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Beautiful technology

If the only piece of cosmetic technology that comes to mind is an electric toothbrush, I’ve got news for you. The beauty industry has become more and more consumer lead. Mostly by women, curious to try more products before committing to purchasing, with an increasing interest in independent brands. As beauty and technology merge, we are in the midst of a digital beauty revolution providing deeper insights into consumer skincare needs. GlobalData, a market research company, found that health and beauty is the UK’s top retail sector for growth. The UK health and beauty market is forecast to grow 16.5% until 2023 and technology is a huge part of that.

Customised cosmetics with brands seeking to offer a more personalised, user-orientated experience are on the rise. Ever purchase a new bottle of foundation to realise half way through its first wear the colour is far from a perfect match? Technology is making these first world problems more and more unlikely. Boot’s No. 7 offers a foundation selector service where your skin tone is analysed to find the right shade for you. With no appointment needed and in under five minutes, your foundation, concealer, blusher and lipstick could be tailored especially for you. Brands including Benefit, Estee Lauder and Sephora have all launched virtual try on apps which give users insight to their specific needs whilst recommending products. Whilst these apps often reinforce what beauty lovers already know; their skin is dry, they have wrinkles etc., if you are a loyal customer it can be helpful when suggesting a targeted skincare regime for a more tailored experience. Have you ever hesitated when sitting in the chair at a new salon? Apps such as Schwarzkopf’s Hair Analyser could blast those butterflies. A quick analysis could provide fast information about colour history and hair condition. A welcome addition to salons or just an extra level of precaution?

The benefits of facial massage are widely recognised; increasing circulation to give skin a more youthful glow, reduced congestion, toxin elimination, stress/ tension relief in turn preventing wrinkles. In the last 18 months there has been a rise in technology making facial massage more efficient which shows no signs of slowing down. Handheld devices designed to target skin tone, facial contour and wrinkle reduction using micro current technology to tighten and lift from skin deep. This technology is no longer just for the A list, with effective at-home devices flooding the market. Possibly the most talked about handheld device is from Nuface, marketed as ‘an effortlessly easy, non-invasive facelift from the comfort of your sofa’ taking just five minutes a day.

LED facials have also become more available. Near infrared light (the opposite of damaging UV light) is used to quickly and gently target various skin concerns. Some light is used to repair sun damage and boost collagen for plump, glowing skin. Other light is great for those suffering from acne as it hits bacteria deep inside the pores. It is recommended for all skin types including young teenagers. At home technology is now available using light therapy of different wave lengths, however, the latest light therapy trend targets the entire body. Infrared saunas are said to offer incredible relaxation and increase your endorphin levels. Lady Gaga praises the benefits proven to help musculoskeletal ailments, heavy metal detoxification, boosting the immune system’s cell activity and increased blood flow.

It’s amazing to see these technological advances and how science and the beauty industry can sit side by side. After 642 prototypes, 230 engineers and 6 years of research and development, Dyson recently unveiled its second piece of beauty technology, the Air Wrap Styler. Other hair curlers use heat or moisture to change the bonds in the hair structure, firstly breaking the current bonds, then setting new bonds to create a new shape. As hair isn’t self-healing this often leads to permanent damage. Dysons’ Air Wrap uses air to avoid extreme temperatures whilst adding volume into the hair. It uses the Coanda Effect to attach the hair and wrap it around the barrel, combined with the Dyson V9 digital motor, this works at a much higher pressure generating a stronger Coanda Effect - perfectly styling hair without causing harm.

As an aging population with increasing hair and skin problems, increasing hormonal disorders, and considerable technological growth, the rise in beauty devices is predicted to keep rising. However, many of these treatments and appliances are not accessible to the masses at their current price point. As with most areas of the beauty industry, consistency is key. If you’re looking to give some beauty tech a try, do your research. More purse friendly options are being released and when broken down into cost per use, chances are, they’ll be a welcomed addition to any skincare devotee’s bathroom cabinet.

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