Better skin?

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I love the convenience of online shopping. I adore Netflix. And I can barely remember life before Google and email. But some things are still best done offline and in-person, such as getting medical advice. Allure is an excellent beauty magazine but now it is selling the same products it reports on using a system called “SkinBetter”. It is described as a “proprietary system that captures a photo of your skin, analyzes it through patented technology developed by the world-renowned imaging engineers and scientists at Canfield Scientific”. The idea is you” self-report” your own “skin history and concerns to an algorithm.” It then reads, “…you will then receive a series of product choices that leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons have recommended for your skin.” It goes on to state, “Many people have a general understanding of the appearance of their skin, based on a reflection in the mirror, or from comments of friends and family… Before SkinBetter, it has been extremely difficult to match your skin’s needs with exactly the right product, without visiting a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.”

I am bothered by the language and the assumptions behind the idea of SkinBetter.  Leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons have never seen your skin. And no one has made any personal recommendations. SkinBetter is a sophisticated computer program that matces products and recommendations based on the information you feed it.  But is it good substitute for a leading dermatologist or plastic surgeon?

 

As a young woman I began visiting dermatologists at age 16 for acne. I was lucky to have excellent doctors attached to some of the best teaching hospitals in the world. And even then treating my acne was challenging. My treatment had to be constantly adjusted to be effective. Now I visit doctors to help slow the aging process. My doctors still calibrate my skin care as carefully as when I was a teenager. They look at and touch my skin and talk to me to determine the optimal treatment. And when my friends’ children battle acne they face a similar routine of trial, error, and adjustment with their dermatologists. Skin is a tricky business.

 

On the plus side, SkinBetter has a stellar panel of experts. The site contains a wealth of information. It is definitely worth a good read. And it may be helpful for choosing a moisturizer or eye cream. But if you have serious skin concerns or if you plan to make a serious investment in skin care will SkinBetter really give you better skin? I think you may do better choosing your own professional who can actually see your skin, live and in person.

 

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Gracey Hitchcock

Editor, DolceDolce

Follow me @graceysays

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