3D Printing: A New Technology for Cosmetics

In recent years the popularity of 3D printing has expanded to many horizons on the market. At first it was used as a concept for creating art, but these days, 3D printing is now used for manufacturing, construction, homemaking, etc. However, despite being very recent, 3D printing is actually starting to catch on to cosmetics and skincare in multiple ways, be it through customizable colors with apps, DIY cosmetics, skincare designed just for you, or even experiments for the future.

The idea of 3D printing cosmetics was pitched in 2014 by noted Entrepreneur, Grace Choi. Choi created the Mink 3D printer; it is capable of printing any makeup color of your choice in the comfort of your own home. The printer itself connects to an app on your computer, and uses a dropper tool to choose any color you want that prints onto pods of powder for your personal use. This is an innovative concept that all of us could use since there are certain shades of eyeshadow that are only available from high-end brands.

Twitter: @graceminks

Choi’s prototype created a path for many future concepts in 3D printed cosmetics. After the Mink prototype was presented, the concept of printing foundation with similar technology was presented by Adorn. Adorn’s 3D Makeup Pen uses technology that scans your skin, and the printing pen is filled with different pigments and blends to your exact skin tone. The Adorn printer prints out the custom foundation for immediate use. Despite this innovative way to print makeup, both the Mink printer and the Adorn 3D Foundation Printer never made it to the market. However, the idea of 3D printing for our cosmetics is still alive and being tested out for cosmetics and skincare.

Adorn 3D Printing Foundation Pen

Last year, Smashbox Cosmetics took the idea of 3D printing for creating lipsticks with a custom design. As part of their Be Legendary collection, customers had a range of over 120 different lipstick shades to choose from. The Smashbox Custom 3D Printed Lipstick printed out on a compact case in any shape the consumer desired. This limited edition Smashbox promotion for the fall of 2016 intended a start of 3D printing for makeup. It is frank that the concept of makeup and 3D printing has a future in the market.

Smashbox Printed 3D Lipstick

In fact, L’Oreal has even started using 3D printing to develop hair and skin follicles in order to test their products. This may sound like something out of science fiction, but scientists in Madrid developed this technology for medical purposes, and L’Oreal is currently using this kind of technology to test their products on before launch. This is something that could change makeup manufacture methods since it would mean that there would be no need to risk allergic reactions with products on humans. Experiments could then use this technology to see what ingredients are the most effective, and for animal lovers, this could mean the end of animal testing. 3D printing might be new to the cosmetics industry, but it is showing high potential to transform the way cosmetics are customized for us or how they are manufactured for the market.



Catherine DeGroot

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