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September 17 2015
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PDD

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Beauty and Brains: Hi-tech skincare devices

Star Wars. You either love it or – like me – you’ve never watched it. (No, not even one of them. Yes, I know Star Wars is a classic – shame on me). I am aware, however, that Episode 7, the next instalment of the global sci-fi phenomenon, is due for release in December this year and a bunch of Star Wars-themed products will soon be coming to a store near you.

The beauty industry is also getting involved. US cosmetics brand Cover Girl and sister brand Max Factor have just released a collection of make-up products, including black mascara in limited edition tubes inscribed with well-known Star Wars quotes. Clearly aimed at collectors and die-hard fans, the range features metallic lip and nail shades but nothing by way of ‘smart’ or space-age technology. An opportunity missed maybe?

In a world where everything from socks and toothbrushes to toys and tattoos are being created ‘smart’, several beauty and tech brands have got on board with clever treatments and devices designed to help customers get picture-perfect skin. Here are just a few:

 

The Futuristic Therapy Mask


Image credit: Aesthetic Beauty

Somewhat less Stormtrooper and more ice hockey mask as sported by the scary guy in the Friday the 13th horror movies (Google ‘Jason Voorhees’) the DEESSE Spectrum Mask is an LED light-laden facial rejuvenation product.

Red lights are used to stimulate collagen and break up hyper-pigmentation, while blue lights treat acne and reduce inflammation. Red and blue lights together work to increase blood flow and accelerate wound healing. Hailing from Korea, this mask treatment is typically offered and administered by professional beauticians but is also available for home use. At close to $3,000, the LED mask is not the cheapest light therapy option on the market but could, nevertheless, double up as a Halloween party prop.

 

The Smart Mask


Image credit: Shiseido

HAKU I-DEVICE by Shiseido is a face mask powered by an iPhone app. Sold only in Japan, the device consists of a pre-treated moisturising mask that is activated by a gentle electrical current.

 

The Cube Skin Coach


Image credit: Oku

Placed directly on the face, the Oku really gets up close and personal with your skin. The cubic device employs sensors that ‘see through’ layers of skin to deliver a numerical SkinScore™ comprised of details that include: moisture levels, oil content, texture, wrinkles, elasticity and pigmentation. The data is sent to your iPhone and in addition to providing recommendations for achieving better looking skin, including tips on lifestyle and diet, OKU also suggests beauty products best suited to your skin’s needs.

 

The Skin Activity Tracker


Image credit: WAY

Exceeding its crowdfunding target by almost 2.5 times, WAY has been described as a beauty-industry game-changer. A smart “personal skincare companion” the doughnut-shaped gadget pairs with an app on your smartphone to provide beauty advice on the go. Sensors in the device monitor data about the environment – UV and humidity levels – and combine this with skin-specific biometric stats to deliver practical personalised skincare tips. An example of this could be a reminder to reapply moisturiser.

One of the biggest trends in the beauty and personal care industry is for more personalised products. Smart skincare gadgets that provide customised feedback and product recommendations offer consumers unprecedented opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of their skincare and make more informed purchasing decisions. Armed with knowledge about the items that suit us best, we not only become savvier consumers but also get a step closer to becoming experts in our own skin. Hooray!

Clearly, the value of understanding which products really ‘work’ and for whom is not restricted to consumers alone. For cosmetic companies, access to data of this nature holds the potential to transform how products are developed and marketed in the future.

Colour-matching technology has helped take the guesswork out of nailing the exact shade of foundation to go with our skin. It seems now that the next step forward in achieving our healthiest best-looking skin lies in the power of intelligent devices and, as the OKU and WAY gadgets go to show, for truly bespoke skin counselling, we definitely should not be afraid to turn to the Smart Side. 🙂

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Posted by PDD
@pddinnovation

Languages spoken: Global.
The last thing that inspired me: Design and Innovation.
My dream project: A project that makes a difference in the world.
My obsession: Develop successful, award-winning and world-first products and experiences.

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