Amorepacific acquisition, Boots launches digital hub, beauty tech innovations

Amorepacific acquisition, Boots launches digital hub, beauty tech innovations

Established heritage companies strive to reach a wider global audience, with South Korean Amorepacific purchasing US skincare brand Tata Harper and British Boots preparing to unveil its online marketplace. Significant developments in beauty technology feature too, with the development of 3D bioprinted skin chips, personalisation to help manage skin health and a new report highlighting the popularity of virtual try-ons all shaping the beauty and personal care sphere.

In our bi-weekly cosmetics and personal care roundup, we delve into the latest industry news, trends, collaborations and launches from around the world.

Amorepacific acquires Tata Harper

South Korean beauty and personal care company Amorepacific has announced its move to purchase premium and clean beauty name Tata’s Natural Alchemy, popularly known as Tata Harper, after entering into a definitive agreement.

The conglomerate’s purchase of Tata Harper, a brand positioned in the luxury, natural and clean beauty space, signals Amorepacific’s ongoing aim to expand into worldwide markets, with a particular focus on North America. Tata Harper has to date, primarily focused on the US market, stating it sells its products in over 800 brick-and-mortar retail stores and 25 online e-tailers.

Following the acquisition, which is expected to complete in early Q4 2022, Tata Harper, the brand’s co-founder, will continue to head up the company. Drawing on Amorepacific’s research and development capabilities and profit and loss infrastructure, the company’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jinpyo Lee, states: “We expect Tata Harper will be able to significantly expand its footprint in the Western and Asian markets.”

Boots launches new online marketplace

The British beauty and health retailer is gearing up to launch its new comprehensive digital platform in spring 2023. The popular UK brand, which also has a presence in the wider European and Asian marketplaces, will team up with French cloud-based e-commerce software company Mirakl to provide the technology to power its online offering.

In addition to creating its marketplace, Boots will extend its range of products and is hoping to partner with “hundreds of new suppliers” including established brands to widen its beauty and health product portfolio. The marketplace will feature a single checkout, enable access to the company’s loyalty programme so users can collect Advantage Card points and bring its expanded product range to consumers via its app.

Using Mirakl technology, Boots strives to integrate its marketplace products with its existing product collection on its current website, boots.com. Its product range will focus on beauty, baby, wellness and health brands to strengthen its position in these markets.

Boots has also recently announced that it is rolling out a value range amid rising concerns surrounding the cost of living crisis. The collection comprises 60 daily essentials items, including oral care, menstruation, skincare and haircare products.

Gattefossé and CTIBiotech develop skin chips to connect cosmetics testing to humans

Personal care ingredients provider, Gattefossé, and developer of predictive models of human tissues and cells for dermatocosmetic research and development, CTIBiotech, have teamed up to produce bioimpedance 3D bioprinted skin chips to link cosmetics lab testing to humans.

In developing its model, the duo sought to enable users to measure sebum production efficiently and in a non-invasive manner, to improve the predictivity of in vitro tests of sebum-regulating ingredients and create more efficient cosmetics.

Sebum is a complex lipids mixture secreted by sebocytes and deposited in the stratum corneum to help the skin barrier to function, the brands stated in a recent joint press statement. Disturbance to sebum production can result in common skin diseases, such as acne or atopic dermatitis and can play a role in the onset of oily or dry skin.

Bioimpedance, or bioelectrical impedance analysis, is used to monitor and understand personal health and body composition to support consumers in adjusting their diet and lifestyles. The two companies used bioimpedance to assess changes in the local environment of a 3D skin model integrating sebocytes. By measuring non-invasive electrical activity, the companies could examine sebum production in real-time while also receiving laboratory readouts exploring cellular, matrix and tissue development.

“Full thickness skin models containing sebocytes have reproducible oil production which is increased by linoleic acid and reduced by TOFA, and remarkably this is characterised by significant changes in bioimpedance in both printed tissues and culture supernatants surrounding them,” says Dr Nicolas Bechetoille, Research Manager Skin Biology Head of Biology Lab, Gattefossé.

Bioimpedance, linked to the sebum production thus proves to be an in vitro non-invasive proper parameter and measurable in real-time, to design ever more predictive and effective testing, since 3D models described here and linked with a simple chip system accurately mirror changes within skin models as on live donors,” Bechetoille adds.

Haut.AI and System Akvile partner to use personalised technology to treat acne

The artificial intelligence (AI) company specialising in skincare, Haut.AI, and science-led app for acne-prone skin, System Akvile, have joined forces to devise a new approach to help skincare consumers manage acne.

With the aim of bringing innovative and accessible technology to consumers, the duo is combining its applications and capabilities in understanding acne to help consumers with their skin health.

The System Akvile app works by identifying skincare triggers and tracking progress and also seeks to educate users with scientific facts to help skincare users understand the relationship between their lifestyle and skin condition. Haut.AI will use its technology to integrate a set of AI algorithms in the app to scan data that can assess up to 150 visual wellness skin biomarkers.

Together, the companies aim to provide accurate and personalised skin analysis, track skin health changes and give consumers more knowledge about their skin and overall skin health.

“People with skin conditions often feel like they are perpetual flaws. This comes from long-standing myths, inaccuracies, taboos, and they are constantly reminded of it by today’s distorted standards of beauty,” says Dr Akvile Ignotaite, Founder, System Akvile.

Perfect Corp reveals latest beauty technology trends

Beauty technology provider Perfect Corp releases its latest beauty tech global trend report, shining a spotlight on the leading trends in lip and eye cosmetics and the growth of augmented reality (AR) virtual try-on applications in beauty retail.

In its report, Perfect Corp analysed virtual try-on big data from nine markets: The United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and China, to discover leading trends. Through its insights, Perfect Corp explores the types of routines popular with global consumers, appealing lip colour finishes and tones and the top eye makeup categories driving virtual try-on interest.

In virtual try-on lip colour, due to the expanse of choice in the category, AI and AR-powered virtual try-on tools have “become essential to drive consumer purchasing confidence, product discovery, and engagement”, Perfect Corp states in its report. Perfect Corp cites product collections using virtual try-on technology as a popular way to boost consumer engagement, enabling consumers to experiment and explore a brand’s complete colour collection.

The report outlines that eye makeup and virtual eyebrow try-on are also key beauty areas capturing consumers’ attention. The brand’s data reveals that the highest level of engagement among users was found when trying on varying eyebrow shapes and filters.

In the first half of 2022, Perfect Corp revealed over 1.3 billion eye makeup try-on in its YouCam apps. The popularity of eyebrow try-on follows consumers’ interest in simple makeup routines, self-care and grooming, the report details.

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Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe started her career as a business journalist over a decade ago. During this time, she has reported for a host of publications as a print, digital and broadcast journalist, exploring the beauty and personal care industry from a business perspective and how it intersects with environmental, scientific, legal and sociological perspectives. She also hosts industry webinars and provides the latest insights for podcasts, research institutes and conferences. She has also travelled around the world visiting the in-cosmetics Group events, developing a deep understanding of all things cosmetics.

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