In CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s fifth Beauty 4.0 Podcast – a digital series looking at how technology and innovation will shape beauty’s future – we catch up with Lisa DiNatale, senior manager for clinical efficacy and claims at Avon.
In this 25-minute podcast, DiNatale talks about a proprietary high-res imaging system her and the team at Avon developed capture highly detailed images that can be used to refine product formulas, prove efficacy and build product claims across a range of skin care and colour cosmetic products.
Developed in 2015, she said the imaging system was built around three main components – flexibility, power and openness – which enabled her team to capture high-resolution images of skin, irrespective of skin type or tone.
These images, taken in the Avon lab, were used for various tasks, including as part of clinical trials to prove product efficacy and build claims but also as marketing material – providing Avon representatives a diverse range of before and after images to show customers.
A 2D high-res image that shows everything
Asked why the team had built the system, she said: “We’re scientists so we’re always thinking of tinkering with things and optimising things and making them better, and I have a bunch of amazing, technical people on my staff who realised the commercially available ones weren’t really giving us what we wanted. We wanted to be able to, in a picture, in a 2D image, to be able to see what I would see if I was looking at you live. So, we realised that in order to get there, we needed to develop something ourselves.”
DiNatale said the imaging system was used to check a range of Avon products, from skin care to coloured cosmetics, and importantly played into several stages of product development – from refining or developing formulas through to proving efficacy and building product claims.
“It’s used for so many different items; it really makes our job a lot easier,” she said.
Building consumer trust around beauty for diverse skin tones
DiNatale said these images also played an important role in addressing concerns around efficacy or suitability of skin care and makeup products for different skin tones, types and colours.
Armed with before and after images, she said Avon representatives could show consumers relatable images that worked alongside product claims and other data to prove these were indeed suitable for different skin.
“There’s so many products out there; this space is so saturated – skin care – you really have to come up with a way to step one up or show people why they should come to your space or buy your product. It’s really about being able to relate with them.”
Goal to develop compact, portable imaging system
DiNatale said Avon currently had three imaging units it used, but the long-term goal was to advance this machine to a point where it was compact enough that the company could move it from market to market.
“This is a space we need to move the needle and push the industry, is to get something like this in a travel mode that works,” she said.
Eventually, she said the “ideal scenario” in the future would be for such powerful imaging to exist and be conducted via mobile phones, though that remained some way off. “We haven’t cracked it yet, but it’s something we’re consistently working on.”
Beauty 4.0 Podcast – more insight on high-res imaging for NPD
For more detail on the future opportunities presented by integrating high-res image capture into new product development pipelines, and the direction this might take in the future, listen to our 25-minute podcast above or access our podcasts by subscribing via Apple Podcasts or finding us on Spotify.
This podcast was recorded on February 22, 2021.