This month, premium skin-care brand Dermalogica launched a ChatGPT version of its “Dermalogica: The Book” skin-care treatment manual, used to train professional skin-care therapists. The brand’s wider push into technology integration is centered on equipping its workers to harness AI rather than be replaced by it.
As ChatGPT and AI are becoming hot topics across the beauty business, Dermalogica is looking to get in early. The new version of “Dermalogica: The Book” integrates a chatbot-like AI function that lets therapists ask questions on the designated website. The Book first launched in print in 2006, and became digital in 2016. The chatbot provides skin-care therapists a faster, more personalized way to educate themselves about the brand’s products, applications and salon setup. Therapists typing a question into the box get a tailored answer about the products and applications.
Global Dermalogica CEO Aurelian Lis said touch-focused skin-care services are not set to be replaced by AI, but he wants to make sure the brand’s therapists are upskilling when new tools come to market. “It’s not like IBM, who announced that they’ve stopped all hiring of all positions that could be eliminated by AI. I want my employees to have the skills so that they’re the leaders of the AI revolution, not followers,” he said.
Search is a growing area for generative AI applications. “There are 10 billion search queries [worldwide] a day, but we estimate them half of them go unanswered,” said Sarah Mody, director of global search and AI product marketing at Microsoft. Microsoft came out with the generative AI search chatbot tool on Microsoft Edge, the platform from Microsoft’s Bing this year. “People are using search to do things they weren’t originally designed to do. It’s great for finding a website, but for more complex questions or tasks, too often it falls short. And that is where gen AI comes in.”
To ensure transparency, Dermalogica discloses to employes that the chatbot works with ChatGPT, as ethical concerns are still an issue for brands integrating it. And the Dermalogica book will continue to be available in its traditional web format. “We’re not forcing people into something that maybe they’re not ready to use.” Lis said.
“Unlike other technology tools weren’t, generative AI has got real-time applications,” said Lis. “It’s a multi-use helper.” Dermalogica is also using AI for writing job descriptions, coding and translating content for its global business. And Lis sees the potential for using generative AI to optimize conversion and navigation on the website. “It can suggest different words when [a shopper] searches, leading to more defined, quicker results and better conversion.”
As for its other uses of advanced technology and AI, Demalogica launched an AI face-mapping tool in 2019. In March 2022, its explored blockchain verification for accreditation of therapists. And in late March, it launched a non-NFT digital collectible as part of its medispa accreditation program. The badge uses blockchain technology to provide immutable evidence of a therapist’s certification through the program. This permits therapists to perform more advanced treatments like led light therapy. No standardized qualification existed prior, and each state has different aesthetician requirements. Dermalogica’s research cites that 92% of women would be more comfortable visiting an esthetician for advanced medispa procedures if they could verify the professional’s training.
Those accredited get a silver digital badge that can be showcased on their website or LinkedIn profile. “Unlike something you’re buying for $15 from Elon Musk, this is something with actual real-world quality and value,” Lis said.