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Neutrogena / Look closer

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Beauty brand launches a mobile scanner to help demystify skincare

Cosmetics brand Neutrogena has created a system that analyses users’ skin and serves personalised recommendations.

The SkinScanner is a hardware device consisting of 12 LED lights, a 30x magnification lens and a moisture sensor, which attaches to the upper part of a smartphone. It works with an accompanying app, Skin360, to help analyse people’s skin and recommend products from the Neutrogena range that can help improve its condition.


Users have to open the app, press the tool gently onto their face and take a series of images. The scanner syncs up with the app, analyses the results and rates the user’s facial moisture levels, pore size and wrinkles on a scale from one to 100. It also gives users an overall Skin360 score which guides their personalised daily skin routine and product suggestions, redirecting beauty lovers to a Neutrogena store. The app also includes customised advice to help people address their skin issues, such as reminders not to touch their face and to remove make-up at night. Customers can also set skin care goals, track their progress and compare their results using crowdsourced data from others using the app.

As increasing numbers of people assess their skin via the app, Skin360 uses machine learning to improve its analysis and recommendations.

Although the app is free, Neutrogena has announced that the SkinScanner hardware (initially available for iPhone users only) will be sold exclusively through its website for $49.99, starting in summer 2018.

The system was developed with beauty tech startup FitSkin.


A beauty revolution / In issue 46 of Contagious, we explored how beauty brands are acknowledging the complexity of the category and turning to tech solutions to help consumers receive personalised assistance. Skincare brand Olay, for example, launched a mobile tool that analyses a user’s skin and recommends products based on selfies and a questionnaire, while make-up company CoverGirl created an AR-powered app that helps people find their perfect foundation for their skin tone.

Neutrogena’s Skin360 system is another push in this direction. By making it easier for users to figure out which products are right for them, the company can eliminate the confusion and choice paralysis associated with the category. ‘Shopping for skincare products can be an overwhelming and confusing experience for our consumer because she is uncertain about what her skin really needs,’ Sebastien Guillon, global president of beauty at Johnson & Johnson Consumer (Neutrogena’s parent company), said in a statement. ‘Smart and connected technology helps us provide our consumer with personalized analyses and information she needs in real time so she can make decisions that will help her achieve her best skin ever.’

Brand building / This is not the first tech innovation from Neutrogena. In 2017, the brand launched light therapy acne pen and mask, which emit a combination of red and blue light to reduce inflammation and reduce bacteria on the skin’s surface, which have been favourably received by the beauty influencer community, press and the public. These products, as well as the Skin360 system, aim to bring dermatology-quality services to consumers’ fingertips and elevate the positioning of the brand in the more premium beauty space.


While the price of these products is not exactly high-street affordable, they are much more accessible than regular appointments with professional dermatologists, which can cost anywhere between $50-$200 per visit. What’s more, once they have invested in the product, users are more likely to follow the personalised regime, thus increasing usage of Neutrogena’s skin care solutions and potentially improving loyalty to the brand in the long-term.