Data drive: Korean inventor of smart skin measurement device targets more metrics

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Data drive: Korean inventor of smart skin measurement device targets more metrics
A South Korean skin care innovation is quietly revolutionising the beauty industry by helping consumers and companies objectively evaluate the most important metrics of the skin.

The gpskin Barrier Light is a device that measures Trans-Epidermic Water Loss (TEWL) and Stratum Corneum Hydration (SCH) levels of your skin. Along with a companion app, the device quantifies skin data and tracks its health.

Eventually, its inventor, Joshua Han hopes to develop more devices that target other major skin concerns, such as wrinkles.

With the rise of wearable tech and health data, Han believes there is a demand for more devices like Barrier Light: “We need more professional parameters for other skin concerns like wrinkles and we plan to develop more devices, as well as data analysis technology for the skin care industry.”

‘Objective data’

Currently, gpskin is working with the seven of the top skin care companies in the world, including Johnson & Johnson and its newly acquired brand, Dr. Ci:Labo.

With Barrier Light, brands can measure the consumers’ skin and recommend the best products based on their skin condition. The firm claims the device enables consumers to filter through marketing noise to find a product that is just right for their skin.

“Currently, people try and give reviews on Facebook, Instagram, blogs and YouTube. But it’s an emotional review, not an objective review. It’s so hard for consumers to find the best product for their skin. Consumers do not enough knowledge to know what is right or wrong. Our device can help brands persuade consumers to buy their products with objective data,” ​said Han.

According to Han, two brands are currently using gpskin’s barrier measurement service in stores in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

On the other hand, companies can use the data to map skin conditions and develop new products as well as align their marketing strategy: “At the moment, we have the largest number of skin barrier parameters in the world. We are very proud of it and major skin care brands are working with us. We want to use our skin data to benefits to skin care providers and ultimately, the consumer.”

Future expansion plans

gpskin is currently working with South Korean beauty brand LaStella​ to develop a subscription business model.

As brands face challenges retaining long-term consumers, Han said a subscription model would allow consumers to try out new products and test its efficacy with the Barrier Light.

As it is a new idea, Han admitted he is still tweaking and refining it. Eventually, he hopes he can partner with more brands to provide consumers with this subscription service.

However, the ultimate goal for Barrier Light is to penetrate the healthcare industry to help patients manage atopic dermatitis and eczema.

With Barrier Light, physicians can analyse the skin barrier and prescribe the best treatment for their consumers. For instance, explained Han, doctors could prescribe two different treatments and track the efficacy with the Barrier Light.

“This is our final goal. But because it is healthcare, we need FDA approval and such and it’s a lengthy process. So before that, we are testing on the cosmetic industry. Maybe three years later we can go for our healthcare goal.”

To further the company’s aspirations in this space, gpskin is currently working collaborating with the Beijing Children’s Hospital in China, Samsung Medical Center in Korea and National Jewish Health in the US.

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