March’s top stories: Shiseido's humanoid robots and Douglas' acquisition of Bodybell

Shiseido initiated a pilot programme to deploy industrial humanoid robots on the assembly lines of makeup products at its Kakegawa factory and Douglas entered into an agreement with investment firm HIG Bayside Capital to acquire Beauty Bell Chain (Bodybell). Cosmetics-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March, 2017.


Shiseido deployed humanoid robots on assembly lines in Japanese facility

Japan-based personal care company Shiseido initiated a pilot programme to deploy industrial humanoid robots on the assembly lines of makeup products at its Kakegawa factory.

In this facility, one human worker and two robots will work together to assemble various products made of different shapes and materials.

The humanoid robots will cover procedures that are hard to be automated with conventional machines, while the human worker will focus on inspecting minor defects such as scratches and quality assurance.

Beauty retailer Douglas to acquire Bodybell from HIG Bayside

European retailer Douglas entered into an agreement with investment firm HIG Bayside Capital to acquire Beauty Bell Chain (Bodybell).

Founded in the 1970s, Bodybell distributes perfumery, beauty, personal, and homecare products in Spain. HIG Bayside purchased the brand in 2009, followed by a complex financial restructuring in 2015, which included store portfolio adjustments, a new management team, and a new brand image.

HIG Bayside Capital's managing director Giuseppe Mirante said: “Bayside first acquired Bodybell debt in 2009 and subsequently injected new capital into the business as part of a debt for equity conversion, backing the operational restructuring of the company amid increasing competition in its market."

Henkel to acquire Mexican haircare firm Nattura

Germany-based consumer goods company Henkel signed an agreement to acquire Mexico-based Nattura Laboratorios and associated companies in the US, Colombia, and Spain.

With the deal, Henkel plans to support its Hair Professional business and expand its footprint in both emerging and mature markets.

The acquisition includes a portfolio of Nattura's brands including Pravana and Tec Italy.

Bio-on to develop new plant to produce microbeads for cosmetics

Italy-based developer Bio-on is set to begin construction of a new plant, which will produce bioplastic microbeads Minerv Bio Cosmetics.

The microbeads are biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) developed to replace commonly used oil-based, non-biodegradable microscopic particles.

Expected to be completed by the end of this year, the new plant will begin production early next year, with an investment of €15m. The 30,000m² facility will create 40 jobs and have a production capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year, which is expandable to 2,000 tonnes.

Olay announced global launch of Olay Skin Advisor

P&G's skincare brand Olay announced global launch of Olay Skin Advisor, a platform to help women better understand their skin and find the products best-suited to their personal skincare needs.

The brand claimed that the platform is based on a suite of artificial intelligence technologies and marks the first application of deep learning in the beauty industry to arm women with the knowledge they need to care for their skin and better navigate the confusing beauty aisle.

Olay's principal scientist Frauke Neuser said: "We saw an opportunity to help women understand their skin better than ever, before they even step foot in the store."

Unilever launched new Axe body washes and deodorants in US

Consumer goods company Unilever launched new Axe Advanced collection including body washes and deodorants for men in the US.

Axe includes a portfolio of men's grooming products such as daily fragrance sprays, deodorants, anti-perspirants, shower gels, shampoos, and styling products. Featuring a 12-hour touch-release technology, the Adrenaline Cool Charge and Urban Charcoal Clean body washes are claimed to provide a shower-fresh feeling all day.

Unilever's senior scientist Donna Foster said: "Today's guy requires product innovations and advanced technology that keep up with his style."

Make Up For Ever's Go Pro Makeup debuted in US

Make Up For Ever opened new store in New York City, which debuted the brand's live makeup tutorial experience Go Pro Makeup.

Located at 731 Lexington Avenue, the store is the brand's first global flagship and the first US location to feature its Go Pro Makeup, a live makeup tutorial experience for people of all skill levels.

Go Pro Makeup is a personalised service that allows up to seven guests to learn and play with various makeup techniques at their leisure, or sit for complimentary group classes to learn with the guidance of a Makeup For Ever professional makeup artist.

Trading Standards to probe firms for possible violations of Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations

The UK's Department for Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy urged Trading Standards to investigate multiple cosmetics firms for possible violations of the 2013 Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations.

The move followed a complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and a petition signed by more than 15,000 supporters. It urged investigation of brands such as Benefit, Bliss, Caudalie, Clarins, Clinique, Dior, Estée Lauder, Gucci, and Revlon.

Trading Standards will ensure these companies are not violating the law by depending on animal test data to demonstrate product safety in the EU, that companies declare all animal testing data in their product files, and that consumers are not misled about the cruelty-free status of products.

L’Oréal developed technology for hair evaluation through music

L’Oréal Japan developed a new patented evaluation technology, which informs users about their hair's condition using music.

Traditionally, the surface of hair was observed under the microscope. Evaluation experts feel changes in hair's condition, while any hair friction is measured by sensors.

Sonification claimed to transform both the hair surface and friction into music, which provides users a type of hair “repaired condition” song. The company plans to distribute this device to hair salons.

LVMH to acquire majority share in Maison Francis Kurkdjian

French luxury goods company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton entered into an agreement to acquire a majority share in Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

Following the deal, Marc Chaya will continue as chief executive officer (CEO) and Francis Kurkdjian will continue as the creative director of Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Founded in 2009, the company operates in 40 countries.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian's co-founder Marc Chaya said: “We share the same spirit of creativity, excellence, and entrepreneurial drive as the LVMH Group. This rapprochement is built on a shared vision and we will continue to guide the future of our house as part of an exceptional group.”