Technology in Health & Beauty

iDi Pac have taken a look at some of the most popular market technology advances, and how these are being adopted in the health and beauty market.
What’s interesting is the way these concepts translate cross sectors, maybe into your area?

Hyper Personalisation & Augmented reality – To date there has been a limited uptake of pure personalised packaging items in the health and beauty market; those who have done so have notably targeted low value, impulse buy items, and often those marketed at the under 30’s.
Health and beauty brands are instead commonly looking toward hyper personalisation as a key mechanism to develop the brand-customer relationship whilst improving customer loyalty and ongoing sales; especially important when considering the increase in online purchases which commonly results in little or no customer-brand interaction.
The hyper personalisation trend piggybacks on the boom in customer engagement with social media to produce shareable, interactive content to present personalised make-up looks and beauty regimes (and additional suggested products) which are customised to the customer’s preferences. Customer data is further used to build email and promotional articles with personalised customer content, and additional product suggestions based upon customer’s preferences and prior purchases.
A number of brands (such as Sephora Virtual artist) have combined this strategy with augmented reality via the presentation of personalised looks and beauty regimes which are superimposed upon the customers’ uploaded image. Alternatively they are visualised on a model with similar facial attributes and colouring to the customer.

Customisation – Until recently the concept of ‘mixology’ has been confined to the drinks industry, and even then sat firmly behind a cocktail bar. The Health and Beauty market is increasingly utilising ‘mixology’ to provide customised products from the supply of concentrated active additive ‘shots’ which are chosen and added to a base formulation by the customer at home. The increased demand for product customisation, colours and specifically the mixology trend, will lean heavily on the availability of a variety of single dose unit packaging formats which can be owned by each brand. Increased variety of additive ‘shots’ will also drive demand for small scale batch formulation production and filling capabilities at packing facilities.
An increasing number of ultra-premium brands such as Geneu ( are offering complete product customisation to their clients, via a consultation based approach at which DNA samples are taken and analysed to ‘prescribe’ a tailored product. Formulations are then produced at laboratory scale and filled via increasingly manual, one-off operations. Ultimate product customisation and (optional) combination of personalised decoration options will place higher demand on late stage and inline printing technologies to produce individual customised packaging, artworks and containing customised ingredients listings as required for the sale of cosmetic products.

Wearable technology – In the search for the ultimate customisation it is inevitable that some beauty brands will progress product development within the wearable technology space. Beauty and skincare giant L’Oreal has taken its first steps with ‘My UV Patch’ as launched at CES 2016. This concept, with the first products launched under premium brand La Roche-Posay, is an ultra-thin, flexible skin patch incorporating a photo reactive printed pixel design. When worn directly on the skin, and used in conjunction with a specially developed app, it will provide the customer with a UV reading for their skin, and provide a time scale on which to apply more sunscreen. Beyond being the first of its kind to the health and beauty market, the free ‘My UV patch’ will develop an educational element to the La Roche-Posay customer relationship, and provide added value to the existing sun care offering without the requirement for new formulation development.

Whilst packs of disposable patches developed purely as free educational samples are not a viable option for the majority of brands, we can expect to see a move to an increase in the use of similar “safety” technology utilised extensively during beauty hall consultations to determine skin type, condition, and product requirements.

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