L’Oréal and start-ups invest in personalized cosmetics in Brazil

L’Oréal and start-ups invest in personalized cosmetics in Brazil

Exclusive article for in-cosmetics Latin America

Picture yourself at home receiving a box with shampoo and hair conditioning in personalized bottles with your name on them and with their content having been specially developed to cater for your hair needs. Does that sound good? What if, besides catering for your individual needs such as hydration and protection, you could also choose the colour and fragrance of your products?

That is what the beauty start-ups specialized in cosmetics personalization have begun to produce in Brazil. Focused on a movement which has been growing in both Asia and North America, companies such as MeuQ, which started their operations in the country in early 2020, are investing in technology to accommodate the demands of a specific audience, who tends to see personalization as a way of expressing their individuality.

The start-up founded by the young businessmen Pedro Nunes, Lucas Barchetta and Dimitri Ribeiro – Pedro Nunes recently gave us an exclusive live interview (in Portuguese), now available for you to watch on Instagram – makes use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science to design specific formulas which treat each type of hair individually. Before starting their company, they spent two years studying and researching, amongst which there was an immersion in the Silicon Valley and a mentoring program with professionals from the famous Studio W hair saloon.

“Our goal is to develop solutions in customized hair care products for each and every client. In order to do so, the consumers answer to a questionnaire in the digital platform of MeuQ, where data such as hair and scalp type, and goals like nutrition, curl definition, lifestyle and place of residence, are assessed.” – explains Pedro Nunes, cofounder of the brand. The algorithm enables thousands of personalized combinations which mix several active ingredients such as rice protein, guar beans polymer, kiwi extract, amongst others.

According to the marketing intelligence company Factor Kline, since 2018 the personalization of products and services has been soaring as a strong worldwide trend in personal care. “Due to the market’s saturation given the intensive entrance of new products and brands, the release of cosmetics and personal hygiene products gets more and more competitive. Having that in mind, the brands are turning to personalization to focus directly on the needs and wishes of the consumer.” – explains Juliana Bondança, project manager of personal care and ingredients of Factor Kline.

The business analyst Juliana Machado is one of the consumers who portrays this trend. Being extra careful with her hair, she loves to research about tips and news in the area and, in one of those searches, she came across product personalization: “I dye my hair blonde and because of that, I have to be extra careful and there is nothing better than knowing that we are using ingredients with functions that are exclusively chosen for us, I was delighted with the experience” – says the analyst.

According to Factor Kline, the typical consumer of the personalized product is in between generations Y (Millenials) and Z, since this audience values diversity and individualism, besides looking for a unique experience with the brand. These consumers are digital natives and, in general terms, they are connected all the time, accessing a great amount of information and giving their opinion digitally.

The businesswoman and influencer Renata Meirelles, who gives tips on eating habits and lifestyle to more than 100 thousand followers on Instagram, is also a fan of the personalized products: “The personalization of cosmetics is an absolute trend because it brings out the idea that each individual is unique and that raises any self-esteem” – explains Renata.

Besides the new companies that are emerging to cater to this consumer, big players in the beauty market have invested in technology and innovation to design experiences and personalized products for years. This is the case of L’Oréal, which presented in January, in a tech fair in the USA, their new product, “Perso”, an artificial intelligence device 3 in 1 which will allow its users, for the first time, to manufacture a personalized a cosmetic at home.

During an exclusive interview for in-cosmetics Latin America, L’Oréal Brasil’s CMO, Patricia Borges, has said that Perso’s technology was built upon years of innovation expertise of the company and successful releases of award-winning products of L’Oréal Technology Incubator, including the customized skin-care system Custom D.O.S.E of SkinCeuticals and the platform of personalized foundation Le Teint Particulier of Lancôme.

Perso, measuring 16,5 cm and weighing a bit more than a kilo, is a device capable of creating skincare products, skin foundation and lipstick, this is why it is considered a 3 in 1 device. In order to produce the skincare products, the device has an app which assesses the user’s skin and the local environmental data (using Breezometer, world-leader in real-time air quality data).

With a motorized cartridge system and patented AI, Perso creates products in four stages:

  1. Personal Skin Analysis. The user takes a photo with a smartphone camera and opens up Perso’s app. The app uses AI to analyse the overall skin condition, assessing deep wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, lack of firmness, pore visibility and lack of shine;
  2. Environmental Assessment.Perso evaluates the local environmental conditions which may influence the user’s skin, such as climate, temperature, humidity, UV index and air quality;
  3. Product Preference.The user selects in the app what their specific concern is, such as rough skin texture and lack of shine;
  4. Custom formulation and distribution.The personalized mix is distributed through the superior part of the device, ready for use.

Perso’s skincare system has active ingredients like AHAs, vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid and retinol.

Apart from the skincare products, the device will also offer solutions for skin foundation and liquid lipstick. In the case of skin foundation, Perso has three cartridges which vary from lighter to darker tones, with which is possible to make hundreds of personalized shades. The consumers will also be able to, by using three other cartridges, make liquid lipstick according to their skin tone, their personal preferences and even match their lipstick colour to their clothe or accessories, besides being able to create a specific colour that is a trend in social media.

In line with the ambition to become the world’s number one beauty tech, L’Oréal has developed a series of initiatives and partnerships through an area in the company focused on the digital development of internal teams as well as group collaborators. Worldwide, the company has acquired the start-up ModiFace, the world leader in Augmented Reality (AR) and artificial intelligence applied to the beauty industry, which will enable the company to move even further in terms of innovation and personalized products.

Whoever is anxious to take an up-close look on Perso will have to be patient: “We’re planning to have Perso available for the consumers abroad in 2021, but we have no prediction of when it will be available in Brazil yet” – wraps up Patricia Borges.

Follow everything that happens in the world of cosmetics here on our in-cosmetics Connect digital platform, an extension of your live experience at in-cosmetics Latin America.

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