BBC News

Biomedical engineer moves into beauty industry

By Andrew Black
Business presenter, BBC Good Morning Scotland

image captionA prototype of the device is gong on show at an industry event in Paris

A biomedical engineer who branched out into cosmetics is launching his new skincare product at a major industry event in the world's fashion capital.

Dr David Heath is in Paris to unveil the prototype which tells people how much beauty product they need by analysing their skin.

He saw a gap in the market for his app-based device and founded the company Cutitronics.

Inventions like the Fitbit have fuelled demand for personalised health devices.

Dr Heath came up with the idea - the CutiTron - through his work at Strathclyde University, investigating how drugs could be delivered through the skin.

Cynical scientist

He told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I presented at a skincare conference that I thought was more the medical side and it turned out it was more on the cosmetic side.

"I was surprised to see the size that the industry was.

"I saw some of the challenges they were having and I realised they were trying to address those challenges with chemistry.

"They hadn't really considered the power that engineering devices and digital technology bring."

image captionDavid Heath said he had learned a huge amount about the cosmetics industry while developing his product

Dr Heath said his device monitors the hydration of a customer's skin and then uses information, such as their location, and temperature, to recommend the right amount of a product.

He also said it could be tailored to any brand and provide advice to customers whether at home or lying on a beach.

Cutitronics has already attracted investment from beauty industry firm and chemical giant Croda International, and the prototype will be demonstrated at the In-Cosmetics Global trade show in Paris.

Dr Heath added that his own attitude to skincare had completely changed, after learning about the level of science that is used to develop new industry products.

"One of the areas I really had to look into for my own confidence moving into this industry was to understand how much of this is based on science and how much is based on marketing spin.

"I'm quite a cynical scientist, as I've been told quite regularly."

For the latest business news as it happens, follow BBC presenter Andrew Black's updates each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme between 0600 and 0900.

Related Topics

  • University of Strathclyde
  • Cosmetics
  • Fashion
  • Engineering