Up until a few years ago, the most high-tech beauty product we were likely to own was a pair of hair straighteners that beeped when they were ready to start using. Now, however, our beauty regimes are getting more and more high tech, all thanks to the wonders of Artificial Intelligence.
If, 50 years ago, you’d have asked the general population how 2019 would look, they probably would have said we’d all be zooming to work on jetpacks and wearing glasses that scanned each others’ brains. And, while the reality might seem like a little bit of a let down, it’s suffice to say that technology has come a very long way, especially when it comes to beauty.
But what exactly is AI? We’ve all read the headlines (you know, the ones that tell us our lives are about to be taken over by robots?), but genuine facts on what AI is and what it means for us are hard to come by. Simply put, AI is the development of technology that aims to allow machines, computers and software to mimic human thought and intelligence. Sounds scary, huh?
But actually it’s really not. Innovation Futurist and Broadcaster, Shivvy Jervis explains: “AI draws from vast swathes of data, making sense of it to then identify patterns that even the human brain might not easily find and ‘learns’ the more information we feed it.
It starts life as an algorithm – a computer’s version of a to-do list – which in turn can either feed in to another program, or take the form that many associate it with – a device or robot.” While self-driving cars and online doctors are a long way off yet, when it comes to our beauty habits, AI is already starting to make things a lot easier for us.
If you’re imagining a robot facialist or some sort of automated makeup device, you better think again. When it comes to AI in beauty and wellness, we’re talking high tech devices and software that are designed to just make your life that little bit easier. Sound intriguing? This is how AI is shaping the ever-changing face of beauty…
If you’re fed up of beauty brands bringing out the same ol’ products that don’t cater to your needs, times are a changing. While it might not seem quite so obvious at first, AI actually means that brands are coming out with more relevant and desired products than ever. “One benefit of AI is the efficiency of product development, using data to strategically produce products in reflection to their demand at that time – without any human error or guesswork,” says Shivvy.
Using extremely clever technology (a common theme when it comes to AI by the way), brands are able to use online algorithms to decipher exactly what their customers like and what they don’t. For example, Avon recently developed the True 5-in-1 Lash Genius Mascara using their Genius Algorithm – a tool that reads, filters, processes and ranks thousands of online consumer comments. From the results, Avon were able to determine exactly what is is we’re all wanting from a mascara and develop the perfect formula.
A more well-known use of AI in beauty products comes in the form of smart devices that gather information to better the results. Shivvy explains: “AI can be used to better health and beauty products by creating smart products which give us feedback and insights into how we use them and how we can use them more effectively to benefit us.”
If you’re wondering how on earth this is supposed to benefit your beauty regime, all is about to become clear. It turns out, that when it comes to using beauty devices, most of us are doing a lot of things wrong. Shocker.
For example, when the people at Oral-B discovered that 80% of people are totally missing certain areas of their mouth when they’re brushing their teeth, they quickly realised how AI could help deliver a better result. The new Oral-B Genius X toothbrush for example uses AI to let you know when you’re brushing too hard and what areas of your mouth need a little more attention. Similarly, the FOREO LUNA fofo facial cleansing brush uses skin sensors to analyse skin and create a personalised routine specifically for you.
When it comes to shopping for your beauty products, AI is already seriously changing up the game. As the beauty market seems more crowded than ever, with thousands of brands and products to choose from, it’s easy to get sucked into buying something that might not necessarily work for you. Online services such as My Beauty Matches use AI to address this growing issue and deliver a shopping service unique to you. Through answering a short questionnaire before you begin, the website can use its algorithm to show an array of beauty products, from various different brands, that suit your personal needs, while whittling out the ones that are likely to be a bad match.
If, when it comes to skincare, you like to remain loyal, brands such as Olay and Clinique are already using AI to better your experience with their products. Facial scanning apps such as Olay Skin Advisor and Clinique ClinicalReality use their algorithms to analyse your skin through a selfie and subsequently provide personalised regimes or products especially for you.
So what’s next for AI? It seems like the level of personalisation is set to be amped up tenfold. Shivvy says: “Judging by AI advances and what customers currently want from their health and beauty products, personalisation will lead the changes of AI’s integration into the industry. The ability to hyper-customise health and beauty products to your biological identity will greatly expand. The most successful brands will be the ones who can offer the most technologically-advanced bespoke service to the end user – whether that’s recommending the perfect shade of makeup or in ensuring a customer receives the right supplements tapered to their unique body composition.”
On top of the ways in which our digital shopping habits are already being personalised, it seems the way in which we shop in-store is also set to change. “Health and beauty stores themselves will also see changes. As AI begins to position itself among staff as a futuristic virtual shop assistant or point-of-sale display aiding consumer decision making, the layout and even the strategy of health and beauty stores will transform to fit this,” reveals Shivvy.
The future of beauty looks seriously high tech and we’re here for it.