A new face in skincare

With the arrival of Yumi, SK-II’s digital spokesperson, the future of beauty is more than skin deep


Back in June, cult Japanese skincare brand SK-IIunveiled a new secret weapon: Yumi, an AI-powered emissary who has the power to dispense simultaneous skincare advice to thousands of women around the globe.

Unlike her virtual influencer brethren, such as Lil Miquela and Imma, Yumi wasn’t made for social media or brand partnerships. She’s the proprietary creation of SK-II and Soul Machines, a New Zealand-based startup that crafts digital humans. Yumi is powered by Google’s natural language processing platform, allowing her to react to customer sentiments for more lifelike interactions.

Digital humans are becoming more common as brands pursue a future-forward approach to customer service. According to Soul Machines’ CBO, Greg Cross, digital influencers “create a level of one-on-one interaction that is simply not possible…other than at a retail shop.”

Yumi is a significant step in putting a literal human face on what is essentially an adaptive helpdesk that never sleeps. She works 24/7, she’ll never make a mistake or have a bad hair day – and she’s here for eternity.



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