Skinfood: Disrupting the Skincare Industry with AI Technology

Choosing the right ingredients for each usage occasion can make all the difference.
Written by Simon Van Cauwenberge - 02.03.2023

Skincare companies that want to remain competitive can no longer afford to lag behind dynamically changing consumer trends and preferences. Today, product research and development can be significantly accelerated by technology. With the help of AI, R&D teams  can quickly and efficiently tap into fresh, ever-growing data about raw ingredients and their role in the potential success of new products, before going to market.

The slow, sluggish process of developing new skin products 

The skincare industry is long known for its slow product development cycles, often taking several years to bring new products to market. The reasons behind this are certainly the product complexity,  testing and regulatory approval requirements. This innate sluggishness can pose a number of challenges in a dynamic market with rapidly changing consumer preferences, nevertheless. To keep up with evolving trends, leading  skin care companies often acquire small, innovative companies and startups. 

This approach is not a sustainable, long-term solution to  slow product development, however. It is costly and time-consuming, with no guarantee it will succeed at meeting consumer needs. It’s clear that skincare industry  leaders  need to accelerate in-house product development, to stay competitive. Foodpairing’s revolutionary AI-based solution enables in-house innovation by streamlining skincare product development, so businesses can respond to consumer trends more quickly and effectively.


Responding to rapidly evolving skincare trends  

Consumer preferences around their skincare routine lead their own lives, far removed from the corporate cosmetics industry and its traditional modus operandi. Due to the high global demand for new products, skincare companies annually invest significant financial and human resources into new product development. Worldwide,  expert laboratories are continuously searching for new ways to address evolving consumer skincare preferences.. 


Top consumer criteria in skincare product selection

Facial and body skin  appearance is a key factor in one’s overall image. Thus, these consumers highly value the safety and efficacy of the products they choose.  Unlike in other sub-divisions of the cosmetics industry, skincare consumers are often well-informed and educated about the ingredients that make up shelf items , and they expect benefit claims  to be supported by scientific research and proven results. They seek to avoid products with potentially harmful or untested chemicals. Additionally, the sensorial experience of using a product on the skin is of utter importance to the user, as it is known to  enhance the overall enjoyment and effectiveness of the product.

skincare, oatmeal relaxation

Using aroma and fragrance to influence skincare-inspired moods 

Humans are conditioned to associate certain scents with certain emotions, places, and even states of mind, or moods. The smells of food and edible products are near the top of the list, when it comes to inducing strong feelings, memories, and nostalgia in consumers. Thus, the emotional connection and overall satisfaction that skincare users experience with a product are strongly correlated with its scent. A recognizable, unique fragrance can, by itself, build up a product’s brand identity.


Food for the skin that’s based on edible ingredients  

Integrating active food ingredients with  their corresponding aromas into skincare products is becoming increasingly popular. Food-inspired, scented skincare  not only offers an invigorating, multi-sensory experience, but can also provide  functional benefits for the skin. As food is generally considered natural and safe, such ingredients are often very effective in improving the health and appearance of the human skin. In addition, consumer familiarity with certain food-based ingredients can boost their appeal when they’re part of skincare solutions.

For example, people who regularly consume green tea for its antioxidant properties may be more inclined to try a skin care product that contains the aroma and ingredients of green tea extracts. All in all, skin food offers an innovative solution to the traditional skincare industry by combining the benefits of natural ingredients with indulgent, sensory experiences.


Tapping into Big Data about ingredients to develop differentiated skincare products

As we already demonstrated, incorporating aromas into skincare products is an important factor in their conception and development from the early stages of the process In the Knowledge Graph presented below, aromas are linked to their corresponding physico-chemical properties, raw food ingredients that contain them,  and the functional benefits and mood states they typically invoke.

While mood states are perceived and subjective, functional benefits are based on published scientific evidence. Three examples of ingredients are provided, along with their ability to tap into different consumer moods(from relaxing to activating) and functional product claims, such as moisturizing or preventing sun damage.

This advanced knowledge about hundreds of thousands of raw ingredients is built into Foodpairing’s AI solution, which can be effectively used by skincare companies to speed up and more accurately target new product research and development. This knowledge database about raw food ingredients  is exponentially growing on a daily basis, as our solution integrates new Big Data. This allows skincare product researchers and developers to tap into a vast, always fresh amount of (implicit) data about consumer needs and desires.



Mood State    

Functional benefit   

DateJoy Anti-aging (1,2)
Oat RelaxingMoisturizing (3,4)
SchizandraActivatingPreventing sun damage (5)



In the rapidly evolving, competitive skincare industry, the traditionally slow time-to-market is no longer an option for companies that want to stay ahead of the curve. AI-based solutions like the one developed by Foodpairing can help remedy this challenge. They do this by making sense of Big Data about raw food ingredients and linking them to the sensations, moods, and benefits they can deliver to ever more discerning and well-informed skincare consumers.


Contact us for a demo to learn more about what innovative technology can do for your skincare business.


(1): Bauza E, Dal Farra C, Berghi A, Oberto G, Peyronel D, Domloge N. Date palm kernel extract exhibits antiaging properties and significantly reduces skin wrinkles. Int J Tissue React. 2002;24(4):131-6. PMID: 12779247.

(2): Meer, Sidra & Akhtar, Naveed & Mahmood, Tariq & Igielska-Kalwat, Joanna. (2017). Efficacy of Phoenix dactylifera L. (Date Palm) Creams on Healthy Skin. Cosmetics. 4. 13. 10.3390/cosmetics4020013. 

(3): Criquet M, Roure R, Dayan L, Nollent V, Bertin C. Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2012;5:183-93. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S31375. Epub 2012 Nov 8. PMID: 23204849; PMCID: PMC3508548.

(4): Narayanan, Varsha & Ganjoo, Anil & Kadhe, Ganesh. (2016). Efficacy and Tolerability of an Oatmeal Moisturizer Containing Colloidal Oatmeal for Dry Skin Conditions: A Post-marketing Study. 

(5): Kopustinskiene DM, Bernatoniene J. Antioxidant Effects of Schisandra chinensis Fruits and Their Active Constituents. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 18;10(4):620. doi: 10.3390/antiox10040620. PMID: 33919588; PMCID: PMC8073495.

(6): Jeong, Jin Boo & Jeong, Hyung. (2009). Schisandra chinensis inhibits oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation via antioxidant activity. Korean Journal of Plant Research. 22. 195-202.