Augmented Reality for Skincare: Exploring immersive technologies for beauty retail

May 28, 2021

The skincare industry is known for personalized customer experiences ranging from skin diagnosis to bespoke treatments. 


Attending to consumers’ current concerns around hygiene and accurate expert solutions, the skincare business is beginning to seek technological innovations to implement more holistic and engaging brand experiences.


In this article,  Beauty by Holition reports current market trends and consumer behaviour to analyse the role of Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence that are shaping the future of the skincare industry.


Overview: A Holistic approach to discovering Skincare trends


An extensive research from J.P. Morgan highlights that the skincare market is showing a 7.6% growth rate versus other segments in the beauty business environment.


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Based on Mckinsey’s analysis, colour cosmetics and lip products have declined by 35% and 20% during the pandemic. The skincare industry, however, is showing a more positive outlook, with an anticipated 20% increase in retail sales.

Furthermore, data from Estee Lauder also suggests that the skincare segment is proving to be the most resilient segment, following a 26% increase in sales during the first half of 2020. 



This illustrates the potential of the skincare market, which retailers anticipate will be an industry valued at $12 billion by 2023.

New age drivers: Finding opportunities within consumers’ ongoing concerns

During the pandemic, we observed an acceleration in direct-to-consumer e-commerce due to the closure of brick-and-mortar outlets of beauty products causing 30% of the beauty market to shut down.

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Although the skincare segment was showing potential amid the crisis, there was a strong urgency to connect with consumers to continue brand engagement and mitigate sales declines amidst store closures.


With this in mind, brands began to recognize opportunities in escalating their online presence to continue engagement with consumers and explore opportunities to recreate the in-person retail experience digitally.


This resulted in a wider acceptance of immersive technologies such as augmented reality(AR) and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools to help address consumer’s concerns whilst shopping in-store.


Recognizing the key pain points in the consumer journey ranging from hygiene, accessibility of products to choice paralysis, brands started accepting augmented reality and virtual try-ons on a wider scale as an alternative to the in-store product trial experience.


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With this in mind, digital transformation has also triggered a need for the hyper-realistic visualization of products and services using AI-powered tools for immersive experiences from the comfort of consumers’ own space.


Skincare & AR: From ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’


The application of immersive technologies for colour cosmetics can now be extended to the skincare segment. 


Leveraging the increased demand for realistic experiences and beautiful visualisations stimulated by augmented reality, brands are now exploring ways to utilise tech-led innovation to entice skincare users.


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Aligning with market research, in-store consultation is now being replaced with technological solutions to improvise facial analysis and skin health diagnosis. 


In the digital skincare journey, brands can now track consumer interest, provide personalised product information, encourage  virtual try-on, all of which contribute to influencing purchase intentions. 


Using AI and AR tools, this track has now become customisable to fulfill consumer needs on every touchpoint, further building brand loyalty to induce repeated sales.


Beauty By Holition: Where your Beauty journey starts

The FACE technology by Beauty by Holition is a unique nexus of AR and AI that optimises the end-to-end journey of skincare for both brands and consumers. 


Addressing key consumer pain points, the virtual diagnostic tool is equipped with the most advanced facial analysis, tracking, and rendering technologies in skincare yet. 

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On top of tracking over 100 points in the face, the tool now enables skin health analysis of features such as face, eye, and lip shape, skin colour, texture, pigmentation, and wrinkles in real-time using customisable parameters powered by machine learning.


The desired calibration (e.g. texture, tone, and finish) can also now be easily modified using a range of parameters including colour, opacity, coverage, shine, undertone which enhances how end-users perceive the brand's range of products.


With these innovations, brands can now leverage high-quality virtual try-on and beautiful visualisation with 3D animations imposed on end-user's faces for highly accurate and hyper-realistic experiences.

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Moreover, the highly scalable and platform-agnostic tool can be installed quickly into a brand's existing website or mobile application, which ensures a hassle-free integration. This allows the interactive platform to reach the key audience through a range of gateways including e-commerce, mobile, and in-store in a very efficient and seamless manner. 


The cutting-edge tool works entirely on-device which means no user data is compromised or stored in the process.


Pioneering the future of skincare

The combination of skincare and technology-led experiences, such as those powered by augmented reality, is now widely advocated for superior e-commerce and retail blueprints. 


Adaptable from mobile devices to web platforms, AR and AI-stimulated customer experiences can now help brands drive superior engagement and sales conversions, which help create a holistic and hyper-personalised brand experience.



Discover the technology-led innovations that are shaping the future of the skincare industry with Beauty By Holition.

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