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In today’s connected world consumers want instant gratification, particularly as generations Y and Z, accustomed to having everything at the touch of a button, begin to outnumber baby boomers. In the beauty and personal care arena, purchases are increasingly based around experiences rather than the physical product as beauty consumers look for the right products that will deliver real and measurable benefits.
Manufacturers and brands that listen to this demand and can deliver a personalised connected experience that is both timely and convenient are the ones that will continue to succeed. Those that choose to ignore the shifting landscape, do so at their peril.
According to Euromonitor International personalised services such as smart diagnostics are more in demand in general as living standards improve and luxury is becoming more accessible to all. In 2016, for example, within the beauty and personal care sector, 8.3 billion electrical facial cleansers were sold globally, reflecting this growing quest for “smart” solutions . Such devices that can assist beauty consumers with managing their daily care regime or track product results and efficacy are becoming increasingly popular.
Today’s beauty consumers are seeking out ways to monitor daily habits, track results and use products that exactly match their requirements. Devices that can offer smart solutions and personalisation are key and as a result high tech or wearable products such as electric facial cleansers, skin diagnostic tools and now even hair diagnostic tools are gaining traction – the more individualised the better.
Players in the beauty and personal care industry can use these trends to their advantage because, when well developed, smart diagnostic tools can support brand activation, engage consumers and ultimately, drive more sales. Of course, by their very nature they also put manufacturers to the test, as the devices provide beauty consumers the opportunity to track a product’s efficacy in real time.
SMART DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS
Most of the major giants in the beauty and personal care arena (think Unilever, P&G, Reckitt Benckiser, L’Oréal, Avon and J&J) have launched a string of smart diagnostic devices or product related software in recent years.
Here we take a look at a few:
- Dove Hair Diagnostic Tool: This device uses hair-on-hair friction as a measure of hair surface damage, giving an instant reading of the level of hair dryness when a strand is ran through it. The tool is designed to help consumers determine their hair type, and of course then points them to Dove hair care products developed for that specific hair type. Dove also offers personalised tips for their customers that are customised to a variety of different hair types and hair care scenarios
- Mapo Connected Beauty Mask: Coined by the company as a world first, a MAPO Connected Beauty Mask can give consumers real-time information about their skin health through a diagnostic skin moisture analysis programme. The fully personalised and connected beauty mask enables users to understand their skin’s properties and its dynamics and consumers can then develop their beauty routine using this information. The mask also comes with a heating zone and electronic sensors to encourage users to adjust their moisturiser use based on their skin moisture analysis. The accompanying app also connects users to a community for sharing information and working solutions for differing skin types 
- Dermalogica and Breezometer: Skin-care company Dermalogica partnered with global air quality data company BreezoMeter to develop a smart diagnostic tool that would help track the environment’s impact on one’s skin. The tool uses geo-location and air quality to raise awareness on the risk of pollution-related skin aging. Using this information, Dermaologica can then offer skin care tips customised for the user 
Such high tech beauty solutions and innovations that can enhance the experience for the beauty consumer will continue to gain traction in the beauty and personal care arena. In particular, personalised devices that can assist consumers in determining the most effective beauty regime for their individual requirements are sure to reign supreme.