One of the company’s latest developments, however, has emerged out of its work with high-tech 3D printing.
Happi sat down with a team of company executives and scientists (Wonseok Park, SVP-innovations division, Amorepacific R&D Center; Dr. Jin Nam, director, Future Technology Lab, Amorepacific R&D Center; and Sungwon Yi and Hansu Kim, two scientists from the Future Technology Lab) at CES this week to learn more about this new work.
This was Amorepacific’s first year taking part in CES, the massive consumer electronics event put on annually by the Consumer Technology Association. Despite its freshman status, Amorepacific walked away with accolades for its Iope Tailored 3D Mask printing system. The unit, which was created in collaboration with Lincsolution in 2017, was recognized as a CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree for extending the scope of 3D printing technology from materials like plastic and silicon to liquid-type hydrogel.
Facial sheet masks are a major part of K-Beauty, and Amorepacific has more than a decade of experience in this category that exploded globally. Now, the company is leveraging its knowledge about masks as well as its trove of skin analysis with advanced 3D printing in real time (see video below).
A smartphone app-based 3D scanning system allows Amorepacific to make a custom mask that is truly tailored to each user’s face by taking 18 measurements that are transferred to the printer, according to Yi, who developed the system. The multi-material pump 3D printer has been engineered to control and print different cosmetics formulations to create hydrogel masks both efficiently and hygienically, which impressed CES judges. According to Amorepacific, temperature and torque control systems manage the different types of hydrogels which have different viscosity levels, while a cartridge helps maintain hygienic conditions.
There are six different “prescriptions” that customers can select for use in the mask (anti-aging, moisturizing and acne, for instance) and in specifically selected areas of the face (ie., cheeks, eye area and forehead).
Add them all up and 7,000 permutations are possible, according to the company.
Amorepacific conducted a year-long pilot test of the system in 2017, and since then, it has been able to upgrade the speed and accuracy of both the analysis and printing. Rather than hours, Amorepacific says this new system takes generally less than five minutes to print one sheet of hydrogel face mask. That real-time turnaround makes in-store service feasible.
Amorepacific's lab-based skin care brand Iope will offer these bespoke masks as part of the tailored service it provides at its Seoul flagship store starting in April.
User-Friendly LED Treatment
Happi was also treated to the unveiling of another Amorepacific innovation—a new beauty device that will make light-based skin treatments more user friendly. The technology features lightweight flexible LED patches that fit close to the skin—minimizing light dispersion and maximizing the effect of the treatment—in a hands-free wearable. That means no more “iron mask” look or being tethered to a single location during treatment.
The device (developed by Kim) has been designed to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles from facial expressions as well as other sign of skin aging by use of LED nodules that Amorepacific says are uniquely arranged and programmed to deliver near infra ray (NIR) that penetrates to deeper level of the skin for intensive conditioning; red for skin firming at the exterior level; yellow for even tone; and green for skin soothing.
The wearable will be available sometime this year in Korea through Amorepacific’s MakeOn device brand, with expansion to others markets later in 2020 and 2021.
For more on the beauty news from CES, be sure to see our February issue.