difficult to find time to devote to selecting the correct product for you. The efficacy of any product can differ greatly from person to person, and for that reason, beauty consumers have typically had to rely on recommendations made by friends, family or colleagues when deciding what to buy.
Now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reducing the issue that so many of us have whereby we invest in a product or treatment only to later find it just doesn’t work for our skin. AI-enabled algorithms can now provide recommendations based on an aggregation of reviews made by people with similar skincare needs, meaning consumers can be confident in the choices they make.
At-home tech is an area where there is a real rise in interest, with consumers choosing to invest in gadgets that allow them to carry out treatments themselves at home. These range from laser hair removal to nail curing lamps. It seems that consumers are happy to forego a human experience where they can save themselves the inconvenience of visiting a salon or store.
Personalisation through data
There are strong indications that the future of beauty tech will focus on personalisation. Technologies already exist that can analyse the condition of the skin using a DNA sample. In the next ten years, it is likely that we will see this being used to give comprehensive product recommendations to consumers.
Personalisation in terms of diversity is another area that there is likely to be a focus on in the coming years. While recent product lines such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty have finally brought a fuller range of shades, there’s still plenty of room for more personalised services to get the perfect colour. Colour matching and blending software is developing very quickly, which will allow users to scan their complexion and create their perfect shade of makeup, whether it be the foundation, lip, or cheek, in real time.
Smart Home Integration
Beauty gadgets are set to become increasingly prominent features of daily life as they become more integrated with our favourite devices such as smartphones and tablets. We are already witnessing this with the rise of smart mirrors that can display your emails, calendar, news stories and even be used to have Skype calls. It won’t be long until we see bathroom manufacturers jump on this trend to integrate these interconnected products into their standard offering.
Try before you buy
Augmented reality will become a core component of the consumer experience. Earliest versions of the technology positioned it as a novel marketing technique but progress in the sector suggests consumers will regularly use augmented reality software to digitally ‘try on’ different hair or makeup looks before committing to a haircut or product.
Augmented reality is becoming increasingly popular and beginning to hit the mainstream. We are seeing more and more high street companies and big-name brands in other sectors, such as IKEA, opting to enhance consumers’ experiences through AR. Recent years have seen an explosion of YouTube and online tutorials – AR is the next logical step, showing in real-time how items will look in your home, how clothes will look on your body and how makeup will look on your face. The technology is on the cusp of becoming a standard method of shopping and will no doubt upturn the way we ‘try on’ makeup in beauty stores soon.
Technology is clearly moving closer to the mainstream in the beauty industry. Plenty of beauty buyers’ most common frustrations will be aided by intelligent matching of products, increased personalisation and easier access to advice and recommendations. The beauty industry as we know it is about to get a whole lot techier.
Contributed by: Cin-Yee Ho – Head of Marketing & PR Europe at HiMirror.