With a surface area of up to 2 square meters, skin is the largest organ of the human body. Skin acts as an outer covering and barrier – not only is skin health crucial to the overall health of an individual, but skin appearance has significant societal impact as well (body image, communication, etc.).
Despite the importance of skin health and appearance, the average consumer has little exposure to skin analysis technologies. Skin analysis technologies have been routinely used in the lab for the past few decades, playing pivotal roles in proving the safety and efficacy of consumer products, but little has spilled over into the wider public. Traditionally, skin analysis has been limited to boutique spas, retail counters, etc. - places where premium skincare is being sold. This is rapidly changing.
Digital disruption has reached the cosmetics industry, and companies are now seeking ways to augment or even replace their retail counters with digital solutions. While other industries have benefitted from the rise of ecommerce, a mere 10% of cosmetics and skincare are sold online. Deploying skin analysis technologies for the consumer to use enables the delivery of education and service similar to what they would receive in a brick and mortar store.
In tandem with digitization comes the demand for personalization. Consumers are seeking skincare solutions that are specific to their needs, and skin analysis technologies have the potential to provide hyper personalization – bespoke amounts or even customized formulations down to the very minute the product is applied.
This report focuses on the skin parameters typically discussed in the cosmetics industry and assesses the range of technologies used to analyse them. Techniques range from the gold standard laboratory techniques to the modifications utilized by companies to bring the technology to the consumer, to future methods of skin analysis. IDTechEx has analyzed the technologies used by over 36 players in the skin analysis market, focusing on the following parameters:
- Skin hydration/moisture
- Topographical features – wrinkles, fine lines, pores
- Sebum, including acne
- Color, including dark spots, redness and overall skin tone
- Skin elasticity/firmness
Due to the focus on the consumer side of the cosmetics industry, the report does not investigate medical conditions, particularly skin analysis techniques that involve invasive procedures such as biopsies. The report, however, does include a short discussion of genetic testing for skin analysis, and a chapter on the emerging field of AI for skin cancer diagnosis.
The report provides an overview of the players in the skin analysis market, segmented into R&D, marketing in retail and marketing to the consumer in their home. IDTechEx conducted primary research and profiled 16 companies in skin analysis, including interviews with companies at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2020.
Slowly but surely, skin analysis technologies are being put into the hands of the consumer. While R&D players stay comfortable in their niche, companies offering skin analysis to brands for marketing purposes are diversifying and creating innovative new technologies and business models. Alongside this are companies following the "quantified self" movement, offering skin analysis technologies directly to the consumer.
With the changing landscape around the world, the market for skin analysis technologies is set to experience rapid growth in the next few years. This report presents a 10-year forecast of skin analysis technologies, breaking down into R&D, marketing, and consumer applications.
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