Botox, fillers and industrial-strength chemical peels, make some space. Poised to hit the mainstream later this year, skincare wearable tech is the latest magic bullet to add to the anti-ageing arsenal and it's coming to a beauty counter near you.
Hyper-personalised and fully interactive, it's no wonder that the beauty industry is excited about wearable tech that monitors and improves our skin. Research by Mintel has identified bespoke, ultra-customised beauty as one of the hottest trends in beauty between now and 2020. These days, we want skincare that is precisely tailored to our needs and beauty companies are falling over themselves to launch ever more individualised products.
And there is the potential for an awful lot of money to be made. While the global wearable tech market is set to treble in the next five years with a projected turnover of $34 billion by 2020, the anti-ageing market – predicted to enjoy a super-healthy annual growth rate of 7.8% – is expected to be worth a staggering $191.7 billion by the end of the decade.
Feeligreen's anti-ageing patch
L'Oréal isn't alone. French startup Feeligreen is also developing a skin-like patch with potential anti-ageing benefits. DermoPatch goes further, using microcurrent technology to actively treat the signs of ageing, and diffuse topical medication and beauty products into the skin. "To develop this wearable, the Feeligreen team combined expertise in micro-electronics, chemistry, galenic development and printed electronics," says Christophe Bianchi, the company's founder and CEO.
"We benefited from the recent evolutions in printed electronics derived from advanced solar cell development, as well as low-power communication electronics, which have been driven by the Internet of Things market. In addition to these, we have applied for seven patents."
Only a couple of millimetres thick, Feeligreen's dermoPatch packs a dinky electronic module that powers the microcurrent tech and fits snugly inside a bendy second skin 'plaster' onto which you can apply beauty products or topical medication.
DermoPatch isn't the only microcurrent skin patch on the block either. Patchology's Energizing Eye Patches, Patch+ and Biobliss use similar technology but Feeligreen's baby is more potent and potentially more effective. "DermoPatch, produces 10 to 20 times more current than existing microcurrent patch technologies," says Bianchi.
According to the International Dermal Institute, microcurrents allow for superior penetration of water-based products into the skin and clinical studies have shown that after twenty days of microcurrent treatments, collagen and elastin production increases and blood circulation improves.
Feeligreen's dermoPatch could be developed in tandem with a major beauty company to supercharge anti-ageing lotions and potions, or treat the skin to boost cell turnover and rejuvenate the complexion.
Bianchi believes the dermoPatch product will be on the market within the next two years. Reports actually suggest that Feeligreen is in talks with L'Oréal, among other major beauty multinationals, to collaborate on wearable tech and connected devices, so you never know, L'Oréal's future skin patches may well rock Feeligreen's microcurrent technology.