Artificial intelligence and the new age beauty and cosmetics industry

Artificial intelligence and the new age beauty and cosmetics industry

By Mallika Priya

The concept of beauty and cosmetics has advanced since the ancient Egyptian standards of smooth hair, clear skin, and beautiful eyes to include hair color and extensions, face contouring, and eyebrow enhancement. For each curve on our face, there now exists a product available to enhance and project it beautifully. The definition of beauty has changed over the years. Growing global economies, increasing disposable incomes, changes in lifestyle (indulgence in cosmetics for skin care, salon and spa treatments), and climate changes have resulted in increased skin care demands. The popularity of natural and organic beauty products, particularly in the United States and European countries, has also fostered the growth of the cosmetics market.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the key drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and it is changing the way we think, work, and interact with data and technology. For the consumer goods industry, AI provides the power of personalization, process automation, augmented decision making, and digital supply chain networks, which have traditionally required human intelligence. With the advent of artificial intelligence, smart technology, and machine learning, increasing numbers of companies are embracing product personalization and offering knowledge-based beauty routines to their consumers. The global cosmetics product market will reach a value of $806 billion USD by 2023, according to an Orbis Research report.

Last year, PreScouter identified and analyzed the latest technologies redefining the beauty and cosmetics industry, and this year, huge advancements led to increased market share capture due to the integration of AI with cosmetics.

Here, we list a few of the latest developments from the beauty industry toward facial recognition and enhanced data-learning or data-searching algorithms in pursuit of radiant skin, sculpted jawlines, and silky hair.

LUNA fofo: An AI-based facial device

FOREO, a Swedish beauty tech brand, has come up with a device named LUNA fofo. It is an aesthetically pleasing, AI-based cleansing device with advanced embedded sensors that analyze a user’s skin and generates customized spa massage routines for its users. The device is associated with the FOREO For You app, which unlocks all the key features of the device and saves user data. As per the skin analysis, the app generates the best possible facial cleansing routines, with custom intensity and duration. The AI and machine learning supports the algorithm of LUNA fofo, which is constantly updated to cater to its customers’ needs.

PROVEN: The Skin Genome Project and personalized beauty treatment

Harvard Business School graduate Ming Zhao and Stanford scientist Amy Yuan founded PROVEN two years ago. The center of their business model is the development of an enormous beauty database — The Skin Genome Project — winner of the MIT’s 2018 Artificial Intelligence Award. It is said to be the most comprehensive analytical database of clinically effective skin care ingredients. With this database at hand, PROVEN intends to combine artificial intelligence, big data, and academic research to create personalized skin care products.

Curology: Towards personalized skin care advice

Curology is another tech beauty brand offering personalized skin care solutions aimed specifically at those dealing with acne. This brand brings together medical practitioners with app developers to provide a subscription-based service for skin advice. The basis of Curology and its products is to provide a customized online acne care solution using machine learning and AI. The users share selfies and fill in a questionnaire in their app. They are then matched with medical professionals who design custom formulas to target individual skin care needs.

My Beauty Matches: The beauty search engine

Personalized medicine or skin care is a costly affair that many are unwilling or unable to indulge in. My Beauty Matches provides solutions for skin care using the products that currently exist in the market. It provides personalized and impartial recommendations and also compares prices for beauty products. This beauty matching engine uses machine learning technology and AI to suggest their items from a database of over 400,000 products. Appreciated on social media by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and with a range of products including skin care, makeup, and body care, this search engine personalizes the user experience and provides the power to choose, select, and compare beauty products available in the market.

Function of Beauty: Revolutionizing hair care

New York–based startup Function of Beauty is attracting customers with shampoos and conditioners customized for user requirements. The company claims it can create 12 billion different combinations of ingredients. Similar to PROVEN, Function of Beauty utilizes big data, AI, and machine learning tools to analyze products that suit the customer’s hair type, hair structure, scalp moisture, and hair goals. The users are encouraged to fill in a questionnaire to identify their current hair conditions, requirements, and personal preferences. With Function of Beauty products, the users can customize the shampoo-conditioner scent, fragrance strength, and color. With a variety of ingredients from passion fruit to acai oil to quinoa protein in its products, the company chose to keep its ingredients undisclosed as their business secret.

Revieve’s Digital Beauty Advisor: AI-powered personalization engine

Revieve is another company in the beauty industry that provides skin care recommendations. They give advice based on an AI-powered personalization search engine that analyzes 68 different factors such as redness, eye bags, and wrinkles via selfie analysis. Beauty retailer NordicFeel has selected Revieve’s Digital Beauty Advisor to provide a personalized experience for its online shoppers. NordicFeel has implemented the AI-powered personalization search engine across its e-commerce sites in Sweden, Norway, and Finland.


Chatbots are another form of AI application that have captured beauty brands’ attention. Brands like Sephora, Estée Lauder, and L’Oréal have all rolled out their own chatbots to engage larger numbers of customers. AI is revolutionizing conversational marketing by proactively following up conversations with personalized and relevant content, pushed at the right time, to drive ongoing engagement.

The association of L’Oréal and Automat led to the birth of Beauty Gifter — a messaging chatbot for Facebook Messenger. It interacts with its users by understanding their needs and preferences and makes personalized product recommendations from 11 different L’Oréal brands. It also connects users with the L’Oréal’s e-commerce system web link for easy purchasing options. LA cosmetics brand Smashbox has also launched the UK’s first beauty chatbot on its Facebook. Smashbot allows its users to virtually try on products by the brand and create full makeup looks. The messenger is integrated with the checkout system, allowing customers to even buy the products without leaving Facebook Messenger.

Future of AI in the beauty industry:

Overall, advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are shrinking the seller-consumer world and luring customers with the ease of enhanced and personalized advertisements. Voice-based AI, product personalization, and chatbots will become ubiquitous within the personalized beauty and skin care market. As consumers take a more well-rounded approach to beauty that encompasses health and wellness, the beauty and cosmetics industry is also finding holistic approaches with technology integration.

With an aim to support decision-based skin care advice through knowledge- and/or data-intensive computer-based solutions, artificial intelligence will be a game changer in the beauty industry, thus revolutionizing the retail experience in the near future!

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