Home / Tech  / Creating personalised skincare with AI technology

Creating personalised skincare with AI technology

Newly launched beauty brand, Mutual Skincare is using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to produce personalised products for each customer, making them a force to be reckoned with in the competitive skincare industry.

Mutual Skincare offers something not many skincare companies can – a personalised experience using advanced technology to create a customised product.

By partnering with Canadian pharmaceuticals Medisca, Mutual is challenging the beauty industry’s long tradition of “oversubscribing blanket skin concerns”, making their range hyper-personalised to the customer.

Amar Mehta, co-founder of Mutual says the idea came from looking at the industry as a whole and saw that consumers were having to “undertake trial and error to see what works best for you or really understand the ingredient space to know if what you are using will actually manage your concerns”.

“AI takes a lot of this challenge away. It means that we’re able to recommend a very precise formulation,” he says.

This is done through a ‘Skin Assessment’ that uses over 70,000 different data points to accurately recommend products that targets the consumers skin concerns.

Mehta explains the initial idea was to use a facial scanning machine that uses infrared to see if the imperfections were being targeted effectively by the formulas, but the piece of machinery was considered too expensive.

“So in essence, we reverse-engineered the algorithms to mimic the process of putting your face in the scanner,” says Mehta.

He adds that the AI technology is taking “a huge amount of guesswork out” and because of how nuanced the process is, Mutual can match both the right ingredients and concentration.

“It means the formula you get recommended is highly optimised to your skin needs in a way that would take both an enormous amount of trial to accomplish elsewhere and matches ingredients that actually work well together and are stable,” he says.

Read more: The future of art – digitising and use of AI.

Through the ‘Skin Assessment’, customers will undergo a test that takes a few minutes. Once complete, customers will be able to preview the personalised formula and learn all about the ingredients.

Mehta says there are 220 hyper personalised iterations of their formula for consumers depending on their skin assessment.

“It’s a complex system that we will keep upgrading and updating as we go. The beauty of it is that it will always become more technically advanced over time with more and more data points to add in,” he adds.

The AI technology was originally built by Medisca to which Mutual put in an extra year of re-building the technology to fit the latest updates in technology and e-commerce. Through the additional year, Mutual was able to make the tech “future proof” that allows them to add new formulations and ingredients.

“The customisation trend is set to reshape the cosmetic world. Consumers have long been searching for tailor-made skincare and Mutual embodies that solution,” says Professor Vanessa Pinheiro, one of the key pharmacists involved in the research and development.

This offering is a first for New Zealand. Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) such as Sephora and Mecca offer quizzes that rely on keyword matching but they are not as advanced as what Mutual offers.

“If you tell us your key skin concern is moisturising, then we have a set of ingredients that will support that, but what you tell us next not only determines which ingredient to offer forward, but what overall blend to give you, as collectively, the ingredients will do different things when blended together,” says Mehta.

“We also have an enormous amount of clinical and research data behind each decision our Skin Assessment makes.”

Backed by science, Mutual’s technology is built on working with the consumer to create the perfect product that fits each individual.

Looking five years into the future, Mutual hopes to build trust through their AI technology to be the “main brand people rely on for their skincare routine”.

“We also hope to have expanded into other countries and we expect to have added many more formulas and ways of experiencing and testing Mutual’s efficacy for yourself,” says Mehta.

“In five years we hope that we would have created further innovation in this space as well.”

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

Review overview