How L’Oreal Is Using Technology and Personalization to Solve the Mysteries of Skin Care

The brand's SXSW pop-up helped attendees create a custom serum

A technician took attendees through a skin diagnosis. Photos by Dianna McDougall
Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Finding the right products for your skin can be impossible if you don’t know what’s wrong with it. Now, L’Oréal believes it can help you solve that problem using technology and creating more personalized products for your skin.

At South by Southwest, the beauty brand created a pop-up experience called Know Your Skin, where consumers could not only measure their UV exposure and pH balance but also find out their skin’s hydration level. Festivalgoers could even get a skin diagnosis to create a new personalized serum.

“The real value is always being able to solve the mysteries of what people want to know about themselves in order to get to that level of beauty that they want to reach,” said Guive Balooch, global vp of  L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator. “[These are] customer gaps that are 50-100 years old, but because technology can now allow us to know ourselves better, we can now empower people to have products that are much more tailor-made.”

Last year,  L’Oréal created custom foundations for attendees with its first SXSW pop-up. Balooch said focusing on skin is a much more multifaceted approach.

“We realized we needed to bring technologies that could tell people what’s actually on their skin, UV, PH—things we wanted people to know about their personal exposure,” Balooch said. “Even more so, we have millions of fungus, bacteria and viruses on our skin. We know that those are linked to skin conditions, so by partnering with UBiome, [we can help consumers].”

At this year’s pop-up, attendees were given a wearable sensor to track their sun exposure (the La Roche-Posay My Skin Track UV), were able to find out their PH balance (with the La Roche-Posay My Skin Track pH) and skin hydration level (Kiehl’s Dehydration Analyzer). They also got to swab their skin to send off a sample to UBiome to find out about their skin’s microbiomes. 

The company also brought back its Skinceuticals’ Custom DOSE (Diagnostic Optimization Serum Experience) machine with an on-site technician to walk people through a skin analysis and create a custom serum that’s packaged with their name on it.

Balooch called the brand’s efforts “a vision of the future of what beauty is,” adding, “We want to do things like this because we want to change people’s lives. We want to bring a level of performance [to SXSW] that we couldn’t without that. These experiences help us tell the bigger story.”

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.