As safety concerns rise, one of the most important questions that people wonder whenever they use cosmetic products is “where does the product come from?”. When a problem occurs related to the quality of consumable goods, people always try to trace the source of the infected products – how the beauty product is manufactured and distributed along the industry supply chain.
However, tracing manufacturing process of cosmetics is a very slow process. It usually takes a long time and cost a great amount of labor and resources to do it. Just like the possible applications of blockchain in food industry (Reference 1) and drug production (Reference 2), blockchain technology has a great potential to disrupt the industry value chain of beauty industry. Blockchain is an open ledger and the data in it is open to everyone and there is no central authority taking charge of the records. If the blockchain gets implemented to maintain all the supply records of cosmetics, it will make every step of the process (from the raw materials, formulation, manufacture, distribution, to purchase and end use by consumers) accurate, safer and transparent. The low cost of verification and networking of blockchain technology will greatly reduce the time and cost that may be wasted going through endless red tape and hierarchy. Since each participant of the supply chain maintain their own separate ledger, a problem within any particular segment of the supply chain is difficult to track. Due to its inherent transparency, immutability and distributed nature, Blockchain technology provides the cosmetic supply chain a better way to add compliance and governance, and allows any participant in the supply chain to ensure that the logistics and transportation guidelines were adhered to.
The advantages and leveraged value of a transparent system for beauty industry include improved product safety and freshness, reduced waste and fraud (because the system is open for everyone to see), easy traceability of each item, and promoted responsibilities of cosmetic producers. As a pioneer, a start-up JOLYY is currently implementing blockchain technology in online beauty booking by providing an innovative and highly effective beauty booking system. This platform will enable buyers and sellers to interact with each other in an effective manner (Reference 3).
It is believed that blockchain technology has internet-level disruption potential, although it may come over a multi-decade timeline to start mass adoption in various industries. With the fast-growing demand for higher-quality and safer cosmetics, do you think blockchain will be a disruptive technology to reshape the beauty industry in the future?
- How blockchain technology could transform the food industry, December 19, 2017, http://theconversation.com/how-blockchain-technology-could-transform-the-food-industry-89348
- Five use cases for blockchain in pharma, by Gunjan Bhardwaj, April 25, 2018, https://pharmaphorum.com/views-and-analysis/five-use-cases-for-blockchain-in-pharma/
- Beauty and the Blockchain: This company aims to decentralize the cosmetic industry, by Rebecca Campbell, https://thenextweb.com/cryptocurrency/2018/02/05/beauty-and-the-blockchain-this-company-aims-do-decentralize-cosmetic-the-industry/