Electronics in cosmetics: value or a gimmick?

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics

Electronics in cosmetics: value or a gimmick?
The focus at PCD this year was on the booming category of electronics in cosmetics. Epilators and vibrating or turning mascaras were amongst some of the at-home devices highlighted at the forum.

In regards to the boom, Dr Christina Zech, vice president of R&D at Geka, a manufacturer of brushes and applicators, delivered a presentation on the place of electronics in the cosmetics field.


Zech looked at whether electronic devices really added true value to a cosmetic product and highlights what the industry can learn from existing and successful electronic products on the market.

“Currently electronics for cosmetic products has become a global trend. The main reason is that they are promising improved functionality of the existing product​,” she said.

However, she points out that, “We can see clearly, there are also drawbacks or limitations in regards to functionality​.”

This Zech says, can be anything from “devices working differently from the original product or cost - the overall increased cost has to be justified from a consumers perspective for the electrical product​.”

Successful devices

Shaving devices for example, have been extremely successful on the market, says Zech.

Philips has sold about 500 million electric shavers to date. These devices have been successful because the consumer can justify the buy, there is clear advantage, producing fewer cuts on the skin and user- friendly​.”

The vice president points out however, that the community of shaving device manufacturers tend to stick to traditional methods when it comes to function, whereas Geka are currently designing a sophisticated device to launch onto the market.


Zech says there is potential for the likes of vibrating mascaras in decorative cosmetics.

Although still a “young segment with a minority share of the market, research into a brand’s vibrating mascara revealed great feedback on its function and innovation, however the vibrating feature was reported to deteriorate after a couple of days use – so there is potential there with perhaps an improved sophisticated technology​,” she said.

The future of electronics in cosmetics

We at Geka see a great future for electronics in decorative cosmetics but it has to be said that there still some drawbacks that we have to overcome. We are still in the area of what is possible rather then what is beneficial for the consumer​,” Dr. Zech revealed.

We are striving for electronics in this field to be faster, more sophisticated and user friendly for the working female population, even those who are inexperienced, to achieve more evenly homogenous results and longer lasting effects​,” she concluded.

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