It wasn’t so long ago that beauty and tech were, well, two totally separate categories. But, guess what? It’s 2018 and one of the (few?) perks to the era we’re living in is some seriously impressive technology. The latest brand to use technology to help you take a (naturally) perfect selfie? Just one of our perennial drugstore favorites: Neutrogena, and we’ve got the exclusive details on its new launch showing at next week’s Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES) — a major trade show in Las Vegas.
Given the runaway success of the brand’s first entrant into the beauty tech category (Light Therapy Acne Mask — here’s looking at you), it’s no surprise the brand is delving further into this exciting, new realm of skin care.
The new innovation in question is the Neutrogena Skin360 and SkinScanner powered by FitSkin. While we can’t quite get our hands on this device just yet (it’ll launch on Neutrogena.com this summer), we can tell you why you’re going to need one.
Perhaps you’ve seen skin analyzing devices before. Two years ago, I came into contact with a similar Korean device, which uses a sensor to measure the skin’s hydration level. It’s pretty cool, in theory, but in practice, it didn’t tell me too much that I didn’t already know (which is to say, hydrate, moisturize, and apply SPF diligently). So, when I first heard Neutrogena was introducing a skin scanner of its own, I’m not going to lie — I expected something similar.
Wow, was I wrong. Neutrogena’s skin scanner is seriously impressive and its capabilities go far beyond any product I’ve tried myself — at least in the DIY, at-home category. The new device is a little white contraption with a magnifying camera that affixes to the top of an iPhone (sizes compatible with models 6S to the new X will be available). It was created in collaboration with tech startup FitSkin, whose technology allowed Neutrogena to deliver imaging and analysis comparable to the high-end devices dermatologists use.
After reviewing FitSkin’s SkinScanner beauty tool, Neutrogena scientists realized it could effectively re-create the controlled setting of a scientific laboratory around the skin. “When we first talked about bringing this idea to life, they wanted to use the camera on the phone to capture the images they’d need for analysis,” Fahad Khawaja and Sebastian Garcia-Vinyard, two members of Neutrogena’s marketing team, explained. “But they found that by using the phone’s camera alone, they couldn’t get accurate images and this was because they couldn’t eliminate contamination caused by environmental light.”
The finished product features a camera capable of skin imaging at a 30-times magnification level. That kind of imaging is, unsurprisingly, beyond even our mighty iPhone camera’s capabilities. It provides the kind of (not-so-pretty) detail that, until now, we’d have had to schedule some expensive dermatologist FaceTime for.
The device completes its analysis in four simple steps. First, you take an up-close, face-forward selfie. Then, you turn the lens on your face and take three snapshots — of your forehead, chin, and cheek. The tool’s 12 high-powered lights, that aforementioned 30-times magnification lens, and highly accurate sensors scan the size and appearance of pores, the size and depth of fine lines and wrinkles, and the skin’s moisture levels, at a far deeper level than the eye can see. A moisture sensor delivers a score for the skin’s hydration level, too.
That data is then fed into a mobile app, which shows the user all of their personal stats — and those high-tech images. Fine lines you didn’t know you had are revealed and pores in their varying sizes show up in neon-green lines and dots, respectively. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The app then offers expert advice in addition to (naturally) product recs. At the moment, these product recs are exclusively from Neutrogena’s collection, though the brand’s reps mentioned they might expand those options later on.
Of course, the app helps track progress, too, so each time the skin is scanned the device feeds the data to the Neutrogena Skin360 app, which leverages Neutrogena’s wealth of clinical research and expertise to analyze the results. Even cooler? As more data is analyzed over time, the app uses machine learning to essentially get smarter and more precise in its recommendations. The app will also allow users to set skin-care goals, journal their skin’s progress, and benchmark results using crowdsourced data from others using the app.
Once I saw my scores (which averaged at 85), I knew right away I was going to need one of these tools and braced myself when I asked the retail price, expecting at least a $100 price tag — and that’s where this story gets even better. When the Neutrogena Skin360 and SkinScanner powered by FitSkin drops this summer, it’ll only set us back — wait for it — $49.99. Perfect selfies of summer 2018, I’m coming for ya.
You can sign up to be one of the first to try it by visiting www.skin360app.com.
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