This Futuristic Device Could Change The Way You Shop For Beauty Products

Photographed by Meredith Jenks.
Update: Guive Balooch, the global VP of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, responded to Refinery29's request for comment. He says there is, in fact, wearable technology in the pipeline. “We’re currently using flexible electronics for internal research testing… We’re looking at many different avenues to bring this exciting, innovative technology to the beauty industry…[that] will allow consumers to integrate the wearable on any part of their body, without feeling anything. Flexible electronics will allow a new wave of wearables that will conform to the parts of our bodies we actually want to get information on. L'Oréal U.S.A.’s research and innovation division is interested in flexible electronics to better understand the real-life changes of skin over time… We believe this platform will allow us to empower education of skin changes through measurement of different parameters over the body.”

This article was originally published on October 30, 2015.

Imagine wearing a tiny, nearly undetectable device somewhere on your largest organ (it's your skin, btw) and having said device shoot back information to your phone that will help you shop for makeup and skin care. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, L'Oréal has set its sights on developing technology that will do just that. The beauty giant, which boasts a roster of 32 international brands including Kiehl's, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Lancôme, Maybelline, and, of course, L'Oréal Paris, is working with the University of Illinois to develop "flexible, wearable electronic circuits that will not only improve product development, but also transform how women make choices when applying makeup," reports Forbes. The electronic device is meant to gather data from the skin, then transmit this info to the consumer's phone, where L'Oréal is hoping he or she will use it as a guide when shopping for products. No word on what this technology will look like (other than being tiny) or when it will be available — but we do know that you won't be able to feel it. But given that no skin-care or makeup regimen is one-size-fits-all, we're thinking these electronics will make shopping for beauty products easier and more effective for everyone. This is not the first time L'Oréal has ventured into further understanding the skin with advanced technology. The company is also researching 3-D bioprint skin, which could help it test makeup and skin care more effectively — but the chip is meant to help users directly as a consumer product.

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