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Editor's pick product

L’Oréal sells new UV skin sensor exclusively at Apple stores

L'Oréal's My Skin Track UV
L’Oréal’s My Skin Track UV

L’Oréal USA is teaming up with Apple as an exclusive nationwide retail partner for the launch of its new skincare technology device, the My Skin Track UV sensor.

The move marks the first time a beauty company has partnered with Apple retail stores.

“I think that it opens the door for a new consumer market for us, and a new retail environment,” Guive Balooch, global VP of L’Oréal’s tech incubator, told Fast Company.

The device is part of the ongoing UV Sense prototype from the beauty group’s La Roche-Posay brand, which launched as a nail patch earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This iteration sees the sensor technology applied onto a battery-free device, which can be clipped onto clothing and accessories with the aim to measure the wearer’s exposure to UV radiation.

Like the nail patch, the device is accompanied by an app that translates that data to the user, making them aware of not only their individual UV exposure but giving them personalized advice on how to keep it at a safe level. It also uses a phone’s location-based data to provide further information about humidity, air quality and pollen in the area.

The My Skin Track UV app will also display data on Apple’s HealthKit, in a further move to educate the consumer on the damages of sun exposure as part of their day-to-day lives. Meanwhile, moving from a nail patch to a clip-on device furthers the groups attempt to also attract the male audience.

At SXSW festival earlier this year, TheCurrent spoke to Balooch on how the group is deploying technology to have more one-to-one relationships with its consumers. Beyond connected devices, from the clip-on to a hairbrush, this strategy also includes new digital tools that aim to bridge the gap between physical and online experiences. Recently, it introduced digital beauty assistants that use AR technology to showcase makeup looks to customers via video chat.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Podcast

Supergoop! on the clean beauty revolution

Liz Bacelar and Supergoop!'s Amanda Baldwin
Liz Bacelar and Supergoop!’s Amanda Baldwin

“The clean beauty revolution is the next big thing that’s going to hit this industry,” says Amanda Baldwin, president of suncare brand, Supergoop!, on the latest episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast.

Speaking to Liz Bacelar, she explains that from day one, Supergoop has maintained a singular focus: convincing people to wear sunscreen every day by making it with the cleanest ingredients possible. After 11 years in business, the company is at the forefront of a huge shift in the industry.

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Founder Holly Thaggard, created Supergoop after her friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, making it her mission to develop products that would convince people to wear SPF every day.

But this purpose is more than just the core of the products, Baldwin says, it’s also the main reason people want to work there. “We just surveyed to ask what’s making people excited about being our employees and the number one reason was the mission of the company.”

According to Baldwin, working in a company as mission-driven as Supergoop makes every decision easier for the team. “When you’re faced with some decision, it comes down to: does this help people wear SPF every single day? If the reason is yes, we should do it, if the answer is no, we don’t.”

Supergoop!
Supergoop!

Supergoop’s staff is cognizant of its deep sense of responsibility, especially at a time when more people are becoming aware of the ingredients in the products they consume. This is the edge of what Baldwin’s call the clean revolution. “Once you start reading labels, you can never go back. And I think that consumers should be able to trust brands to have done their research and to have done their work.”

In this episode, Baldwin also talks about how food trends can tell us what to expect from the beauty industry, the importance of learning from other people in order to create a successful company, and how to commit to being clean and cruelty-free without compromising the process.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick technology

At CES 2018, beauty tech ruled the scene

Foreo's UFO - CES
Foreo’s UFO

CES might have been heavily about automated vehicles and voice technology, but beauty also played a big role in 2018. From skin analysis gadgets to smart mirrors and even a miniature custom laboratory, here is our pick of the best new tech straight from Las Vegas. Note the key theme of personalization throughout.

Neutrogena’s SkinScanner
Neutrogena's Skin Scanner - CES
Neutrogena’s SkinScanner

Neutrogena unveiled a device called SkinScanner – a small gadget that attaches to your iPhone and uses sensors to analyse your skin. All users do is press it right onto their faces to capture a series of images. In an app called Skin360, they are then able to see the health of their skin over time, analyzing moisture levels, wrinkles, and pore size.

Created with a New York-based company called Fitskin, the device uses 12 LED lights and a 30x magnification lens to capture incredibly close-up images. The app meanwhile uses machine learning to compare skin health with others in the same age range. For poor skin health, users are directed to the Neutrogena store.

L'Oréal's UV Sense
L’Oréal’s UV Sense
L’Oréal’s UV Sense

L’Oréal unveiled a battery-free wearable electronic that provides consumers with individual information of their ultraviolet (UV) exposure through a small design worn on the nail. UV Sense, as it’s called, will launch for dermatological skincare brand La Roche-Posay this summer.

The launch follows the first stretchable skin sensor measuring UV exposure from the group unveiled at CES in 2016, called My UV Patch. This new one is less than two millimeters thick, nine millimeters in diameter and designed to be worn for up to two weeks on the thumbnail. It can also store up to three months of data.

Foreo’s UFO
Foreo's UFO - CES
Foreo’s UFO

Swedish brand Foreo launched its UFO smart mask, an at-home treatment device combining LED light therapy with cryo-therapy, thermo-therapy and T-Sonic pulsations, all activated via your smartphone in 90-seconds. This comes off the back of “face masks”being the number one searched term within the beauty category on Google in 2017.

The device has been in development for four years and is now available to pre-order in partnership with crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

HiMirror

Beauty tech brand HiMirror released its voice-interactive smart mirror, for which it was named a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree. The HiMirror Mini offers in-depth, personalized skincare analysis based on the evolving conditions of the skin, local weather conditions and more. As with the Neutrogena SkinScanner, it records the user’s skin overtime, tracking goals and the results of products used.

It is equipped with Amazon Alexa-enabled features, as well as facial and voice recognition account access. It even reminds users of product expirations and features an entertainment center consisting of current news stories, music, ambient make-up lighting, video tutorials and a virtual make-up feature. It will be available in the US in late summer 2018.

Kohler’s Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror

Another voice-activated mirror came from Kohler. The Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which retails for $999, is equipped with Amazon Alexa to allow users to control light setting to give them a better make-up application or grooming experience. In fact, you get all of the functionality of Alexa, including weather updates, shopping, playing music, receiving traffic alerts and more.

The device also works as a motion-activated night light, meaning it automatically brightens to a comfortable level for hand washing.

Romy Paris’ Miniaturized Laboratory
Romy Paris’ Miniaturized Laboratory - CES
Romy Paris’ Miniaturized Laboratory

Romy Paris introduced a “miniaturized laboratory” that creates a personalized skincare serum for users every day. The cosmetic formulator uses technology similar to the cold exaction used in a juicer, reportedly, to create the right combination of ingredients for your skin. 

A beauty coaching app meanwhile takes the users’ environment, activities and sleep habits into consideration. The idea is that just as you don’t eat the same food every day, your skin needs different nutrients dependent to best suit its condition and surrounds. A multi-user mode makes the $800 device able to create custom serums for different people in the household.

Schwarzkopf Professional SalonLab Analyzer

Schwarzkopf launched a handheld device that measures hair condition as well as hair color to provide hyper-personalized recommendations on products and services.

The SalonLab Analyzer uses near infrared spectroscopy and a multi-channel color scanner to read the hair. The system is also accompanied by an augmented reality app that enables users to then try on different hair colors.

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Editor's pick product technology

CES 2018: L’Oréal’s latest UV sensor is designed to look like nail art

L'Oréal's UV Sense
L’Oréal’s UV Sense

L’Oréal has unveiled UV Sense at CES this week, a battery-free wearable electronic that provides consumers with individual information of their ultraviolet (UV) exposure through a small design worn on the nail.

The product will launch for dermatological skincare brand La Roche-Posay this summer. It has been created in collaboration with visionary designer Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject, and comes from L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator.

“L’Oréal research shows that overexposure to UV rays is a top health and beauty concern of consumers worldwide,” says Guive Balooch, global vice president of the incubator. “With this knowledge, we set out to create something that blends problem-solving technology with human-centered design to reach even more consumers who require additional information about their UV exposure. Whenever we develop a new technology, our goal is to make an enormous global impact by enhancing consumers’ lives.”

He adds: “Beauty trends show that adoption of wearable nail art accessories is on the rise, with a more than 65% increase in nail art trends over the last five years. Our innovation taps into this growing trend, while illustrating our deep commitment to sun safe behavior and protection.”

The launch follows the first stretchable skin sensor measuring UV exposure from the group unveiled at CES in 2016, called My UV Patch. Since then, La Roche-Posay has distributed more than one million patches to consumers in 37 countries free of charge to encourage sun safe behaviors.

This new launch follows feedback from users showing that although they changed their behaviour – 63% reported less sunburn, 34% apply sunscreen more often and 37% try to stay in the shade more frequently – they wanted a smaller wearable with longer wear and real-time data.

UV Sense is less than two millimeters thick, nine millimeters in diameter and designed to be worn for up to two weeks on the thumbnail, compared to just several days for My UV Patch. It can also store up to three months of data.

It is powered by the user’s mobile phone and activated by UVA and UVB rays. An accompanying app translates and transfers data from the sensor using Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled technology.

“Design and technology are inextricably linked, and as products become more personalized to individuals, both elements are integral to providing people with seamless experiences,” says Behar. “By working with L’Oréal, we are able to pair deep expertise in beauty tech with an effective design that enhances consumers’ wellbeing without distracting from their everyday lives.”

Both UV Sense and a new limited-edition redesign of My UV Patch draw from research L’Oréal conducted in conjunction with MC10 Inc, a leading wearable technology company, and professor John Rogers at Northwestern University, through his portfolio of intellectual property (IP) and innovation around flexible, stretchable electronics.

They will both be available via www.laroche-posay.us on a limited basis in the US for the 2018 summer season with a global launch following in 2019.