The Ove Mask: Using LED as lighting cosmetics
Few cultures create as many products devoted to beauty as France, and few nations have as many beauty parlors as the French.
From unguents and thalasso spas to facials and dermatologists, the French have developed more treatments and beauty professions than pretty well anyone. Which is one reason a new technology using LED to stimulate and regenerate cells is causing such a stir in France.
Named Ove, it's a new high-tech Venetian-shaped mask from Lucibel that harnesses what is known as photo-bio-modulation technology to refresh facial skin with striking results.
Its latest version is an elegant portable mask on a stand, which clients can simply plug in and use in either a beautician’s parlor or in their home. The sleek modernist design is brainchild of veteran designer Olivier Lapidus, who teamed up with Lucibel’s CEO Frederic Granotier to create this path-breaking new addition to French beauty.
Olivier is no stranger to the meeting of technology, fashion and beauty. Back in the '90s in the Carousel du Louvre, one famous Lapidus show featured garments that harnessed solar energy to power a telephone.
So we caught up with the duo for a discussion on Ove, and what is potentially a paradigm in skincare.
FashionNetwork.com: Good day Olivier. Why did you decide to join this project and what was your first impression?
Olivier Lapidus: It’s important to realize that Lucibel’s lighting is used in the world’s best the museums – like the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay in Paris; or the Guggenheim in New York. So, it is part of the lighting elite. Which gives Lucibel real authority.
FNW: You have long been keen on blending technology, fashion and design, right?
OL: I started during the '90s to work on the alliance between art and innovation; fashion shows and patents. Some journalists didn’t agree that fashion could also be research and development. But I considered this the future. So, in 1999 I created Brochier Technologies to develop the very first luminous textiles, creating dresses mixed with technology. Now when I saw Frederic’s products, I saw the future again. But the question was how to design the aluminum plate used in the mask. We had to curve it to dissipate the mask’s heat, since it weighed 3.3 kilos, because of power source. And we had to create an air system; and find a shape for men and women, a universal design. So, it is a collective work, to create this machine, with a pure design, and with a wide range of colors.
FNW: Frederic, how did your company begin this whole adventure?
Frederic Granotier: Well, we bought a very big space in in Normandy, near Rouen, of 12,000 square meters. That permitted us to do all our research and development on the different innovations possible thanks to LED technology. Lucibel is an expert in the LED, designing and manufacturing high quality lightning, that’s economical in terms of energy.
We decided to invest in some new axes of innovations - the first one is the transmission of data thanks to the light wi-fi. The second is cosmetics by using light. So, since 2013 Lucibel has worked on this subject and developed its first cosmetic pad from LED lighting on the principle of the photo modulation.
Back in 2012 we discovered that an American dermatologist was using machines that were three meters tall, costing 20,000 dollars, with costly bills for clients using photo modulation to get rid of wrinkles and stretch marks on thighs. It is the energetic contribution brought to cells by lighting permitting cells to regenerate more rapidly, and indeed it does work efficiently on stretch marks or wrinkles.
So, I gave my research and development team a challenge - miniaturize this three-meter concept and create the same thing but in a smartphone-size pad based on batteries. And of course, some were doubtful, saying that it was impossible, but we made it real in 2014 and launched the first pad into the market.
It is a technology that really works. Clinical trials show that. We developed two or three generations of beauty pads; even a mask, but they were ugly! We still manage to sell 10,000 pads. So the market is there. Then one day I was lucky to cross Olivier’s path, and from there we decided that with Lucibel’s expertise and the genius design and creative mind of Olivier we could do something extraordinary.
FNW: What’s the price of the Ove mask?
FG: Our latest pad was put in the market for €649, the mask will retail at €1,490. We have already sold over 10,000 but not hundreds of thousands, yet.
FNW: What was the biggest problem in designing the mask?
OL: The problematic was the form. How to integrate the power, because we couldn’t fit that much power into a small mask? You need to wear glasses when you put on the mask. Because of its capacity, you have to stay only 10 minutes in it and that’s it. I also designed eyeholes, because it’s less claustrophobic. The mask is really very efficient, for what it does: removing stains or imperfections, and even if in one of the séances a stain begins to turn a little dark, in the following one it will fade.
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