‘Strategically important field’: Beiersdorf to acquire stake in digital health startup dermanostic

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Düsseldorf-based dermanostic offers online consultations with experienced dermatologists, simplifying and speeding up access to help for specific skin conditions [Getty Images]
Düsseldorf-based dermanostic offers online consultations with experienced dermatologists, simplifying and speeding up access to help for specific skin conditions [Getty Images]

Related tags Beiersdorf Skin care Dermatology derma beauty beauty 4.0 beauty tech online startups acquisition Skin health

Personal care major Beiersdorf will acquire a stake in German-based skin diagnosis startup dermanostic as part of its wider digitalisation strategy, particularly for its derma brand Eucerin.

The acquisition, taking place via Beiersdorf’s corporate venture capital platform OSCAR&PAUL – an ‘indie brand business unit’ launched back in 2019​, would see Beiersdorf’s Eucerin brand host a dedicated landing page for dermanostic, with information about its offers and services, along with the option to receive an online skin consultation.

Beiersdorf said this area of teledermatology was an increasingly relevant and “growing”​ space. “The young company is active in the strategically important field of digital health and offers app-based dermatological diagnosis.”

Düsseldorf-based dermanostic offered users simple and speedy app-based dermatological diagnoses with experienced dermatologists for €25, irrespective of location, requiring users to upload three photos and complete a medical history questionnaire. In less serious cases, the app therefore eliminated the need for a patient to visit a dermatological practice, Beiersdorf said, enabling prescriptions to be emailed or sent digitally via online pharmacies.

Digital health future? Teledermatology has ‘huge potential’

Beiersdorf said the acquisition was another step in Eucerin’s digitalisation strategy to create new digital touchpoints and pioneering advisory services for consumers.

Ascan Voswinckel, head of OSCAR&PAUL Beiersdorf Venture Capital, agreed the investment in dermanostic and resulting collaboration marked an important step for the personal care major.

“We believe digital health and teledermatology offer huge potential, especially among the younger target group. Digital dermatologist appointments offer our consumers significant added value as they allow for swift, straightforward, inexpensive, and professional advice regarding their skin indication,”​ Voswinckel said.

“As such, dermanostic’s new digital service is the perfect fit for our Eucerin brand and innovatively complements our democosmetic brand’s digital consumer journey,”​ he said.

A timely move during COVID-19 digital skin care shift

Cornelius Becker, head of derma at Beiersdorf, said the investment was also especially timely given the state of today’s skin care market.

“Especially in these times of COVID-19 and physical distancing, we must find digital ways of offering our consumers the right advice to solve their skin problems. By engaging in close communication with the experts at dermanostic, we can learn from one another and thus do even better at establishing digital closeness with our consumers,”​ Becker said.

Back in May 2021, OSCAR&PAUL also co-invested in Dutch startup Routinely​ – a D2C indie brand offering a range of unisex skin care serums, selected and bundled according to consumer needs based on an online questionnaire, and providing real-time guidance via the brand’s app to ‘track, review and refine’ skin care routines. At the time, Beiersdorf said this investment was also timely with the soaring online consumer demand for personalised skin care, further reinforced by the ongoing pandemic.

And COVID-19 had certainly drastically shaped the beauty and personal care market over the past two years – catapulting brands online and sharpening concerns around skin health and wellbeing, among a whole host of other shifts​.

This year, CosmeticsDesign-Europe has identified Skin 2.0​ as one of the top five beauty brands to watch in 2022​, where a ‘skin beyond skin’ movement is set to truly take hold as consumers want to look much more closely at skin health and overall wellbeing.

In August, last year, Beiersdorf unveiled a new category for its Eucerin brand​ with the launch of two products under its acne-prone skin series Dermopure that targeted post-acne marks. At the time of the launch, Becker said: “The skin condition affects large numbers of people worldwide, with a sever impact on their psychological wellbeing. Our effective dermocosmetic solutions offer great potential to meet the correspondingly high demand of our consumers.”

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