Based in South Korea, Lillycover was established in 2016 by CEO SunHee An, who has a background in computer engineering.
Before becoming a beauty entrepreneur, An was working in the medical field, where she developed medical devices for burn patients. This sparked her interest in skin health and ignited her determination to develop customised skin care solutions.
“The fact is that the human skin condition changes depending on food, environment, stress… However, the trend is that skin care products are made in large quantities and stored in warehouses. Instead, people need to have their own skin care solutions customised to each of them. It was this point that inspired me to develop a customised skin care company,” said An.
To that end, the company has developed a smart skin care device, which works with big data and artificial intelligence algorithms to help users easily understand their own unique skin types.
The device, christened Muilli, is a handheld device that is available to consumers for about U$380. It can help monitor factors such as skin moisture and oil levels.
Additionally, it is also a plasma massager, which claims to help increase the absorption of cosmetics and regenerate the skin by stimulating elastin in the skin.
The company also developed ENIMA, a custom cosmetics kiosk that is fitted with a robotic manufacturing system.
With ENIMA, consumers can analyse their skin and receive customised products under Lillycover’s BalanX skin care label in mere minutes.
“We have succeeded in developing a robotic system for producing customised cosmetics based on skin diagnosis results. It is a system that even existing big players have not been able to develop exactly,” said An.
Currently, consumers are limited to purchasing only a customised BalanX essence from the ENIMA system, however, the company is working to expand the range.
Moving forward, An told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the company is looking beyond skin care and into colour cosmetics and scalp care.
She also confirmed that the vision is to develop diagnostic algorithms and incorporating them into an instant and smart manufacturing system like it has done with skin care.
Moreover, the company is working continuously to improve the diagnostic capabilities of its tools.
“To find a good skin care solution, good and accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite. With our company, big data on skin condition has been and is being collected. And artificial intelligence algorithms have been developed and are being updated,” said An.
The company is hoping to expand overseas to tap into what it believes is a global demand for personalised beauty.
“The spreading [of personalised skin care] is expected to be accelerated further as distribution channels where consumers can acquire information on products are also diversifying. The point is that this trend is not limited to South Korea but will become universal,” said An.
Currently, the company is preparing to enter a few Asian markets, including China, Japan and Vietnam.
However, it is aspiring to break into the European beauty market with help from German multinational Beiersdorf.
Most recently, Lillycover was among the five start-ups selected to join its beauty acceleration program, Nivea Accelerator (NX). An believes this programme has the potential to benefit the company greatly.
“Through forthcoming collaboration with Nivea's marketing and R&D, our company hopes that customised cosmetics made in small quantities on smart and flexible production system can be successfully introduced in the European market, with strong potential of revenue growth by customised cosmetics subscription.”