In this month’s Allure, the editor’s letter mentioned the SkinBetter app. The free app–a venture between Allure/Conde Nast and Canfield Scientific (update: Canfield Scientific is also the developer of the more-advanced VISIA analyzer)–is supposed to be all sorts of patented techy goodness and analyzes the condition of your skin using your camera phone, some algorithms, and a comparison system. Gimmick or the real deal?
Tip: When taking the selfies, look into a mirror angled in front of your phone so you can make sure your face fits within the guide specified in the app.
After the app analyzes your photos and your answers to a few questions about things like your skin type and sun exposure, it gives assessments on 4 markers of aging, as shown in the photo above. Going clockwise from the top left, the app assesses (1) visible spots, (2) hidden, developing spots, (3) wrinkles around the eye, and (4) redness.
The app gave me pretty good “grades,” but the scariest thing was seeing all of the hidden spots. Yikes. ::slaps on brightening serum in a panic::
The app is free, but of course it has a profit-making purpose. After the assessments, it directs you to dermatologist-recommended products at SkinBetter’s online store. The prices for some products seem a little higher than elsewhere, so I would definitely compare prices before buying.
All in all, it’s an easy way to see your skin in a different light. Some of it seems gimmicky (like just turning up the red to bring out areas of redness), but it’s an interesting way to track changes over time.
Update: From reading Canfield Scientific’s explanation of how VISIA detects red areas and brown spots through its proprietary RBX technology (which sort of just sounds like taking a digital picture, pulling out the red and brown areas, and rating the severity relative to other patients), it seems plausible that SkinBetter uses similar technology, minus the use of VISIA’s cross-polarization filters on the camera lens and flash to eliminate reflections from the skin surface, which can affect the imaging’s accuracy. (Tl;dr: SkinBetter’s technology for detecting redness and brown spots is possibly the same as the VISIA’s, except it’s less accurate because your camera phone doesn’t eliminate reflections on your skin surface.)