MeumSpring is the precision skincare arm of Shenzhen-based iCarbonX, a biotech and AI firm focusing on precision health. It is backed by big-name investors, including tech giant Tencent, and Vcanbio Life Sciences.
It is expecting to launch personalised gummies as part of its precision skin health service in the later part of this year.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, product director Zeng Jing said that the firm has already came out with 10 SKUs of the gummies, with flavours ranging from peach, yogurt, and tropical fruits. It is currently looking to scale up the production of these gummies.
Labelled as MeumGummie, ingredients used to make the gummies are selected by a team of in-house dieticians and R&D team. Zeng added that the ingredients were all imported from overseas, including the US, Denmark, and Brazil.
Personalised nutrition foods is a new venture for the company. It currently offers skincare products such as lotions and essence, and in-store skincare treatment for its users.
“For the first edition of our personalised nutrition foods, we will be doing gummies, we want to start with something ‘light’ and we feel that functional gummies are more innovative and less commonly seen in China.
“There are already functional gummies sold overseas, but there are no personalised gummies yet,” Zeng said.
“We will try to increase the number of SKUs of our personalised gummies and mix and match the products for our users. We will identify the three nutrients that the users lacked the most and provide them with the solutions that they need the most,” she added.
As part of the service, the firm will re-assess the users’ skin health each month and decide if there is a need to change the type of nutritional and skincare products for greater effectiveness.
She added that the firm would also assess and give suggestions about the users’ dietary and lifestyles habits as part of a holistic solution package.
Moving forward, Zeng said that the firm planned to add health foods made from plants extract and expand the dosage formats of its products, such as beverage and solid liquid, into its portfolio of nutricosmetics products.
The skin says everything
Skincare services have the greatest commercial potential, which is a key reason for the firm to focus on this realm.
“The skin is our body’s best protection against the external environment.
“It also says a lot about our health, our hormonal changes and stress levels, these are all expressed on our skin…And the beauty industry has great commercial potential.”
She pointed out that females in their 20s to 50s made up the bulk of their users.
Besides the commonly seen saliva swab test kits, the firm also uses an array of online and offline tools – ranging from AI, questionnaires, biopsy, available in different price range, to assess the users’ skin health.
Out of all the tools, the fastest is the online WeChat free mini program.
Users can upload their photos onto the mini program, and in about 10 seconds, they will be informed of their skin conditions in terms of skin pores, dark circles, and the recommended solutions.
Zeng said that this program made use of AI to collect and store data. The AI algorithms are then taught the ways to “grade” a user’s skin health based on the photos provided.
Till date, she said that there were “more than a million pieces” of skin-related information collected from this AI mini program.
As the amount of information fed into the AI system grows, this also sharpens the ability of the system in recognising and assessing different skin conditions based on photographs.
To ramp up its AI capability, the firm acquired Israelite AI firm Imagu Vision Technologies three years ago and established an AI R&D centre in Israel.
Multi-omics test kits
On the other hand, the firm also uses other tools, such as a multi-omics test kits that collect eight types of data about the users, including their skin genomics, skin metabonomics, skin topography, and skin exposome survey.
After which, the firm will analyse the users’ skin condition, such as the amount of vitamin A in their skin and the skin’s ability to regenerate collagen.
The test kits come in two packages, foundation and premium, with a retail price of RMB$599 (US$87) and RMB$1,799 (US$263) respectively. Depending on the price, the test kits will contain questionnaires, saliva swab or/and biopsy tools.
The firm currently works with both distributors and beauty salon in selling the test-kits throughout the whole of China.
Users can then opt for the use of personalised skin care products or in-store skin treatment upon receiving their skin assessment report.
With a team of about 100 laboratory personnel, Zeng said that the firm hoped to focus on strengthening its testing methods.