Neutrogena also had a presence at the show this year but their SkinStacks 3D printer only elicited an “oh, ok” from this editor – and ire from consumer rights advocates, including a CES “Worst in Show” award from iFixit.
But first, let’s see what Neutrogena’s SkinStacks actually is.
The skincare giant created a 3D printer for “edible skin-nutrient gummies”, which feels like a very gimmicky way to call vitamin gummies. Still, that’s par for the course in the skincare industry and even more so for the tech industry. Plus, these are layered gummies, hence the name stack. Could it be a tech stack for your face?
Since “stack” is a slang for all the software products a company uses and Neutrogena says these “7 layers of scientifically-backed ingredients to help power up your skin vitals” are the future of skincare, I kinda see what they did there. Still, I’ll personally stick to retinol, ceramides, some real-life veggies and maybe a beauty gadget here and there.
But back to the project at hand.
Neutrogena partnered with skin supplement company Nourished for this project. If you want glowing, dewy skin and want to try this first project, the first step would be to scan your face with Neutrogena’s app for a personalized skin reading. You then take a short quiz about your routine and goals – you can pick from “ageless, clear, hydrate, glow or resilient”.
Then, the app recommends the vitamins and minerals best fit for your face, then sends the instructions to a 3D printer.
That 3D printer will then make your custom vitamin gummies based on your personal formula. The Neutrogena gummies are vegan, sugar-free and will cost $50 for a 28-day supply that will ship to your home in plastic-free compostable packaging in 14 days tops.
Beyond the personalized approach to skincare and the whole skincare tech angle, Neutrogena also explained that the 3D-printed vitamins also address freshness, a common customer concern.
“Our products are made fresh to order and much fresher than what they can buy at retail,” said Desiree Dowe, director of future skin health at Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena’s mother company.
As for the criticism, Neutrogena’s SkinStacks was one of the technologies on display at CES 2023 that was deemed “Worst in Show” by iFixit and the consumer advocates they work with.
In a fantastic roundup about the worst the tech industry had to offer, the third such roundup, Neutrogena wasn’t spared.
iFixit saw “products that impact our privacy, products that create cybersecurity risks, that have overarchingly long-term environmental impacts, disposable products, and flat-out just things that maybe should not exist” and named Neutrogena’s gummies as one of them.
The company got an “Who asked for this” award to Neutrogena’s “SkinStacks” 3D printer for edible skin-nutrient gummies. “Why just sell vitamins when you could also add in proprietary refills and biometric data harvesting,” he said.
If you’re looking for the best beauty tech and skincare gadgets, we did our homework and put together a list of things we actually use and love – you can check it out here.
And, if you have half an hour to spare, do take a look below at iFixit’s “Worst in CES”, it’s a very illuminating watch.