3-D printed face masks personalized to your skin? The future is here
Whether it’s dry patches on your forehead or redness on your cheeks, the Neutrogena MaskiD™—just announced at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show—is designed to deliver active ingredients exactly where you need them.
These days, you can get just about anything digitally designed just for you. And because one size rarely fits all, customers are increasingly seeking out tailor-made goods on nearly every front.
This isn’t news to the scientists at Neutrogena®. Last year the company released Neutrogena Skin360™, a scanning tool that taps into dermatologist-grade tech (a 30x magnification lens, LED lighting and a moisture sensor) to analyze your skin, show how it’s changing over time and help ensure your beauty regimen is achieving results—all via your smartphone.
Their latest innovation, which has just been announced at the Consumer Electronics Show, will take the tailor-made trend a step further: the Neutrogena MaskiD™.
Using 3-D cameras—like those available on certain smartphones—and advanced 3-D printing technology, Neutrogena will soon be offering consumers a first-of-its-kind, patent-pending sheet mask that’s personalized to your unique face shape and skin needs.
We sat down with one of the brains behind the masks—Michael Southall, Global R&D BeautyTech Leader, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.—to walk us through this game-changing skincare technology.
Why is the Neutrogena MaskiD such a breakthrough?
Consumers are not only fascinated with face masks, but they increasingly want personalized solutions for their skincare needs. And while there are some custom solutions for skincare out there, they tend to be extremely expensive.
We wanted to bring a custom face mask to the Neutrogena consumer, wherever they’re living, at a price point that’s not out of reach. While the final price hasn’t been set just yet, our goal is to price it consistently with the Neutrogena product line.
Why was the idea of 3-D printed skincare masks such a natural fit for the brand?
At Neutrogena we like to say we’re developing innovation beyond the jar—in this case, partnering with our very own, in-house Johnson & Johnson 3-D Printing Center of Excellence.
The center typically works on products like custom surgical tools, but we explored the idea of using 3-D printing to deliver tailored skin treatments, and that’s where the magic happened.
Sheet masks are a particularly effective vehicle for skincare ingredients because they create a physical barrier that locks in nourishing ingredients and saturates the skin so the ingredients can do their work. Most face sheet masks, however, are one-size-fits-all, which means they’re often an imprecise fit—and that gave us an insight into making a truly personalized mask.
This collaboration with the 3-D Printing Center of Excellence helped us create a process that will enable us to manufacture specialized masks on demand, as people order them—with no two customer masks being the same.
Skincare agents are 3-D printed onto the mask right where you need them. For example, if you have fine lines around your eyes, that part of the mask will contain stabilized glucosamine, which helps reduce their appearance.
How exactly does the personalization process work?
When the product launches later in 2019, consumers will be able to use 3-D imaging technology that’s built into many of the latest iPhones—such as the iPhone X, XS and XR—with the Neutrogena Skin360 tool to take a high-tech 3-D selfie that creates a topographic map of their face, almost like a sculpture. This enables precise measurements, such as the distance from your forehead to your chin, or the space between your eyes.
The algorithms in the software will then divide the 3-D selfie into six unique skincare zones: forehead, eye area, nose, cheeks, chin and nasolabial folds.
The Neutrogena Skin360 tool then takes the individualized data it has collected and leverages the company’s clinical skincare expertise to create a personalized mask, with specific skincare ingredients matched to the precise zones where they’ll deliver the greatest benefit.
What kinds of ingredients are used in the masks?
We start with a sheet of hydrogel, which provides an interface between the mask and your skin, and includes such natural ingredients as hydrating red seaweed. The mask is then laser-cut to your precise facial dimensions so it will fit exactly, and different high-efficacy skincare agents are 3-D printed onto the mask right where you need them.
For example, if you have fine lines around your eyes, that part of the mask will contain stabilized glucosamine, which helps reduce their appearance. If you have dry patches on your forehead and cheeks, hydrating hyaluronic acid will be placed in those areas.
Depending on your needs, the masks can also include a vitamin C derivative that works as a brightening agent for dull skin; vitamin B3, which is proven to help improve uneven pigmentation and the appearance of dark spots; and feverfew, an antioxidant that can help reduce the appearance of redness.
At home, you peel the mask off the film; apply it to clean, dry skin; and after 15 minutes, you can remove the mask, massaging any excess product into the skin. And because the hydrogel conforms to every curve of your face, it facilitates your skin’s ability to absorb these ingredients, boosting their effectiveness. Using Neutrogena Skin360 to continually monitor your skin will also allow you to measure improvements over time.
These options really are just the beginning, too. Longer term, we will incorporate even more options from our library of skincare technologies to help you get exactly the right skincare regimen you need.