Fiddy’s Skincare Reviews Just Got a Lot More Objective

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.

Digital skin analyzer box
You know she knows exactly what her oil and water percentages are at all times.

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.

Digital skin analyzer from China
I’m not kidding when I say this thing is going to give me hours of endless fun.

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!


30 thoughts on “Fiddy’s Skincare Reviews Just Got a Lot More Objective

  1. Awesome! I’m tempted to get one because it looks fun. And it’s so perfect to have your son as a goal. Literally, you could have the skin of a child.

    I would be curious to see (1) whether applying Hada Labo before a sheet mask really results in more hydration and (2) the correlation between sheet mask duration and hydration (is it linear? does it plateau after basically 20 mins.?). –Angela

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Angela, the Hada Labo/sheet mask thing is one of the first things I’ll be testing! And I’m going to test the efficacy of the #doublefisting sheet mask process as well.

      OMG I am so excited OMG.


      1. Yes!!! Ooh ooh ::hand shoots up:: (3) Would love to find out which sheet mask or sleeping pack has the longest-lasting results and (4) I could see this being useful when assessing whether a cushion dries out your face over the day (especially those so-called moisturizing ones). OK, thanks 😁

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m totally getting one! Were there any other meters you looked at before getting this one?

    Could you do a round-up of moisture meter outputs for alcohol-free vs. alcohol formulas? For each category of product? Sunscreens, emulsions, creams.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I looked at a few and tbh I just kind of went by price, hahaha. I might spring for a fancier one when I’m more accustomed to doing this kind of data collection. And I absolutely will do those kinds of roundups, thank you for the idea! I’m setting up the Excel workbook to enter all my data now.


      1. Ah k! Thanks for letting me know..

        And yes! I can’t wait to see the findings! You could then pit different humectants against each other… different emollients etc. etc.

        It’s a bit of a systematic approach, and I don’t want it to become un-fun for you at all but yeah, would totally be interested in seeing this too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I noticed there was a lot of chatter on reddit lately about the “exotic” ingredients, such as donkey milk, horse oil, snails, starfish, and fermented things. Possibly test those???

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true! Snails in particular are claimed to be hydrating, so that’s a good one, while horse oil should theoretically do a good job of increasing the oil content.


    1. Hmm… Maybe I should buy one of these to prove to my family that my skin is dehydrated. That way they won’t give me shade when I buy all the things…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Yay, science! 😀
    Second Hada Labo-sheets thing. You could also compare moisturisers with vaseline. I’ve read on Beauty Brains (or r/kindofstephen said so?) that petroleum jelly is the best in keeping moisture in, far more effective than plant oils so it could be nice base of comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok, I’m desperate: the US sellers may not ship to France 😥 I can order this item on, but the price is really expensive : 50€ o.O

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey, I just discovered your blog and binged through your entire archive! I think this skin analyzer is soooo cool, and I may have to get one myself just for funsies!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fiddy…… I really love you, but my wallet hates you – LMAO. I’ve been putting off buying one of these things, chalking it up to “not necessary”. So I wind up on the page today. An hour later (I had to go back and forth between Amazon and determining Chinese knockoffs on Ebay), Amazon Prime order has been submitted. I hope you’re happy.


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