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Tech meets beauty to create smart skin solutions

Tech meets beauty to create smart skin solutions

In 2013, L’Oréal Group, one of the world’s top cosmetics makers, launched an advanced skin care system for cleaning and firming for Korean women, who are known for their intensive skin care routines.

Since then, global electronics makers, including Philips, Panasonic and Toshiba, and South Korea’s big two cosmetic firms — AmorePacific Co. and LG Household & Health Care Ltd. — have all launched various skin care gadgets.

Their introduction of innovative beauty products comes as the niche market is expected to grow even more, with tech-savvy consumers being more willing to use them on their skin.

SEE ALSO : LG launches line of personal beauty devices

According to P&S Market Research, the global beauty devices market is likely to grow from US$27.8 billion in 2016 to US$94.3 billion by 2023.

“Introduction of new beauty devices, increasing utilization of electronic beauty devices and rising inclination of consumers towards easy to use at home beauty devices are some of the major trends observed in the global beauty devices market,” the New York-based market researcher said in a report.

“Increasing prevalence of skin diseases, growing aging population, increasing hormonal disorders and high disposable income are some of the major factors driving the growth of the global beauty devices market,” it added.

Eyeing potential in the market, South Korea’s tech giants have started to showcase new beauty technology as they see more consumers seeking convenient ways to maintain themselves.

In September, LG Electronics Inc. launched its “LG Pra.L” beauty appliance lineup, showcasing four items — the Derma LED Mask, the Total Lift-up Care, the Galvanic Ion Booster and the Dual-Motion Cleanser. Their price tags range from US$200 to US$700.

Its LED mask and lift care use high-frequency LEDs and microcurrents to improve skin tightening. Its booster helps cosmetics penetrate deeper into the skin, and the cleanser is capable of washing skin 10 times better than conventional methods, the company said.

“The home beauty business was born with a vision of applying artificial intelligence and big data technologies to the market,” Seo Young-jae, a senior official from LG Electronics’ home appliance division, said in a launch event. “Data is a crucial part of the cosmetics industry.”

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest smartphone manufactuer, has introduced two devices that analyze users’ skin and offer solutions for any issues they might have.

During a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2017, Samsung’s Creative Lab unveiled S-Skin, a home skincare and analysis solution, and Lumini, a portable device that checks your skin to identify and prevent skin problems.

Lumini and S-Skin can scan skin for issues such as dryness, blemishes, excess sebum, wrinkles and more. Both devices send users’ information to corresponding smartphone apps that will offer solutions, products, and even recommend dermatologists that they can chat with in the app.

“The gadgets will take a picture of the whole face and will analyze the skin condition immediately, and even track the history of wrinkles,” said Lee Sang-myung, a public relations officer at Lumini, which spun off from Samsung Electronics in May. “We plan to launch the product in the first quarter of 2018, first targeting cosmetic shops and skin care clinics.”

SEE ALSO : Korean cosmetics companies vie for growing anti-aging market

While some devices promise an “instant” or “dramatic” effect on the skin, dermatologists say careful application is needed to use products that utilize lasers or certain forms of light because they could damage skin if used improperly.

Dermatologists have used blue lights to kill acne-causing bacteria for years,” No Do-gyun, a dermatologist in Seoul, said. “But even medical-grade red lights may not drastically improve wrinkles. They’re best for calming inflammation. Those with sensitive skin should use home beauty devices carefully, especially laser or light gadgets.”