How artificial intelligence is set to revolutionise the beauty industry

The beauty industry is about to get a facelift thanks to the power of AI. While the industry has been using AI for years, only recently has it started to revolutionise the way we think about skincare and cosmetics. Yet before we get ahead of ourselves with thoughts of robots that are set to take over our lives, let’s be clear here – we’re talking about machine learning.

What is machine learning?

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows computers to learn things by themselves using data and intelligence (most of the time without needing humans to tell them how to do it). Machine learning is used for things like facial recognition, voice recognition and translation—and now it’s being used in the beauty industry too.

How does it work?

AI uses data from the past and puts it through a complex system which allows it to learn from this information and make predictions about what will happen next. For example, if a computer sees an image of someone smiling then it can recognise that this person is happy.

It’s not just about recognising faces though—the computer can learn patterns from images, input, or sounds too. This means that it can start making guesses about what a person likes based on what they’ve previously shown interest in or what they’ve bought before.

Enter the beauty revolution…

Artificial intelligence is being used in many different industries to make data-driven decisions and predictions and the beauty industry is no different. AI is already being used to analyse customers’ skin conditions and from there, suggest products that will help them achieve their skincare goals. An example of this is AI-powered beauty recommendation engine askbella, which is helping customers find products that suit their skin better than ever before.

In the past, customers were spoilt by choice, but what that meant was dealing with decision fatigue or worse – making skincare purchases based on marketing influences instead of what their skin actually needs. Now, beauty recommendation engines are taking the guesswork out of skincare shopping by using AI to make recommendations based on user’s skin.

Using machine learning, askbella collects data and intelligence about people’s skin through their Skinalyser® tool. After users complete askbella’s tool, the program will filter through hundreds of products from top name brands to find ones that will suit the user’s skin type.

The tech works using AI systems that combines large sets of data with intelligent, iterative processing algorithms that have learnt from patterns in the data that has been analysed. This functionality uses known data to enable it to predict a beneficial skincare regime for the user.

For example, if a customer has dry skin, the AI algorithm could recommend moisturisers that would work best for their skin type. The same algorithm could also recommend products liked/recommended by other customers who have similar skin conditions. 

What’s next for the future of beauty?

Right now, we’re seeing more and more brands offering customised skincare lines and my prediction is that this trend will continue. The beauty industry has relied on big data for years now to predict trends and create new products, but it does still rely on human input.

It takes time for a skin care expert to test out various products before deciding which one will suit an individual best. With machine learning, this process could be sped up significantly. The algorithm would be able to analyse thousands of data points at once and create a product that works well with your complexion without having to try any of them firsthand!

The beauty industry is an incredibly fast-paced one: new products are released every day and consumers expect to be able to buy them just as immediately. The beauty industry’s reliance on human input means that it can take years for a product to go from development to release, and the cost of the process can be prohibitively high for smaller brands.

Machine learning and AI are set to change all of this. In the future, we’ll see beauty brands using machine learning to identify which formulas work best for certain skin types and ages, meaning that they can create customised skincare products with very little effort or expense.

We’ll also see AI used as a way of predicting trends in the market – which ingredients are likely to be popular next season or even next week – so that brands can get ahead of their competition and make sure they’re ready when demand spikes. The ability for machines to learn, adapt, and make decisions based on data has been a boom for many industries.

It’s no wonder that it has also caught on in the beauty world, where many people are looking for products that will work for them, rather than trying to find a product that works for all.

From customised skincare to bespoke fragrance and colour, technology is set to make beauty more accessible than ever before. The future of beauty is going to see customers being able to take advantage of all those options without having to go through countless hours of research for themselves. That’s right: artificial intelligence (AI) will be able to help us find exactly what we need without having even been asked (or having to leave home).

In the future we will likely see things like smart mirrors that can display a user’s own image on a screen as if that screen were a mirror, or the incorporation of 3-D printing. In fact, it seems as though the future of beauty is endless and that’s all thanks to AI.

Elaine Yang is the founder of askbella, an Australian beauty recommendation platform that uses AI to digitally ‘prescribe’ a complete skincare regime based on your skin.