AUSTIN, Tex. — L’Oréal took personalized beauty to a new place on Friday — to the countertop. Alongside the SXSW conference and festival, where it was holding sessions on technology and beauty, the beauty company unveiled Custom DOSE, a solution that basically squeezes a skin-care lab into a compact machine. The tech enables individual skin-care formulations.
The service — the product of a partnership between L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator and the company’s SkinCeuticals line — can customize skin-care formulations of active ingredients based on the customer’s individual needs.
“At L’Oréal, we are poised to leverage technology to respond to the rising wave of consumer demand for personalized products and services,” said Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator. “DOSE acts like a mini skin-care laboratory, combining lab grade formulation and factory grade manufacturing into a machine that sits on the counter.”
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When it comes to corrective serums, one size does not fit all — a fact that sparks numerous variations of a single product to account for different skin types and issues. But they tend to be broad categories, and many consumers fall in-between types or have multiple simultaneous issues. Micro-tailoring beauty products would bypass the problem, but the production and distribution complexities can be prohibitive for manufacturers.
The machine, which is reminiscent of a 3-D printer, is intended for use by skin-care professionals. In practical application, a customer has a one-on-one consultation with a specialist or medical practitioner, who asks questions, makes an assessment and creates a recipe of sorts by selecting the best active ingredients for the job. The expert enters the data, and DOSE creates and dispenses the customized serum. A custom label, complete with an expiration date and a bar code for easy reordering, is the finishing touch.
“Our customers are consistently concerned with skin aging and discoloration, among various skin conditions that require a personalized approach to address them,” said Christina Fair, general manager of SkinCeuticals. The compact lab can address wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration by bringing together components that have been historically unmixable outside of a production facility. The key lies in the professional compounder, a part that’s capable of 1,200 rotations a minute. With the compounder, the mini lab can mix ingredients precisely down to the drop.
L’Oréal researched more than 250 skin types and investigated and tested consumer needs for a year so it could make informed selections of the active ingredients DOSE would support. Now the machine can concoct dozens of blends via more than 2,000 algorithms.
The company’s Technology Incubator showed off the unit at SXSW alongside other beauty innovations, including Lancôme’s Le Teint Particulier custom foundation service, and Style My Hair app, its Modiface collaboration that lets people try different hair coloring using realistic augmented reality.
“As we pursue our mission of beauty for all,” said Balooch, “we are inspired by the challenge of using technology and design to create innovative beauty experiences custom made for each consumer.”
People can experience L’Oréal’s suite of personalized technologies at Fast Company Grill on Saturday and Sunday. Custom DOSE will be available this summer in select U.S. physician offices across the country.