Skin care is not only a huge business, but your skin is an important indicator of your overall health and well-being. Your skin is your largest organ, by far. According to WebMD.com, the average adult skin is approximately 20 square feet and is vital in protecting the rest of our body from microbes and weather. Our skin also helps control our body temperature. Just by looking at someone, you can often tell how they’re feeling and whether or not they are generally healthy. Many people spend time and money checking and working on their skin for pleasing appearance, but it’s harder to tell just by looking if skin is healthy.
Enter OKU, called by “Your Personal Skin Coach” by its creator, MySkin, Inc., a skin analysis software developer and skin care product reseller. OKU consists of a small cube with a sensor that analyzes skin structure. OKU uses an iOS app to display a skin health and aging score based on a scale of 100 that gives overall and specific scores for moisture, pigmentation, wrinkles, oiliness, and texture. Based on your diet and activity profile, which you enter in the OKU app, the app suggests lifestyle and diet changes to improve skin health and also suggests skin care product categories to help with elements of skin health or aging where your scores are relatively low. The app also tracks skin scores over time and gives users daily skin score goals. OKU comes with a charging dock and uses Bluetooth to connect to iOS devices. The company is careful to note (though it’s in lighter type on the website) that OKU is not a medical device and anyone with medical issues needs to see a healthcare professional. The $249 OKU is currently still in pre-order status.
Crossover applications often help new product categories such as Health Tech gain traction and public acceptance. OKU’s skin scores may not be medically relevant, but may find eager acceptance with people who already spend prodigious sums at spas and skin care clinics. The current price seems pretty steep but if OKU is successful it’s likely pricing pressure in this category will become more aggressive.