From portable devices to wearables and apps, the skin health and beauty industry is looking to tech.
While laser treatments, chemical peels and botox injections haven’t lost their groove, portable, mobile and wearable technology are starting to carve out a massive segment of the market as consumers show that many of them would rather take matters into their own hands, especially if they can use tech to do it.
The beauty industry hasn’t failed to recognize this fact and has started putting out mobile devices left, right and center.
There are two main categories of skincare in the mobile and wearable technology category: beauty and condition-specific. That said, in each of those categories, there are devices and applications that range from broad use to exceptionally specific. While some are supported by research, others are essentially considered entirely untested. That said, the affordability, the fact that they can be used at home and the options that are aimed directly at the results people desire the most make these options exceptionally attractive.
To an increasing degree, these portable, mobile and wearable technology devices are starting to be proven and disproven.
The following are some of the most popular devices and the directions science has been taking with them:
• Sleep trackers – whether in fitness bands, smartwatches or activity tracker clips that are worn on clothing, sleep trackers are widely popular and are only becoming more commonplace in people of all ages. Popular brands include Fitbit, the Apple Watch, Garmin, Jawbone, Misfit and a spectrum of others. Even pets have them. That said, research is showing that they are not all created equal. Their accuracy when it comes to everything from the amount of rest a wearer is getting to the number of times they woe or were restless can be quite accurate in some models and in others, they can miss the mark. Sleep is a vital component of proper skin health, but it’s important for consumers to look into the research about their products before they buy.
• Light therapy – these come in the form of wearables such as masks or hand-held portable LED devices. Again, some are cheaply made and disposable, with untested or inconsistent effects while others are known to provide natural rosacea treatment, acne relief and wound healing, among a range of other conditions. While blue and red light therapy are commonly used in conventional hospitals for the treatment of infections, wounds, jaundice and other conditions, the products on the market are not all based on the same strength and wavelengths.
• UV exposure – recently, L’Oréal launched its own wearable technology in the form of the My UV Patch. It provides wearers with a way to know whether or not they are taking adequate steps to prevent the damage and skin cancer risk associated with UV exposure.
• Anti-aging – also included in patch form are certain options from companies taking aim at anti-aging benefits. Feeligreen, a French startup, uses micro-electronics in its DermoPatch to send a microcurrent to stimulate the skin cells as well as to help them to better absorb topical medications and treatment products..