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I tested out Boots’ new face-scan equipment to make sure I’m not wasting money and was surprised at the results

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OILY, dry or combination — we’ve all self-diagnosed ourselves with a skin type.

Yet, 54 per cent of women admit they choose skincare products based purely on guesswork, while a further 40 per cent have bought items without understanding how it will affect their skin, according to No7.

David Dyson – The Sun

As of yesterday, any one of us can walk into Boots for a one-to-one face scan equipped with personalised ­product recommendations[/caption]

David Dyson – The Sun

Siobhan O’Connor at the Boots store in Covent Garden[/caption]

As a beauty magpie, I’m ­certainly guilty of that.

I am instantly enticed by packaging and too readily trust any product that says it will cure my relentless skin breakouts.

If I calculated how much I’ve spent on spot-fighting cleansers and moisturisers, it would be well into the hundreds — if not thousands — as my ten-year quest for good skin has seen me fall for countless products, only to stop using them halfway through as they irritated my skin.

And I’m not the only one.

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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 have found that a product does not suit their skin as soon as they try it.

While we are happy to spend a tenner here and there, seeking professional advice from a dermatologist seems too far out of reach, due to the often hefty upfront cost.


So wouldn’t it be great if you could get a skin diagnosis over the beauty counter for free?

Had I got it wrong?

Well, now you can. As of yesterday, any one of us can walk into Boots for a one-to-one face scan equipped with personalised ­product recommendations.

The hi-tech device used takes a scientific snap of your forehead, cheek, eye corner and jawline to reveal skin hydration levels, ­wrinkles and pores. A tech first for the High Street, the quick and easy service then 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 still occasionally get the odd angry breakout. So I felt nervous. Had I been getting my skincare regime wrong this whole time?

The consultation began with a questionnaire by Laura Davies, business manager at Boots’ Covent Garden store in central London. I told Laura 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, with a cleanse and moisturiser in the evening.

We then moved on to the pictures and a couple 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, with a rating of two (with one being the lowest) out of five and coloured yellow on the chart.

My oil balance was spot on and showed up green, with a three out of five rating, despite my constant breakouts. They mentioned that my spots could be down to ­hormonal factors instead, which was good to know.

I was then shown a pink ­fluorescent image of my wrinkles. It was a map of small spider vein-like lines accompanied by larger, thick strokes — my deep-forming wrinkles, apparently.

At 28, I was surprised to see that my fine lines and wrinkles were the main areas I needed to focus on, with a rating of two (with one being the lowest) out of five and coloured yellow on the chart.


Siobhan O'Connor

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 recommended the No7 Laboratories Line Correcting booster serum, costing £34.95. But it was proof that what I thought was my biggest concern — spots — was not the area I should be turning more attention to. Instead, I should be doing more to protect my skin from ageing.

My other results surprised me too — my pores scored a ­whopping five out of five and green on the chart, which is very good; my hydration levels were rated four out of five and oil ­balance was three out of five.

And the consultation doesn’t just recommend skincare products, but make-up too. I was shown my ideal foundation based on my ­colour match. At first glance, my colour recommendation, “Sahara” looked way too dark. It was ­definitely not a colour that I would normally pick for myself.

But after blending in the No7 Restore And Renew Foundation, £19.95, I was surprised by the almost invisible finish — my skin was glowing. The colour match element is similar to the No7 Match Made Foundation tool that launched ten years ago, but an upgraded ­version.

This new face scan experience has taken Canadian tech firm Fitskin more than six years to develop. Twenty million skin areas are analysed per scan to provide a scientific analysis of skin tone.

And with Boots focusing on cosmetics and beauty more than ever before, it is no surprise that it wanted to be the High Street store to launch it here in the UK.

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The one downside is that the recommended products are always No7, which, while being a favourite brand for many, is not the cheapest.

But with a free consultation, I wouldn’t grumble, and once you know the ingredients your skin loves, you can either stick to No7 or, of course, shop around.

David Dyson – The Sun

The hi-tech device used takes a scientific snap of your forehead, cheek, eye corner and jawline[/caption]

David Dyson – The Sun

The face scanner reveals skin hydration levels, ­wrinkles and pores[/caption]

David Dyson – The Sun

‘The image was like a deep dive under my skin’, writes Siobhan[/caption]

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