Innovation Upgrade

Cue: “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Add auto-tuning effect. The cosmetics industry has reached a new event horizon in product development—one where consumers use facial recognition software to test cosmetics virtually, and where makeup is optimized for selfies posted to Instagram or for videos in high-definition. What do the next decades hold for cosmetic science? Holograms of new looks projected onto an android?

Consumers are already hard-wired to technology and social networks, where their digital profile is more “real” than their physical being. So perhaps this notion of holographic cosmetics isn’t so far-fetched. These consumers are at the core of a “rise of the geeks” phenomenon, plugging into tech trends, science findings and social causes. It is in this environment where the cosmetics industry faces upgrading innovation to meet the high expectations of such digi-centric consumers. It’s a good thing cosmetic scientists are consumers, too, and following these tech trends, they’ve helped push the industry ahead in new ways.

Take DNA-tailored products, for example. Market researcher Canadean predicts the market for skin care personalized in the lab could be worth $12.2 billion. And with the development of new technologies, manufacturers could take this personalization to a whole new level, incorporating allergy, genetic, nutrition, climate and sun exposure considerations. These ideas nicely align with recent industry chatter focused on the epigenome and the potential for products to influence it.

This collection of articles looks ahead to a combined treatment and prevention approach to aging, along with an alternative method to test the penetration of such actives into skin. It addresses texture with electrolyte resistance in formulas, and improves the sensory effects of lye relaxers on hair. All in all, it presents hard evidence of how the industry is upgrading innovation.

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