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L’Oreal says it is working with start-ups and research institutions to bioprint skin that can actually “feel.”


PARIS, France — French beauty and cosmetics giant L’Oreal is working on a form of synthetically produced skin that it says will one day be able to “feel” like we do.

At the Viva Technology conference in Paris last week, L’Oreal showed off demonstrations of “bioprinting,” technology that can 3D print humanlike skin, in action.

The firm has been using this tech for several years to test new makeups on synthetic skin in its lab rather than animals.

L’Oreal says it ceased testing its products on animals back in 1989, long before it was required by regulation.

Guive Balooch, head of L’Oreal’s tech incubator, describes bioprinting as the “ability to use 3D printing with biology to reconstruct skin in personalized ways adjusting for a fully inclusive set of actual reconstructed skin.”

“This is going to be a revolution, too. We’re doing it internally but also working with external partners as well,” Balooch told CNBC at the firm’s booth at VivaTech.

This skin technology enables L’Oreal to mimic the diversity of real, human skin, including conditions such as eczema and acne, as well as the ability to tan and heal from injury, L’Oreal said in a statement last week.

L’Oréal isn’t just stopping there, though. The company said it’s also working with startups and research institutions to further develop its bioprinting technology to enable skin that can actually “feel.”

“We will have this kind of idea where sensors will allow us to not only have the ability to test on reconstructed skin but also have the … sensory reality feedback, which is what happens when you apply products and all that, so that we can get assessment of not only the efficacy but also the sensory feedback,” Balooch said.

AI assistant for beauty tips

As well as investing into dermatological tech, L’Oreal also showed off innovations around artificial intelligence at France’s massive tech show last week.

At its booth, the company demonstrated an AI-powered beauty assistant called “BeautyGenius.” The app scans a user’s face to identify their facial features.

It then provides the user with a facial analysis, followed by recommendations of products that suit their skin best. It is powered by generative AI, the same technology that powers OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot.

L’Oreal also unveiled an AI marketing lab called CREAITECH, which includes tools that allow it to create brand-compliant, AI-generated marketing content.

L’Oreal is incorporating AI-assisted marketing across its 37 beauty brands, which include Kiehl’s, Lancome, and Giorgio Armani Beauty, and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, according to the firm.

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