- L'Oréal introduced at CES on Monday (Jan. 7) a test version of a wearable device that helps people track the acid levels of their skin as part of their skincare regimen. My Skin Track pH captures small amounts of sweat from skin pores to give an accurate acidity reading on a dedicated mobile app within 15 minutes, according to a company announcement.
- L'Oréal's skincare brand La Roche-Posay this year will market the device to dermatologists in the United States with the goal of collecting research data before launching a direct-to-consumer product. Compromised pH levels may trigger skin inflammation that worsens dryness, eczema and atopic dermatitis, per L'Oréal. The device and app can then make customized La Roche-Posay product recommendations.
- L'Oréal worked with Epicore Biosystems, a developer of wearable sensors, to create the device, which received the CES 2019 Innovation Award as the "best of innovation" winner in the conference's wearable technology products category.
L'Oréal in the past year has been at the forefront of testing out new technologies and developing wearable devices aimed at helping customers with their skincare and beauty needs. The wearer places the device on their inner arm long enough to collect a sweat sample, which is indicated by two dots whose color gradually changes. The wearer then uses the My Skin Track pH app to photograph the sensor and analyze the pH measurement, which then suggests a personalized skincare regimen of La Roche-Posay products.
My Skin Track pH marks the next stage in using a smartphone camera to create personalized product recommendations for customers. The move, which debuted early on during the buzzy CES show, combines the retail marketing trends of personalizing products and integrating mobile technology into the beauty industry. Previously, L'Oréal in November began marketing a wearable UV sensor called My Skin Track UV that's compatible with Apple's smartphones and tablets. The sensor, which is only available through Apple, is activated by the sun and is powered by the user's smartphone using near-field communication.
Technology has become an increasingly larger focus for the beauty company since it launched its Technology Incubator in 2012. Last year, L'Oréal bought Modiface, the developer of digital tools that let customers virtually try on makeup through mobile augmented reality (AR). The deal, which catapulted the company as a tech-powered leader in the beauty space and forced competitors to find mobile AR alternatives, marked the first time L'Oréal bought a tech company after years of acquiring other beauty brands.
Debuting the new wearable pH tracker at CES appears to be a strategic move, as the annual conference has become a showcase for the latest consumer skincare tech. Neutrogena, the beauty brand owned by Johnson & Johnson, this week is demonstrating a mobile app that uses the iPhone's 3D camera to scan a user's face, letting the company create personalized face masks that will be shipped directly to customers. The MaskiD technology comes a year after Neutrogena debuted its Skin360 accessory for the iPhone at CES 2018.