Facial recognition technology is ubiquitous today. It’s found in surveillance cameras at major high-risk public places, from airports to banks. Though, most recently and bizarrely enough, it was the go-to means to quickly identify celebrity guests at the royal wedding in May. Likewise, it’s readily available at your fingertips — face authentication has been, for years, a way to unlock your smartphone and other devices.
But now, two aspiring techpreneurs in Singapore have uncovered the tech’s potential for beauty prescriptions. Founded by two former Clarins executives, Tuyen Lamy and Constance Mandefield, Alcheme is a skincare brand that offers personalised products, by harnessing facial recognition technology to develop formulations tailored to each client.
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And each consultation can begin anywhere, anytime through a digital skincare consultation. “Developing an online skin consultation system was inspired by our conversations with women, who shared that they were not completely confident that they knew what their skin concerns were. It dawned on us that the way to move forward was to use innovation to bring accurate and accessible skin assessments to each woman that could help educate her on her skincare needs,” says Lamy, a mom of three.
So first, let us take a selfie. And the cutting-edge facial recognition software can take care of the rest. Using proprietary algorithms that go skin deep to provide an objective and scientific assessment of one’s skin, the best active ingredients in beauty are then recommended to go into your own bespoke “holy grail” formulation, all under the Alcheme brand.
The idea behind Alcheme was borne from Lamy’s days of developing programmes for youths at risk at the non-profit organisation, Student Care Services, which has since been rebranded as Shine. She learnt that values of self-care and empowerment were important to all women, thus deciding to expand on a concept that brings highly personalised skincare to all.
Lamy explains, “The name Alcheme (pronounced al-kuh-mee) was derived from the science of Alchemy, and the quest to transform matter into gold. In the same way, we created Alcheme to help customers transform their skin using carefully selected ingredients in a personalised solution for maximum efficacy. The ‘me’ at the end of the name is also a reference to our bespoke offerings and how everything is customised to address each individual’s unique needs.”
Lamy answers other burning questions we have, regarding the high-tech beauty industry.
Is high-tech beauty just a trend, a phase that would wear off?
Definitely not, because we believe innovation has enabled us to bring more accurate, accessible and convenient skin assessments to our consumers. But more than high-tech beauty, we believe that the concept of intentional skincare is here to stay. Being conscious of what you put on your skin, and how those ingredients are derived, leads to smarter and more sustainable decisions.
That is why every aspect of the Alcheme journey has been thoughtfully planned to bring you the very best of what you actually need. By personalising your skincare product, you actually make it work for you and thus it’s far more than being just a hype trend.
How is living in an age of instant gratification affecting the beauty business, often involving steps and procedures that take time to see results?
Because we live in an age of instant gratification, it’s important to incorporate technology and innovation for faster, more accurate and more convenient solutions.
For example, Alcheme uses cutting-edge facial recognition technology to personalise formulas for women based on their individual skincare needs. This allows them to streamline their skincare routines without compromising on results, by providing them with all the necessary active ingredients in just one bottle.
While we prefer to focus on offering effective solutions that truly benefit the skin, rather than offering instant gratification, we do pride ourselves in offering high-performance products that can lead to faster than average skin improvements, especially in rehydration or plumping of the skin.
What is the most common skincare mistake people make?
According to our research, 75 percent of women unknowingly use the wrong skincare products for their skin types. For example, many do not hydrate their skin enough, even with our hot and humid climate, which can accelerate skin ageing and reduce skin barrier protection.
This is how bespoke skincare can play a very important role, not just in providing accessible and effective solutions, but also in educating you about your own skin needs.