It has become pretty normal to save ourselves the trouble of performing remedial tasks, like writing lists or getting up to switch the lights off, by ordering our smart devices to do them for us. But in addition to playing your favourite songs on Spotify or reminding you to buy more soap powder, technology is also having a big impact on another part of daily life – our health and beauty routines.
In just the last year, Chanel launched a new mascara with an optimised 3D printed wand, HiMirror presented its latest voice activated smart mirror which makes skincare recommendations using Big Data analysis, while Dolce & Gabbana replaced models with handbag-carrying drones on the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week. Now one of the world’s biggest skincare brands is leveraging 3D scanning and printing technology to deliver its most personalised skincare product to date.
Announced at CES 2019 last month, Neutrogena has introduced a patent-pending 3D printed sheet mask that delivers personalised skincare solutions powered by user data. The Neutrogena MaskiD is a hydrogel face mask created with cellulose sourced from locust beans and red seaweed and 3D printed with a combination of five skincare ingredients based on the user’s unique needs.
The news follows on from the company’s Neutrogena Skin 360 product launched last year, which uses smartphone 3D camera technology (currently available on newer iPhone models but the company is working on a solution for older smartphones) to capture the user’s facial measurements and skin data in a sort of multi-dimensional selfie, to make recommendations on where certain ingredients will be most beneficial. Using this data, a custom-fit hydrogel mask is 3D printed to conform to the contour of the face and lock in potent skincare ingredients including purified hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, feverfew, stabilised glucosamine, and vitamin C, which are 3D printed onto the mask in key areas on the forehead, eye, nose, cheeks, chin and nasolabial folds, more commonly known as “laughter lines”. The masks are manufactured on demand and delivered directly to the customer.
The MaskiD has been in development at Neutrogena’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for the last nine months. Experts at J&J’s 3D Printing Center of Excellence have worked to build on existing 3D printing methods and incorporate these complex organic materials.
Speaking to TCT, Sam Onukuri, Head of the J&J 3D Printing Center of Excellence said: “Personalisation is definitely a big value for our beauty business and skincare products. Whether it’s new materials or a combination of materials, 3D printing technology can help deliver that complexity in a very efficient and fast manner. Bringing those combinations of complex materials together with the personalisation aspect will drive a lot of opportunities for solutions across the board.”
For skincare products, Neutrogena says this is just the beginning and it will be looking at other technologies which could also deliver personalised care. J&J is already applying 3D technologies for a range of applications from surgical tools to personalised medicines and Onukuri believes this particular technology could go well beyond personalised consumer products and add value to other critical industries.
“We have a strong pipeline of various products and applications, not just in the consumer industry but also devices and pharmaceuticals,” Onukuri added. “Between all of those I think this hydrogel will definitely be part of the base technology we will continue to use to provide value to the consumer.”
Following critical acclaim at CES, the MaskiD is expected to be available to customers in the US later this year and there is already a waiting list for those wanting to be the first to try. Whilst I (shamefully) can just about manage a daily moisturising routine and to take my make-up off before bed, I do know plenty of people who are more than happy to spend no small chunk of change on creams and products which very often don’t work for them. Although Neutrogena hasn’t disclosed an RRP for the mask (though the company says it will be consistently priced with the rest of its skincare products), perhaps having a personalised solution that has been designed to your exact skin type, without requiring a trip to the dermatologist, will be the next big beauty hack people have been waiting for.