Linking the perception of health with age
Dior had long been convinced that stem cells were the source of vital functions that reflect on the skin by building a young healthy surface.
“Health is something that is visible from the surface,” says Mauvais-Jarvis. “We have made lots of tests. We have seen that Capture Totale C.E.L.L. Energy is able to correct all the signs of aging. We have minus 31 percent in wrinkles. We have around minus 20 percent in firmness and tonicity. We have quite significant figures in classical evaluation systems, but we wanted to go further than that.
“We used, for the first time, artificial intelligence (AI). Health is a very important subject because when you look at someone you can say whether they are healthy or not. It is actually more a brain feeling than a gut feeling. But AI is specifically able to tell why.”
Perception of health also translates to perception of age. When we estimate someone’s age, we rely on our own mental databases, Mauvais-Jarvis points out, a kind of “subjective science”.
You don’t “count the wrinkles” or touch someone’s cheek to feel the firmness, you simply rely on perceptions that have been long imbedded in your brain about someone’s age and health, he notes.
“This is why it’s very difficult for a European person to estimate the age of an Asian person because the Europeans have the incorrect database.
“This is where we are completely misled because we have a European Caucasian way of thinking and an accumulated database.”
An artist’s rendering of the Dior Capture Totale C.E.L.L. Energy activation with King Power International in Bangkok, Thailand
We’re into fascinating territory here, especially as Mauvais-Jarvis explains that people develop their “database” when they are young. “So, you might look at someone and say they are 40. But your idea of 40 might date back 20 or even 40 years. It’s completely obsolete for the reference that we should use today.
“The idea of using artificial intelligence was to reproduce exactly this process of learning that a child goes through. It is called deep learning. You use new computers that recreate circuits that look like neurons and connections. And basically you enter pictures with labels. So, we say this is a face and we have made some assumptions of scoring on it.”
In collaboration with an expert in neuroscience, Dior Science identified seven fundamental criteria related to the face’s perceived glow and youthfulness: radiance, vitality, tonicity, energy, attractiveness, strength and, above all, health.
Using the deep learning Dior led a study of almost 600 individuals – 300 in Europe, 300 in Asia (China and Japan) – and analysed over 200 million pieces of data by examining the subjects against these seven criteria.
The subjects ranged in age from 20 to 60. Pictures were taken of each, which were then submitted to a group of 20 people (Asians viewing Asian pictures and Europeans viewing those of fellow Europeans) who were asked to give a scoring based on subjective parameters related to health, vitality, tonicity and energy – all elements that can be spontaneously assessed. One more crucial question was asked. How old is the subject?
All the information and combined answers were fed into the AI machine, which learned from the human findings to build its own database.
It might sound futuristic but it’s very much a contemporary reality. “The machine does exactly what you do because when you see a new person you have this picture arriving in your brain and then you try to compare with your database,” says Mauvais-Jarvis.
“You’re not analysing pictures; you’re just comparing and trying to find similarities. And when something is more or less matching you say, ‘Ok, this person has more or less the face of my aunt Danielle, so maybe this person is the same age.’ Basically, you make connection matches. The computer is going to do the same thing.
Creating a “healthy beauty index”
“Each time the machine is fed with a new picture, it is able to compare and to give an assumption about health and age. It uses the human findings to build its database and then it’s able to work on its own. When it has assimilated all the 300 European pictures… it’s going to say, OK, the health signals are at this level and I would say that this this person is, say, 41 years old. We use this to create a first healthy index. That was never done before, so we now have a way to measure objectively something that was previously subjective.”
Dior calls it a “healthy beauty index” – an objective measure of a face’s glow and health. The AI machine can also measure the apparent age of subjects. “It’s very easy,” says Mauvais-Jarvis. “It works like you or I would do – it compares with its database.” Cue another key finding: there is a deep relationship between the two parameters – health and apparent age.
Mauvais-Jarvis explains the premise: “Let’s say if we made an experiment and we compared groups of people of the same actual age – some that had a low healthy beauty index, some that had a higher one. Let’s say we set a range of apparent age of something like 11 years. Some are six years under, some are five years older. So, if you’re 50, you can appear between 46 and 57… depending on these healthy signals. At the same age if you look healthy, you look younger. It’s a very important parameter.”
Dior developed and assessed Capture Totale C.E.L.L. Energy based on this indicator. The serum showed startling results, with the parameter improving by 19-20 percent. “When we take a group of around 40 years old, for example… 20 percent is around the difference that you have between the one that appeared the youngest and the one that appeared the oldest. And 20 percent is quite significant.”
We are getting down to the very essence of skincare’s purpose. “Cosmetics is about improving the appearance. It’s the definition,” says Mauvais-Jarvis. “For a European it’s about the product that you put on the surface of the skin to change its appearance. And in the word ‘appearance’, there’s something that is connected not only to what you show but also how people see you.
“We have tried for the past few years, using neurosciences and all these new technologies, to find a way to make products that will really change your appearance in a way that will also change the judgment of the person in front of you. You’re not only doing it for yourself.
“You want something that brings you comfort and pleasure when you apply it. But when you use an anti-aging product, you also want something that is seen to have results.
“What we realise is that sometimes you can remove, say 20 or 30 percent of wrinkles, but it’s not enough. It’s not something that someone in front of you is going to see and judge. It’s not going to be an analysis of every single sign on your skin.”
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