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In The News: AR skincare tech, dehydrated cellulose nanofibers, fragrance and makeup licensing deal

AR company Banuba improves virtual skincare benefits, Researchers at Osaka University create a new format nanocellulose ingredient, Coty's latest deal with Marc Jacobs includes Marc Jacobs Beauty.

Photo by Sam 🐷 on Unsplash

💋AR skincare

This month, immersive face AR company Banuba announced updates to its Face AR SDK (software development kit). The updates are mostly improvements to the face touch-up features of the SDK.

This is the sort of technology that modifies your appearance in real time during video calls, when filming video, taking photos, or using a camera feature on a brand’s app. Face AR SDK enables skin smoothing, face whitening, eyebag removal, teeth whitening, eye brightening, hair color change, AR makeup, and more.

Updates made to the new 1.8 version of Face AR SDK, include an acne removal feature. As Friday’s press release explains, “With just a tap, the user can clean an area of their skin and make it look natural and healthy. The developers are able to change the size of this area to adapt to different photo resolutions and improve precision.”

Another significant update to Banuba’s beauty tech offer is “massively improved skin smoothing” capabilities that “[result] in healthy-looking skin without the use of any cosmetics.” Which is all to say that skincare and skin health are in demand whether we’re in person or online. And at least in our online lives, AR can perhaps do more to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles than conventional products can❗️❓

🌳☁️🧪 new-format Nanocellulose

Researchers at Osaka University have identified a method to basically dehydrate cellulose nanofibers. And the resulting dry powder is not only easily redistributed in water but it also retains all the attributes of an effective rheological agent or thickener: “no handling issues related to static electricity,” “water dispersions are colorless and transparent,” and “tunable viscosity.”

The first step in the dehydration process is to create a nanocellulose organogel, which is gel that includes organic molecules. And Wikipedia tells me that in polymer chemistry an organogel is best understood as “a…gel composed of an organic liquid phase within a three-dimensional, cross-linked network.”

Masaya Nogi, an Associate Professor of the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research at Osaka University and the corresponding author on a recently published peer-reviewed article detailing the new cellulose nanofiber (CNF) processing method, explains the next steps in the technique he and his colleagues identified saying, “Our process involves taking a CNF paste in water and dehydrating it by stirring in ethanol. The ethanol is then removed at 30°C, which is a low and cost-effective temperature. After some processing, it can then be redispersed in water simply by stirring.”

“The large scale of many industrial processes means that all process improvements can have a big impact on the bottom line,” says Nogi, in an item posted to the Research at Osaka University site. And he adds, “Our method of powder creation retains all key properties of CNFs while also enabling effective handling and cheaper transport and storage.”

Learn more in the open-access article Evaporative Dry Powders Derived from Cellulose Nanofiber Organogels to Fully Recover Inherent High Viscosity and High Transparency of Water Dispersion, published in Macromolecular Rapid Communications, a Wiley journal covering polymers. (linked here)

💋📄Makeup License

Late last month Coty announced that their fragrance licensing deal with the fashion brand Marc Jacobs International will, for the next 15 years, also include Marc Jacobs Beauty.

This is a reprise of the beauty brand, which first launched in 2013 and quietly faded away in 2021. That first iteration of Marc Jacobs Beauty was developed in partnership with LVMH’s Kendo Brands. And according to the Coty press release, the brand “quickly achieved notoriety among fashion-forward consumers,” was a “favorite of celebrity make-up artists,” and known for its “innovative formulas and iconic advertising campaigns.”

Now the team at Coty will have the challenge and privilege of bringing the brand back: “Bringing Marc’s creative vision to life, in its entirety, is our constant goal, and Beauty plays a crucial role in delivering that to our consumers,” said Eric Marechalle, CEO at Marc Jacobs International, in his recent remarks to the press. “The loyal fans of Marc Jacobs Beauty, who have been enthusiastic in their wishes for its return, speak not only to Marc’s unwavering cultural relevance but also to the importance of aligning with a partner that shares our values and commitment. It is without question that Coty has proven to be the team to bring Marc Jacobs Beauty to new heights.”

Over the past 20 years, Coty has indeed helped the Marc Jacobs International fragrances business reach impressive heights—for instance, Daisy Marc Jacobs consistently ranks in the top 10 women’s fragrances in the US.

And Coty CEO Sue Nabi recognizes, in this latest deal, not only the promise of Marc Jacobs Beauty but also of the company she leads. “The expansion and extension of our longstanding agreement with the house of Marc Jacobs, now in its 20th year,” says Nabi, “is a testament to the enduring success of our partnership and the brand’s limitless potential….This agreement reinforces Coty’s position as a go-to partner for global fashion houses and brands that share our ambition of creating leading beauty portfolios.”


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