From the swinging sixties to the dawn of the 2020s. It’s clear that the beauty industry has drastically changed over the years, and seems to be changing even more rapidly with each new year. One of the biggest contributors to this is the rise of Beauty Tech. Innovations are constantly being developed that not only enhance results but also improve the consumer experience and contribute to the lucrativeness of the beauty industry.
We’re sure 2020 will bring us new Beauty Technology that we can’t even imagine yet. However, for now, let’s look at some of the hottest Beauty Tech trends that are sure to keep influencing the industry right through the year.
10 Hottest Beauty Tech Trends to Shake Up 2020
1. Beauty Voice Assistants
Voice assistants are changing the world. They set the tone by choosing the right playlist, let us know the weather, and can even text your boss to let him or her know about the traffic jam you’re in. However, one of the developments of this is in beauty voice assistants.
These powerful AIs act like a beauty BFF, supporting users in finding the right makeup or skincare product, and even giving directions on how to contour like a pro. Having machine learned millions of different tips and queries, they’re as knowledgeable about beauty as the counter assistants at any major department store.
Coty, for example, works through Alexa and Google Assistant to create personalized hair, nail, and makeup looks for major brands.
One of their developments is the Clairol Color Expert which guides customers through their at-home dying process. This innovation was clearly developed in response to the consumer pain point of unfolding an instructions pamphlet with hands covered in hair dye.
This trend is allowing the beauty and skincare brands to extend the amount of time that they spend with consumers, and even become part of their everyday life. Just like a big sister or clued up girlfriend, these AIs are the people we turn to when we want to know how to increase our skin’s hydration level, get rid of a pesky spot quickly or apply makeup for a hot date.
2. AI Personalization
Finding creams and serums that suit our exact skin types is often never-ending. No two people have the exact same skin tone. So how can we all find the perfect products in limited skincare lines?
That’s where AI personalization comes in. A skin scanner measures your skin’s needs then puts you in control of choosing your preferred texture and hydration level. It then creates a formula completely unique to you. This technology was recently revealed by L’Oréal in the form of its latest innovation, Perso.
3. Big Data in the Beauty Industry
By focusing on obtaining big data, beauty brands are able to improve the way they connect with their consumers, with more targeted marketing and personalized content. For example, powerful algorithms can help consumers create their own personalized skincare routines. In the bigger picture, big data can even be a game-changer in the industry which leads to products suited to so far unmet needs. Having more insights about the customer as a whole, brands are able to create the products consumers really need and want to buy in the future.
Points cards have long been used by the major players to discover more about consumer behavior. However, there are more innovative ways to collect big data that are apparent in the beauty industry.
One of the most cutting-edge examples is by NX startup, Lycl, which uses its platform to gather beauty reviews and insights from industry enthusiasts. Based on this data, they develop new products and launch them under their own brand unpa.Cosmetics.
4. Smart Skincare Tools
Ever wanted to know exactly how your skin’s holding up, without relying on an over-honest friend or your own intuition? That’s the philosophy behind a new generation of skin analyzers. These products scan your skin to give you details like your skin age, main concerns, hydration level, and pigmentation. They’re commonly used as part of in-store experiences. A prime example of this is the face mapping service offered by Dermalogica.
Olay, on the other hand, offers a more accessible smartphone app with a similar purpose. The Olay Skin Analysis analyzes your skin, calculates your skin age, then suggests a regimen plan for users — all with just a selfie. Another at-home skin analyzer is “HiMirror” which gives an in-depth skin analysis and can even track how successfully new products are working.
5. At-Home Anti-Aging Tools
Visible anti-aging results were once only achieved in the aesthetic clinic. However, Beauty Tech innovations have made them easier than ever to achieve in the comfort of your home.
One of NX’s five chosen startups, Reziena, specializes in anti-aging care and their most highly-esteemed product is an intensely focused ultrasound device. This hand-held device can be easily used at home to reduce wrinkles, increase collagen, and lift the skin.
Swedish smart Beauty Tech brand, Foreo, who is a leader in electronic skincare devices, also features anti-aging modes on their cleansing devices which are a hit with beauty influencers.
Another huge trend is LED Light Therapy masks which can be used at home to boost the skin’s collagen and elasticity levels. This technology has been adopted from a whole spectrum of brands including established names like Neutrogena, Dr. Dennis Gross, and LG, to Beauty Tech startups including Dermashine, Project E, and DMH Aesthetics.
6. Biotech Ingredients
The market for “green” beauty products is rapidly growing. This is particularly evident in the number of natural beauty startups with organic product offerings launching in New York City that are jumping on this global trend. However, with a lack of space to grow resources, many manufacturers are turning to biotechnological ingredients. These substances, which are grown in factories, carry the benefits of purely natural ingredients but are more sustainable and cleaner since they don’t use the earth’s resources, and aren’t harvested using crude oils. They are often used in vegan cosmetics, which call for ingredients that aren’t connected to animals.
One company, Geltor, designs collagen through biotech. As these forms of collagen are both vegan and halal-friendly, they are being adopted by beauty manufacturers across Asian markets.
Boston biotech company, Gingko Bioworks cultures engineered yeasts through a fermentation process to create perfume compounds that don’t place any demand on nature.
7. Advanced Cleansing Tools
Cleansing brushes are renowned for being one of the most effective ways to remove all grime and dirt at the end of the day. Not only do they effectively clean, but they’re more effective than traditional physical cleansing tools like washcloths which can be harsh on the skin.
Not only does this tech use sonic pulsations to give the perfect scrub, but many also have extra-smart functionality built in, too.
Here are two examples:
- Foreo Luna 3 can be connected to a dedicated app that controls different cleansing modes and gives users a timer to follow through their cleansing routine.
- The Clarisonic Mia Smart collects data over time to see how your skin reacts to its cleansing and gives you the perfect clean.
8. Try-On Apps
Beauty try-on apps bring together all the convenience of online shopping with the product knowledge of an in-store consultant. Ever wondered what you would look like with glowing honey-like skin? With these apps, you can find out before you shell out on that dewy-finish moisturizer.
At the same time, anyone who needs to take a train and 2 buses to get to their local department store knows, in-store shopping isn’t always easy either. It’s for these reasons that try-on apps have become so successful. The consumer can easily check which color of eyebrow pencil, lipstick, or even foundation to buy, just by holding their phone camera in front of their face and letting AR technology show them how it looks.
9. Makeup Printer
Just like a magic wand from your skin, makeup printers work their magic only on the spots that need it. This technology was unveiled by Proctor and Gamble at CES 2019 in the form of Opte Wand. To avoid clogging up the pores, it detects the part of the skin which has an uneven complexion and only applies makeup there. Rather than heavy-handed foundation applied all over the face, users achieve a natural, more airbrushed finish.
In 2019, beauty trends don’t just exist in the living realm. They exist virtually, too. And you don’t need to be a beauty guru to have noticed.
E-makeup filters have taken Snapchat, Instagram, and numerous beauty filter apps by storm. With these apps, just take a selfie, click a button and automatically apply the makeup of your choosing. You can go for perfectly lined cat eyes, fuller plumper lips, and a smoother skin tone.
It’s become a popular way for people to enhance their looks and show their best selves to the world, even when they didn’t have time to do their own makeup. It also allows users to experiment with more creative makeup looks which could take hours to achieve, or even be downright impossible. The choice is literally endless, with more and more creative filters being made every day. It also helps consumers connect with the brands they love in a more fun and interactive way.
Beauty Tech Trends in Review
It’s clear that the Beauty Tech trends of 2020 put the people first. Companies are going to more effort to understand consumers and offer them exactly what they need. And consumers are able to test out products in ways they never had before. From tailor-made skincare routines to finding the perfect serum from the comfort of your PJs, or having salon experiences at home — these beauty trends are going to make that elusive quest for beauty more accessible. We’re excited to see what else this year has in store, and which innovations move from imagination to reality over the next decade.