OILY, dry or combination: we have all self-diagnosed with a type of skin.
However, 54 percent of women admit to choosing skin care products based solely on guesswork, while another 40 percent have purchased items without understanding how it will affect their skin, according to No7.
As a beauty magpie, I am certainly guilty of that.
I am instantly attracted to packaging and am overly confident in any product that claims it will cure my relentless skin breakouts.
If I calculate how much I’ve spent on blemish-fighting cleansers and moisturizers, it would be hundreds, if not thousands, as my ten-year quest for great skin has led me to fall in love with countless products, only to stop using. half way through as they irritated my skin.
And I am not the only one.
No7’s research also found that 74 per cent of women spend up to £150 on skincare per year, yet a staggering 86 per cent found that a product doesn’t suit their skin as soon as they try it.
While we’re happy to spend ten pounds here and there, seeking the professional advice of a dermatologist seems too out of reach, due to the often hefty upfront cost.
So wouldn’t it be great if you could get a skin diagnosis at the beauty counter for free?
I was wrong?
Well now you can. Starting yesterday, any of us can log into Boots for a one-on-one facial scan equipped with personalized product recommendations.
The high-tech device used takes a scientific snapshot of the forehead, cheek, corner of the eye and jawline to reveal skin hydration levels, wrinkles and pores. A technological first for the High Street, the quick and easy service presents you with a rating of these facial areas along with product recommendations.
As a beauty writer, I like to think I have my skin under control, but in reality, I’ve struggled with acne on and off for years and occasionally have the occasional flare-up. So I felt nervous. Had I been doing my skin care regimen wrong all this time?
The consultation began with a questionnaire from Laura Davies, business manager at Boots’ Covent Garden store in central London. I told Laura that my main concerns were dark spots, blemishes, and hydration, and that my routine consisted of a cleanse, vitamin C serum, and SPF50 sunscreen in the morning, and a cleanse and moisturizer at night.
We then moved on to imaging and a couple of minutes later I was presented with my results. At 28, I was surprised to see that my fine lines and wrinkles were the main areas I needed to focus on, rated two (one being the lowest) out of five and colored yellow on the chart.
My oil balance was correct and showed green, with a rating of three out of five, despite my constant breakouts. They mentioned that my spots could be due to hormonal factors, which was good to know.
I was then shown a fluorescent pink image of my wrinkles. It was a map of small spider vein-like lines accompanied by larger, thicker strokes, apparently my deep wrinkles.
At 28, I was surprised to see that my fine lines and wrinkles were the main areas I needed to focus on, rated two (one being the lowest) out of five and colored yellow on the chart.
The image was like a deep dive under my skin. Seeing my concern about my ‘wrinkles’, Laura told me this was a common area to focus on and she recommended the No7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum which costs £34.95. But it was proof that what I thought was my biggest concern, blemishes, was not the area I should be paying the most attention to. Instead, I should be doing more to protect my skin from aging.
My other results also surprised me: my pores scored five out of five and green on the graph, which is very good; my hydration levels were rated a four out of five and oil balance was a three out of five.
And the practice not only recommends skin care products, but also makeup. They showed me my ideal foundation based on my color scheme. At first glance, my color recommendation, “Sahara” seemed too dark. It was definitely not a color I would normally choose for myself.
But after blending No7 Restore And Renew Foundation, £19.95, I was amazed at the almost invisible finish – my skin glowed. The color matching element is similar to the No7 Match Made Foundation tool that was released ten years ago, but in an improved version.
This new face-scanning experience has taken Canadian tech firm Fitskin more than six years to develop. Twenty million skin areas are analyzed per scan to provide a scientific analysis of skin tone.
And with Boots focusing more on cosmetics and beauty than ever, it’s no surprise that it wanted to be the High Street store to launch it here in the UK.
The only drawback is that the recommended products are always No7, which, although it is the favorite brand of many, is not the cheapest.
But with a free consultation, I wouldn’t complain, and once you know the ingredients your skin loves, you can stick to No7 or, of course, shop around.