Pond’s and AI Come Together With S.A.L.

The last time my skincare and technology came together, I must have been taking a video of my morning skincare routine a few months back. But as I’ve settled into my new job as a Digital Marketing Intern, I’ve started to get a broader sense of the digital space we’re all in, with technology always evolving in leaps and bounds.

When Pond’s announced their new Skin Advisor Live (S.A.L.), this piqued my interest more than I thought it would. As the world’s first AI-powered skin diagnostic chatbot, I’m impressed with the innovative steps that Pond’s continually takes in delivering quality products. From effective Pimple Clear products to savvy serum masks, I was invested in trying out this new method they had developed in giving me some kind of skin analysis.

Alas, I wasn’t at the actual Unilever Beauty With A Purpose Showcase (recently held in Durban) where S.A.L. was announced. But as I watched the Pond’s Instagram Stories of the announcement, I sat up in my bed and headed straight to Facebook to give it a try. Now, yes, the thing about S.A.L. is that it can only be accessed through Facebook Messenger (for now, at least). Part of me wonders why Pond’s chose to go this route instead of launch a whole app that one could download. But that’s a question for software engineers. Let’s actually talk about the Pond’s S.A.L.

The first thing you’ll notice is that because this is an AI-powered skincare analysis chatbot, some responses may perhaps seem generic or not completely related to what you had said previously.

I had originally sent over a quick selfie I took in real-time, but S.A.L. skipped over that image and instructed me to send one using the camera button in Facebook Messenger (which is what I did). Perhaps I sent my real-time selfie too soon, but I assumed the AI-software would read my original selfie, and then continue with the analysis…

That didn’t happen, so I sent an image I had taken on my Canon camera. A few seconds later, and I had a relatively detailed analysis on 4 different aspects of my skin, namely, my score on Uneven Skin Tone, Dark Marks, Wrinkles and Pimples. Because uneven skin tone is my biggest skincare concern, I wasn’t surprised to see the score come out high. Since I use the Pond’s Pimple Clear range on a regular basis, I expected my pimple score to be on the lower end – which it was 🙂

There’s also a feature for you to view your Optimal Skin, which essentially shows the ‘potential’ your skin has in appearance. At first, I didn’t really notice a difference until you take a closer look and start moving the slider left and right. It’s quite clear, for me, that I need to work on getting products aimed at uneven skin tone.

This is what I asked S.A.L. next, and the suggested products I should use seemed like no-brainers – the Pond’s Flawless Radiance range. You have the option of purchasing these products via a link that takes you to a site created for Unilever. My advice? Rather just go to a Clicks or Dischem. Play around with the ‘Skinformation’ tab to get bite-sized tips and tricks, as well as some insights from Pond’s when it comes to taking care of your skin with superfoods.

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