L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app. Courtesy.
L’Oreal is starting a partnership with Clue, the period-tracking app, as the beauty giant seeks a deeper understanding of the relationship between skin problems and the menstrual cycle.
Clue, founded in 2012 by Danish and German entrepreneurs, has more than 12 million users in 190 countries and research collaborations with institutions including Stanford University and the University of Oxford.
“We’ve known that hormonal cycles can affect your skin,” Guive Balooch, who heads L’Oreal’s technology incubator, said in an interview Wednesday. But “there isn’t much out there when it comes to what those kind of changes are,” so the group decided to partner with Clue, which has a “level of credibility” in period-tracking similar to the level L’Oreal has in skincare, he added.
The partnership comes as L’Oreal enjoys a boom in skincare. Revenue at its active cosmetics division, which houses brands such as La Roche-Posay, CeraVe and Vichy, grew 48% in the second quarter. These brands are typically sold in pharmacies and tend to be promoted by dermatologists, giving them a seal of credibility. This division was the only one to grow last year, helping the cosmetics group weather a drop in makeup sales amid lockdowns and mandatory mask-wearing. Makeup demand is now recovering as restrictions ease worldwide.
L’Oreal won’t be collecting Clue’s users data but it will carry out voluntary surveys. The responses will be anonymous and L’Oreal, backed by its research and development as well as active cosmetics divisions, will provide information on the app about skincare and how it’s affected by the cycle after analyzing the findings, Balooch said.
Skin can be prone to issues such as acne, water loss, UV sensitivity and allergies during a cycle, he said. L’Oreal will share “personalized information,” on the app and bring some “light recommendations on routines” to look after the skin, adding that L’Oreal won’t be selling its products initially.
L’Oreal isn’t making a financial investment in Clue with this partnership, Balooch said. Clue has an encyclopedia section about the menstrual cycle that’s read by millions every month, which L’Oreal will leverage, he added.
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