L’Oréal is not the first beauty company to launch a skin diagnostic tool, but with Vichy SkinConsultAI, the new application deployed by the French giant’s dermo-cosmetic brand, no need for dedicated electronic sensors: a mere selfie is enough! And it is well known that where new digital tools are concerned, simplicity, ease of deployment and wide access are key factors of success.

Photo database

Designed for Asian, Caucasian and Afro-American users, the new diagnostic tool is capable of predicting and addressing visual aging signs. The tool functions via a three-step process that involves users provide a selfie before the technology detects aging signs such as under-eye wrinkles, lack of firmness, fine lines, lack of radiance, dark spots, deep wrinkles and pores. These signs are then analysed, before users are given a tailored suggested skincare routine.

L'Oréal's new skin innovation is capable of predicting and addressing visual...

L’Oréal’s new skin innovation is capable of predicting and addressing visual aging signs. (Photo: © L’Oréal)

The development is based on 15 years of L’Oréal scientific research regarding skin aging. It uses a series of ‘skin aging atlases’ and an AI-powered algorithm developed by ModiFace, as well as a photo database of 6000 clinical images.

The skin diagnostic is behind the ‘Vichy SkinConsultAI’ that launched in Canada in January and is scheduled to be rolled out on the brand’s websites globally later this year. "For the first time, this technology allows all women to obtain a personal diagnostic to better understand their skin aging and to find a skincare routine tailor-made for them," said Myriam Bekkar-Schneider, Vichy General Manager.

Virtual shade selector tool

Earlier this month, L’Oréal and ModiFace also unveiled a ‘Virtual Shade Selector’ tool that uses personalized technology to recommend different shades to consumers in just one minute and can be used both in-store or online, via smartphone or computer. The launch follows the announcement of a similar tool for L’Oréal Professionel in January. In both cases, the results are calculated by taking into account each user’s current hair colour, level of grey, and desired finished look.

In the wake of L'Oréal Professionnel, Garnier is launching Virtual Shade...

In the wake of L’Oréal Professionnel, Garnier is launching Virtual Shade Selector tool with Modiface. (Photo: © Garnier)

The tool is being piloted by Walmart at ten US locations this month, before coming to select Wakefern and Meijer stores in March and heading to ten Walgreens stores in June.

New beauty routines

Since acquiring ModiFace last year, L’Oréal has also harnessed the technology to test out virtual makeup application via Facebook, offering users the chance to ‘try out’ cosmetics from some of its best-known brands, including Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, NYX Professional Makeup, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Urban Decay, and Shu Uemura.

With the acquisition of ModiFace, we have started a second phase of L’Oréal’s digital transformation, focused on reinventing the beauty experience through technologies such as voice, AR and AI," said Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer of L’Oréal. "We believe that services will be the new gateways for discovering our brands and products."

However, L’Oréal is far from being the only beauty company manipulating AR and AI technologies to improve the consumer’s experience. In January, the Coty-owned brand Wella Professionals unveiled a new AR-enabled ‘Smart Mirror’ at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019, which allows users to virtually test out different hair colours with live results, incorporating Perfect Corp’s AR and AI technologies. Clairol has also been getting in on the act, launching a Google Assistant tool for Google Home last year that is designed to guide consumers through the at-home colouring process.