L’Oreal uses AI to find the right skincare product

An online tool for Vichy is the latest way the company is using image recognition to bring new services to customers.


With such a wide range of products on the market claiming to reduce signs of skin aging, it can be hard to know which one is right for which consumer. L’Oréal has created a new tool that uses tech to help its consumers narrow down the choice.

Launched under the company’s Vichy anti-aging skincare brand, SkinConsult AI allows users to upload a selfie to the website, which then analyzes it for seven signs of aging. The algorithm then recommends products and a routine to help  address those signs, as well as ones it predicts may show up in the future. The tool was first launched on Vichy’s Canadian website, and will be rolling out to sites in other markets later this year.

The tool is based on an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered image recognition algorithm developed by ModiFace, using over 6,000 images from studies conducted by L’Oreal’s research team and conducted with dermatologists.

L’Oréal acquired ModiFace last year, having previously worked with the Toronto-based augmented reality (AR) company on a number of applications related to AR and integrating capabilities – usually related to virtually trying products – into other platforms. One of those projects was a “smart mirror” that brought AR into retail environments, and, prior to its acquisition, ModiFace worked with brands such as Estée Lauder to integrate AR try-on functions to e-commerce and chat platforms.

Virtual try-ons have been a popular application for augmented reality, along with other tools that allow users to see how products look in their homes, as they help consumers feel more confident about purchases where “fit” might be an issue and trial isn’t typically an option, such as furniture or products bought online.

But the new tool shows that the image recognition and mapping function of AR has other applications relevant to the business of companies like L’Oréal. Lubomira Rochet, L’Oréal’s chief digital officer, says the ModiFace acquisition started the “second phase” of the company’s digital transformation, which will see it look for ways to “reinvent” consumers’ experiences with beauty products through technology like AR, AI and voice. She adds that this fits with the company’s belief that providing services to customers will be the new gateways for consumers to discover L’Oréal brands and products.