As both a skincare blogger and a skincare fan (hobbyist? fanatic?), I’ve always been mildly bothered by the unavoidable subjectivity of the typical skincare product review. There are a lot of “feel” statements–“My skin feels more hydrated”–without many objective data points. I do it a lot myself, and I hate it. I’ve been longing to find a better way of evaluating products for some time now.
That’s why I bought this bad boy.
It’s a digital skin analyzer. You turn it on, press it to whatever area of skin you want to analyze, and let it do its thing. After a few seconds, it’ll give you a reading of the oil and water percentages of that area of skin. It’s not perfect, obviously, and I’m sure you won’t find this particular sub-$20 model in any actual lab, but for my purposes, it’s great. I’ve already put it through some preliminary checks to make sure that the readings are consistent (to rule out the possibility of the thing just spitting out random numbers) and that they make sense. It’s passed those checks, so now it’s play time.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be playing with this thing a lot: establishing my personal baselines, taking readings at different times of day, taking readings after each step of my skincare routines, and doing everything else I can think of to understand how different products impact the moisture levels in my skin.
Every skincare product review I write from this point forward will have a much more quantitative evaluation of how hydrating/moisturizing a product is, based on the change in the numbers after applying the product being reviewed to bare skin. Numbers, people! I’ll be able to tell you the exact oil and/or water percentage increases (or decreases) that I experience from each product, and compare those products’ numbers against each other to determine which ones are objectively more moisturizing for me!
While this device is a bit too cheap and skincare too YMMV for these numbers to serve as absolutes–my barrier is different than your barrier, my skin may absorb more or less product than yours, etc.–you’ll now be able to use my data points to help you make your own decisions. I’m really excited about this. I hope you guys are too.
Some initial findings:
Today my cheeks’ water level hovers around 30%, which is quite low according to the instruction booklet. It makes sense, since the weather is very dry today, I did a very minimal routine this morning, and I used a notoriously drying sunscreen (review coming soon). My son’s cheeks are at 38%! Goals. Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Moist Lotion increased the water levels on the back of my hand by a whopping 15%.
Time to get a lab notebook and data collect the hell out of my skin.
If you want to get one of these skin analyzers for yourself, the one I bought was about $17 on Amazon Prime (affiliate link).
What kind of experiments do you want to see me do with this nifty little toy? Give me some projects, people!