Personalized beauty tech refers to the use of technology to develop products that are unique to each individual customer based on their personal attributes such as skin or hair, taste preferences, genomics, and environmental conditions.
This industry is driven by consumer demand for greater diversity in beauty products. But as beauty brands began introducing more varieties, the proliferation of nearly identical products left consumers with a new problem—the paralysis-inducing paradox of choice. To break through the crowded market, companies have transitioned to personalized beauty to engineer products that are tailored to individual customer needs. And with a majority of the startups in the space featuring female founders, women are taking charge in the industry to convert their own experiences into a marketable product.
Incumbents initially penetrated the market by providing personalized recommendations of their own products as an add-on service, but are now moving towards more high-tech personalization models such as developing custom products and do-it-yourself (DIY) devices. Nearly half of the disruptors offer tailor made products with the majority of them being in the early or growth stages. DIY products is an emerging segment, however still at a nascent stage of development with most of the startups at seed level.
Almost all incumbents in the personalized beauty space have teamed up with startups working on augmented reality (AR) and related technologies. Some, like L'oreal, Procter & Gamble, and Avon, have additionally developed proprietary technology in-house. And while still early, a few acquisitions have already taken place.
With the advantage of a retail footprint, many incumbents offer personalized experiences in-store as well as online. For example, L’oreal’s SkinCeuticals line offers a customizable face serum that is available in select retail locations. Other players such as Estee Lauder, MAC cosmetics, and Garnier also provide virtual try-on facilities in-store.