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L'Oréal aims to launch direct-to-consumer skincare technology

Cosmetics brand L'Oréal has this week unveiled My Skin Track pH by La Roche-Posay, a new technology aimed at helping consumers better monitor their skin and therefore find the L'Oréal products most suitable for them.

All this week at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the company has been touting what it describes as the first wearable sensor and companion app to easily measure personal skin pH levels and create customised product regimens to better care for skin.

It’s the latest solution to come from the L'Oréal Technology Incubator, which is the organisation’s US-based innovation hub and an arm of its Research & Innovation division.

The product will initially be introduced in 2019 through select La Roche-Posay dermatologists in the US, but the goal is to amass new findings about its effectiveness and usage before ultimately launching as a direct-to-consumer product.  

"The scientific and medical communities have long known the link between skin pH levels and common skin concerns that millions of people experience every day,” explains Guive Balooch, global vice president of the L'Oréal Technology Incubator.

"Our goal is to use this advanced technology to empower consumers with meaningful information about their skin, so that they can find the products that are right for their individual needs. At L'Oréal, we know that health is the future of beauty and we are committed to leveraging technology to bring powerful insights and solutions to our consumers."  

My Skin Track pH is a small, thin flexible sensor, and it measures individual skin pH levels using microfluidic technology. It captures trace amounts of sweat from skin pores through a network, and reportedly provides an accurate pH reading within 15 minutes.  

L'Oréal said that previous methods of measuring skin pH levels required rigid electronics or large sweat samples. My Skin Track pH, meanwhile, is said to provide an accurate pH reading when the wearer places the sensor on their inner arm for 5-15 minutes before opening the accompanying app to photograph the sensor. 

The app reads the pH measurement and the wearer's local sweat loss to assess skin health and make customised La Roche-Posay product recommendations.

Professor Thomas Luger, head of the Department of Dermatology, University of Münster, Germany, said it had previously been very challenging to measure skin pH outside of a clinical setting.

“This tool has the potential to inspire consumers to adopt healthier skincare habits and empower medical professionals with an entirely new way to recommend skincare regimens,” he added.

My Skin Track pH was created by L'Oréal in partnership with Epicore Biosystems, a specialist in microfluidic platforms and soft wearable sensors.

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