TIME just released its annual list of the 100 Best Inventions for 2020, highlighting creators and innovations that are making the world better, smarter, and more fun. Nominations were solicited from global editors and correspondents and through an online application process. The top 100 were determined by evaluating each contender on key factors, including originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition, and impact.
The beauty, wellness, and personal care industry was well represented. Meet the best beauty inventions below:
Callaly Tampliner: A completely new period care product and first design upgrade to the tampon in 90 years. The Tampliner was invented by Dr. Alex Hooi, a senior British gynecologist and Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and developed by garment technologist Ewa Radziwon, who trained at London College of Fashion. Tampliner is a 2-in-1 period product that combines an organic cotton tampon with a soft mini-liner for extra protection against leaks, connected by a “virtual applicator.” The British-manufactured product is protected by four granted patent families covering 80% of the global market. Funding: The company raised £13.2MM through private investment and government funding, and is backed by Innovate UK, having received five tranches totaling £3.9MM to support the development and manufacture of the Tampliner.
Dyson Corrale Gentler Straightener: Most hair-straightening irons work by clamping hair between two burning-hot plates and pressing it into submission, causing damage to the strands. The Corrale uses flexing plates that move with the hair as it straightens, styling more quickly with less heat.
FEND, the Germ Catcher: A breakthrough in hygiene. For more than a decade, Harvard aerosols expert David Edwards has been working on what he calls the nasal “equivalent to washing your hands” to reduce the risks of infectious particles. FEND is a drug-free salt- and calcium-based nasal mist that strengthens the mucus lining, helping it trap and flush out tiny pathogens. In a preliminary study, people who used FEND exhaled about 75% fewer aerosol particles than those who didn’t, suggesting it could be a worthy addition to the prevention arsenal of hand washing, masking, and social distancing.
ManiMe Customized Manicures: Users upload photos of their nails to the company’s website, which uses 3-D modeling technology to create customized gel-polish stickers. MiniMe manicures entail peeling the sticker, applying it to the nail bed, and filing away any excess. No drying. No smudging. Each manicure is said to last two weeks and removal only requires peeling off the sticker. Funding: The business raised a $6 million Series A in September 2020, bringing its total investment to at least $8.6 million.
Perfect Corp. YouCam Makeup Virtual Beauty: Since the YouCam app was created, it’s been downloaded over 100 million times, and stands to grow much more as COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of virtual experiences as consumers opt for contact-free shopping experiences. Funding: In October 2017 the business closed a Series A investment of $25 million.
Perso by L’Oréal: A smart dispenser that blends customized lipstick, foundation, and skincare formulas. The user logs on to the device’s app and uploads a selfie, which the app’s algorithm will evaluate for common skin concerns like dark spots, wrinkles, and blemishes. For skincare formulas, the app will also factor in environmental conditions like humidity and sun exposure before the product requested by the user is mixed and dispensed from the device. It uses interchangeable cartridges to blend its products, allowing users to toggle between mixing either skincare or makeup. The Perso will debut in 2021.
Pour Moi Climate-Smart Specific Skincare: Founder Ulli Haslacher moved from her native Vienna to Southern California, and that was the impetus for creating skincare based on climate, not specific skin issues. Users take a climate quiz on the brand website that takes into account factors like humidity, temperature, altitude, and more. One kit includes a balancer, a serum, and two-day creams.
Willo Hands-Free Brushing: Created by a French dentist, Willo makes even the fanciest electric toothbrushes seem analog. You place the nylon-bristle-lined silicon tray into your mouth, seal with your lips, and turn it on. Set for release in 2021, the device pumps in water and specially formulated toothpaste, then pulls it from the tray through a tube into a sink. No rinsing required. The undulating bristles do the work of a team of toothbrushes, and the pumping action feels like a gum massage. Willo syncs with an app, so it knows how consistently you’re brushing.
Lose yourself in inspiration and check out the full list of the 100 Best Inventions of 2020.
Photo: via TIME