These years, new technologies, such as AI, are developing at a rapid speed and are being applied in all kinds of areas, including cosmetic sector. AI skin diagnosis is no doubt one of the hottest new developments shaping the sector. Both cosmetics companies and tech companies are fighting for market share in this emerging segment of the cosmetics sector.
AI skin diagnosis tools promoted by cosmetic companies
In May 2019, La Posay, in collaboration with Alibaba Group (China’s largest E-commerce platform), released a mobile artificial intelligence detection application for acne.
L’oreal and Modiface will launch a new digital skin diagnostic tool, SkinConsult, which also leverages artificial intelligence for the company's Vichy brand. Vichy SkinConsult will provide customers with tailored diagnostics in three steps. Customers can upload a selfie to the brand's website, they will receive feedback on fine lines, dark spots, wrinkles and pores, and receive products tailored to these problems.
Unilever's skin care brand POND’S also announced the launch of the world's first artificial intelligence skin diagnostic tool to help consumers solve the four problems of spots, acne, wrinkles and skin blemishes this year. The artificial intelligence tool called Skin Advisor Live (hereinafter referred to as SAL) combines the programming of US high-tech giant Google (Google) with the skin research technology company BTBP's DeepTag skin diagnostic technology, The AI can assess consumers’ skin condition and find the brand that best suits the individualized requirements of each consumer.
SAL mainly exists as a plug-in on various social media and chat software (Messenger and Line). After uploading consumers’ own selfie and completing the quiz, SAL will analyze the spots, acne, wrinkles and uneven skin color on the user's skin through built-in diagnostic technology, and test results and recommendations will be sent to the user in less than 1 minute.
POND’S said that with the support of DeepTag Technology and the brand's many years of clinical investigations, SAL will provide users with an accurate diagnosis that is not inferior to professional dermatologists. POND’S said that the launch of the SAL function has brought more attention to the brand and has also greatly increased sales.
Other companies enter the market
In fact, it is not only cosmetic companies that have an interest in this function, other companies such as technology or retail companies are also actively setting up in this field. Their products usually have multiple functions but always regard AI skin diagnosis as a big selling point, from smart retail machines to AI beauty mirrors. Here are two examples:
The first example is smart retail machines. As shown in the following picture, the smart retail machine provides multiple services to customers besides selling products. It can help consumers to do a skin diagnosis, experience virtual makeup and purchase products in less than 5 minutes. It provides customers great convenience. This enhanced “vending machine” experience affords major convenience to both consumers and retailers. Consumers are offered a much richer, more engaging experience and can purchase immediately. Retailers are afforded a lot more options in terms of vending machine location, product placement etc. compared to the inflexibility of bricks and mortar locations.
Another example is TmallGenie Queen AI Beauty Mirror. It is a product that combines the TmalGenie AI smart speaker and the makeup mirror. It is a product of Alibaba Group and has multiple functions.
This mirror can adjust light automatically on the basis of environment and user’s instrument. It can also provide makeup and skincare knowledge for users. For instance, if the user asks the mirror a question: “TmallGenie, how is the UV intensity today?” It will answer: “The UV intensity is very strong today. Please apply SPF50 sunscreen and go out with an umbrella.”
This beauty mirror also has a skin diagnosis function. Users can do skin diagnosis at any time by logging in the TmallGenie app.
As personalization is one of the popular trends in cosmetic market, more and more consumers would like to do a skin diagnosis and get their own skincare “prescription”. And for convenience, they prefer to do it by themselves rather than go to the hospital as long as the diagnosis is accurate and reliable. Therefore, the appearance of tools and machines mentioned above is definitely a good choice for consumers.
Note: This is the second article in a series of articles entitled, Application of New Tech in China’s Cosmetic Sector. The next one, Consumers are exploring beauty instruments, is coming soon.
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