Atolla, a skin care startup that got its roots at MIT, is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help people achieve their skin goals. Atolla uses machine learning to identify skin health issues and then recommend the right skin care products based on what affects your skin.
Atolla comes as a monthly subscription, with the idea being that you test your skin every month to see how it changes depending on the season. The kit allows you to test for oil, moisture and pH. Every month, you receive a customized product based on the data extrapolated from your skin.
“So we’re thinking that if we do this measurement for people like just once a month, after about a year we can start to predict how their skin’s going to change,” Atolla co-founder Meghan Maulpin told TechCrunch. “It’s like, we know that your skin gets this percent dryer in the winter so before you actually have the issue of super dry skin, we already know that you need to use something that’s like this.”
Testing your skin takes just about 10 minutes (I tried it) and is pretty straightforward, thanks to on-screen directions from Atolla’s mobile app.
Atolla’s vision is to build a longitudinal data set that looks at skin concerns across demographics, geographies and lifestyles. Atolla use two distinct machine learning models. The first is to create skin archetypes based on all the factors that may affect someone’s skin, and the second is to predict how someone’s skin may change.
“What we’re really trying to build is a database that represents all different types of like skin attributes, and understand what the actual skin types are,” Maulpin told TechCrunch. “So it’s not just about like, number of data, it’s also diversity.”
Maulpin and her co-founder Sid Salvi met at MIT while in graduate school last year. Following acceptance into MIT’s Delta V accelerator for students, the two opened a handful of pop-up shops in New York City. Fast-forward to today, and Atolla is gearing up to start shipping to consumers in February.