Johnson & Johnson Uses 3D Printing to Personalize Skincare Regimes

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Johnson & Johnson unveiled their plan to revolutionize the beauty industry: personalized care utilizing facial mapping and 3D printing.

Last year, scientists at Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Neutrogena released a scanning tool called Neutrogena Skin360. The device attaches to your smartphone and taps into dermatologist-grade tech, including moisture detectors and a 30x magnification lens, to analyze your skin. This allows you to see how your skin changes over time and enables you to determine which skin care treatment will achieve the greatest results.

The company's latest innovation, the Neutrogena MaskiD, further builds upon Skin360 technology.

Using advanced micro 3D printing technology and 3D camera-enabled smartphones, such as the HTC Evo 3D, LG Optimus 3D P920, or many of the latest iPhones, Neutrogena has created a first-of-its-kind beauty treatment - a personalized sheet face mask.

"Women who embraced our Neutrogena Skin 360 personal skin analysis tool told us how excited they were to finally understand the unique aspects of their own skin, and they told us they want more," said Global President of Beauty, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc, Sebastien Guillon. "They wish they could find personalized skin care solutions that address their skin's unique needs, and we believe that sheet masks are the perfect opportunity to deliver on this unmet need."

How Does Neutrogena Skin360 Work?

Sheet masks are a particularly effective way of getting nutrients and revitalizing agents where they need to go by creating a physical barrier that locks the required skincare ingredients in place. The mask helps saturate the skin so those same ingredients can do their work. But traditional sheet masks tend to be a one-size-fits-all affair, and as we all know, faces come in all shapes and sizes. Even identical twins aren't truly identical.

When the product launches later this year, aimed for a third-quarter release (although the patent is still pending at time of writing), users will be able to use the 3D imaging technology present in many of the latest smartphones alongside the Neutrogena Skin360 tool and take a 3D selfie which will in turn create an accurate topographic map of the user's face.

The software's algorithms will then divide the 3D selfie into six distinct skincare sections: forehead, eye area, nose, cheeks, chin, and nasolabial folds, which for laymen are the lines that extend from the corners of your nose to the corners of your mouth. Then, the Skin360 tool, which has measured these areas accurately and assessed their dermatological needs, cross-references the data with Neutrogena's clinical expertise and creates a personalized mask packed with the right ingredients in the right place.

"Using micro 3-D-printing, we can actually get your exact eye alignment, your nose, your mouth, how high your forehead is. The color coding is a way of illustrating what benefits they're getting in each region, and every zone can be different" explains Research Director and Global Lead of Beauty Tech at Neutrogena, Michael Southall. "The key with 3-D printing is that we can put the active ingredient you want just where you need it, anywhere on the mask, as opposed to one product that you're trying to use all over the face."

Starting with a flexible sheet of hydrogel which will provide the interface between the mask and the user, and already including such enriching ingredients as red seaweed, ideal for skin hydration, the mask is laser cut to the user's precise measurements. Various high-efficiency skincare agents are then 3D printed onto the mask in the required quantities and required areas.

Once at home, the user peels the mask from the protective film and applies it to their face. As the Hydrogel conforms to every curve of the face, it utilizes the face's natural ability to absorb the treatments, boosting their effectiveness. After just fifteen minutes, the customer removes the mask and can use the Skin360 tool to monitor the ongoing effectiveness of the treatment.

Final Thoughts

The Neutrogena MaskiD marks the first time bioprinting technologies have been used in a commercial arena and presents much larger implications. 3D printing is shaking up the manufacturing process and it may not be long before we see more and more bespoke products such as these made possible using the technology.

You can hear Johnson & Johnson's Vice President of Product Supply Strategy & Deployment, Bart Talloen speak at Connected Manufacturing Forum 2019, in July, at the Hilton Austin, Austin, TX.

Please download the agenda for more information and insights.

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