We know it’s important to live in the moment but, here at Byrdie, we’re fascinated by what the future holds, especially when it comes to the future of beauty. So when at a recent launch for Beauty Beneath, a new beauty supplement, I was offered the chance to slip on a virtual reality headset and take a look at the bathroom of the future—a bathroom in 2026, to precise—I jumped at the chance.
The VR experience was based on a report by The Future Laboratory, and it made for a fascinating look at how the world of beauty and the way we interact with our products are set to change as both materials and computers become more advanced. Keep scrolling as we reveal the most exciting discoveries from the report, and check out the VR experience firsthand in the video below…
While we have some pretty advanced beauty supplements on the market today, come 2026, it will be commonplace to bolster what we apply topically with the inside-out approach of supplementation.
“Supplements designed to act on the user’s own DNA will have the ability to make permanent changes to our physical appearance,” says Elizabeth Hancock, global beauty consultant in the report the The Future Laboratory.
The sticking point with supplements today is that unlike topicals that immediately offer an improvement we can see, we have to trust our pills are working. According to the report, in the future we’ll be able to see how supplements will improve our skin or health before we even buy them. If we were to add a skin supplement, for example, a visual representation of how this will affect our lines and wrinkles would be demonstrated.
And in the future, you may only need to take one pill that will do everything. Soh Siow Ling, a chemical engineer at the National University of Singapore, has created a pill that can deliver a day’s worth of medicine in one.
“It is an extremely compelling idea that you could take one anti-ageing pill to protect you throughout the day … releasing antioxidants, right through to collagen formation/repair at night,” says Parminder Sandhu, Beauty Beneath’s supplement expert.
Today you can buy skin supplements over the counter like Beauty Beneath (£30), which contains two capsules packed with everything your skin needs in both the lower levels of the dermis to boost collagen production and the upper levels of the epidermis to rev up that healthy glow we all want.
Shani Darden, an L.A.-based esthetician whose clients include Chrissy Teigen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jessica Alba, swears by them to get the most out of her clients’ skin. “Pre-emptive care is becoming increasingly important to my clients. The action of taking a pill is so simple, but it also enables them to future-proof their skin in and addition to coming to someone like me for regular facials. I believe in a full holistic approach to anti-ageing, marrying the benefits of topical treatments with supplements.”
Researchers are working on how to bring diagnostic tools into every bathroom of the future. “Portable diagnostic tools will enable [people] to measure their skin condition and therefore product efficacy, prompting continuous [use of a regimen] or a change,” explains Darden.
But forget those smartwatches: Researchers are working on smart skin—yep, you read that right. Researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering are developing e-skin, a thin film that transmits information from hydration to elasticity levels to a monitoring device. Similarly, technology brand Wired Beauty has developed the MAPO Mask, which is connected to sensors and moulded to the user’s face to measure whether their skin routine is working.
“By the middle of the next decade, such technologies will become available in cosmetic formulations resulting in ‘smart’ serums you can spray onto your skin, which can constantly monitor its condition and release treatments as needed,” says Hancock.
By 2020, we should have smart mirrors in every bathroom, powered by artificial intelligence. In fact, the Solomomo Smart Mirror is just the start of what’s to come. Users can virtually try on new products and looks using the mirror. It even identifies which shades and tones suit you via an in-mirror assistant. This is the type of technology we can expect to find in homes of the future.
In the future, we’ll be able to generate makeup in our bathroom. Ador, a foundation pen that exists today, uses 3-D scanning and printing to generate makeup to suit the individual’s skin tone on a per-use basis. “These devices are just the beginning,” says Hancock. “By the late 2020s, colourless programmable cosmetics will be part of everyone’s beauty cabinet,” she adds. “You will be able to tell these cosmetics to be any colour or shade.”
And it’s not just makeup you’ll be able to manufacture in your bathroom. Pillo, a robot that dispenses a bespoke range of pills when it recognises a user’s face and digital profile, is available today, and it could be a fixture in many bathrooms come 2026. “Robots like these will become part of our home beauty regime, monitoring biofeedback about our hair and skin to 3-D print specific beauty pills that address our needs on a particular day,” says Hancock.
“Knowledge is power, and people will feel increasingly able to take control of their destiny because they will understand how and why increasingly complex products and supplements work for them,” says Mark Wuttke, COO of skincare and cosmetics brand Babor.
Keep scrolling to take a look around the bathroom of 2026…