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The Innovation Blog

Highlighting the inventiveness and trends shaping our industry and its future.

New Beauty Tech Gadgets Are Taking Off In 2019

2019 is the year of beauty and skincare colliding with the tech world. Check out these trending tech-y beauty gadgets – and a few predictions for which products will still be around next year.

Smart mirrors

Smart mirrors that light up when you approach (like the SimpleHuman example shown), or wi-fi enabled mirrors that can broadcast everything from the time, weather, the news, and social media updates have made the jump into beauty-specific smart mirrors.

“New voice-enabled “smart mirrors” that adjust lighting to your needs or mirrors with embedded cameras to scrutinize your skin in microscopic — and sometimes merciless — detail. The idea is that by using this data to track the status of every fine line, rough patch, blackhead, and blemish, you can accurately assess if your products are doing the trick — or if they need to be tossed out,” explains Allure.

Wifi Mirror

While smart mirrors designed to provide more information about skin were mostly used by larger companies, like Neimen Marcus’s Le Métier de Beauté’s Memory Makeover mirrors, now smart mirror companies like HiMirror are bringing smart mirrors the average consumer.

As for the future of these skincare focused smart mirrors? Experts expect smart mirrors to become a must-have item in the future.

“We have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about ourselves,” consumer psychologist Kat Yarrow told Allure. “People want to know all of the minutiae, from how many steps they take in a day to what’s going on when they sleep to the types of food they can tolerate to their genetic makeup. There’s no end to the obsession. And this new beauty technology fits right into that mentality.”

Blue light therapy masks for acne

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Blue light therapy has long been favored dermatologists as an effective way to combat acne and breakouts. 

“Blue light has been shown to penetrate the skin’s hair follicles and pores which harbor bacteria and can cause inflammation, and therefore acne. Bacteria are very sensitive to the blue light spectrum – it shuts down their metabolism and kills them,” said dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, M.D., to Shape.

While blue light treatment was traditionally performed as an in-office procedure, 2019 has truly democratized this acne-busting practice, with everywhere from Amazon to Sephora to CVS selling blue light masks, at a variety of price points. The idea behind the mask is to blast bacteria with blue – from the comfort of your couch.

But while consumers love blue light masks, Neutrogena recently recalled their Light Therapy Acne mask due to concerns about eye damage, so it’s likely these trending items will soon fall under more scrutiny. Most professionals envision that the blue light therapy masks of the future will include more guidance about wearing eye protection when masking.

The beauty fridge

While the #shelfie was 2018’s social media optimized way to show off neatly organized rows of skincare products, the new iteration in 2019 just might be the #beautyfridge.

What exactly is a beauty fridge? It’s a miniature refrigerator designed to store skincare products. Often sold in Instagram-friendly colors like Millennial pink, the appeal of these skincare-stocked fridges is easy to see. But, is a beauty fridge actually necessary?

“A beauty fridge is unnecessary—a marketing gimmick—because whenever a product is released into the market it has to go through stability testing, which shows that a product is stable, that it will not decompose at room temperature, and that it’s not going to lose its efficacy even once it’s opened,” said Dr. Dennis Gross in an interview with Elle.

Additionally, preservatives should prevent skincare products from going off – or needing to be stored in a miniature refrigerator. However, with over 2,000 #beautyfridge posts on social media and a growing number of companies devoted to selling these tiny fridges, it looks like the beauty fridge might be here to stay.


Microcurrent devices

Microcurrent facials have long been the lifting, contouring skincare secret of celebrities, clocking in at anywhere from $250 – $1000 per session. But now, this innovative technology, which uses low-grade electrical current to contract and tone the facial muscles, is available to anyone, in the form of affordable at-home microcurrent devices.

“The use of electric currents stems from physical therapy treatments used to speed up the healing process,” Danuta Mieloch, Rescue Spa founder, said in an interview with mindbodygreen. “It assists in better penetration of products, improves facial contour, softens wrinkles—it is literally a workout for your skin and the muscles of the face. It helps you get that natural noninvasive lift that clients keep coming back for.”

Believers in microcurrent facial say the treatments make the face appear more lifted, tightened, and firm – without the invasiveness of needles. And, with sales of at-home microcurrent devices on the rise, it’s likely 2019 and beyond will have more and more consumers testing out at-home microcurrent treatments.

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