H2O Plus Beauty is homing in on hydration.
The San Francisco-based beauty company has teamed with MiLi Smart Technology to introduce a skin hydration measurement device to the mass market.
The MiLi Moisture Meter, which H2O Plus Beauty will sell through its e-commerce site, is designed to monitor hydration levels on various areas of the skin, including the hands, eyes and face. The device can be linked to smartphones via Bluetooth technology, and a corresponding app tracks the data gleaned by MiLi, so users can discover just how hydrated — or not — their skin is.
The app also dispenses home-care advice for the three hydration levels it is able to diagnose — dry, normal and hydrated. Dry? Drink some water, get some sleep and DIY a mask from the Greek yogurt in your fridge.
Devices have not seen much play in the mass market — aside from Neutrogena’s LED Light Therapy mask launch last year, it’s a category that’s been slow to catch on.
But H2O Plus Beauty, which underwent last year a major re-brand targeted at Millennials, is betting that wellness aspect of the gadget will draw in consumers, said chief executive officer Joy Chen.
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“Consumers are wanting to capture and measure what they’re doing,” Chen said. “Many people now have Fitbits and Apple Watches and they spend a lot of time measuring their wellness — it’s important to them.”
The MiLi app does not link to or mention H2O’s line of skin-care and bath and body products, but Chen said an e-commerce connection is possible down the line. For now, the device is designed to be used as an at-home educational tool that provides information about health.
“We see a huge opportunity to educate people about skin — there are so many myths about skin and what is hydrated and what is not,” Chen said. “People think if you have oily skin, you don’t need to hydrate, but the MiLi provides you with data to see if your skin is dehydrated — it provides a sense of wellness.”
The MiLi retails for $59. During the month of May, it will be offered as a gift with purchase when customers spend at least that amount.
“We’ve hit on something that’s important with consumers, and it’s how they want to get information about themselves,” Chen said. “There’s a level of customization that comes from using this kind of technology — the data guides you to the right [solutions] for you.”
H2O Plus Beauty products are available in Ulta Beauty, Kohl’s, Duane Reade and Dermstore.com. The company is focused on adding international markets this year, including China, Hong Kong and Russia.