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What is Facial Scanning?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 22 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
What Is Facial Scanning?

As skin care becomes more and more advanced, salons and spas have been turning to ever more sophisticated ways of treating problem skin, and adapting the products and treatments that they use to suit each individual client.

Whereas many people remember the days where a therapist would simply look at the condition of your skin externally, and ask you some questions about your skin type and lifestyle, these days there are a bewildering array of diagnostic options available to help you and the therapist decide what’s best for your individual skin, and help you set up a skin care regime that is designed just for you.

Facial skin scanning machines such as Beau Visage or the Dermalogica Skin logic work by taking a photograph of your skin under different types of light, which allows the therapist to spot the distribution of blood and melanin (pigment) plus check for any sun damage, up to 2mm beneath the surface of the skin.

What Happens During a Skin Scan?

Usually, a skin scan is offered as part of a facial treatment. Some salons and spas charge for them, but many prefer to include a skin consultation including a scan in the cost of a treatment, or give it to clients free of charge if they book a facial or set of treatments afterwards.

You will be asked to put your face on a specially designed platform so that the therapist can take photographs of your face from different angles. The images can be quite disturbing – especially if you’re unlucky enough to suffer with a lot of sun related skin damage, as this shows up on the scan and can be quite sobering.

The pictures will then give you and the therapist and idea of what’s going on with your skin – whether there are any underlying issues that need to be corrected (sun damage, pigmentation, dehydration, sensitivity) and then many of them also give you a ‘skin age’ where they will tell you how much your skin has aged compared to other people of your own age and sex.

The scanner has a database of images of people which it uses to compare your own image with. From this, the machine is able to give you an indication of your skin age, and how your skin condition compares against others.

Age Related Skin Condition

The condition of your skin tends to reflect its age, and one thing that most facial scanning technology looks for is an even skin tone. Scientific research shows that if your skin tone is even, you look younger, and an even skin tone can drastically reduce the appearance of age. As we get older, our skin naturally becomes thinner and our skin tone starts to become a little uneven over time.

Why Would I Have a Facial Skin Scan?

Salons and spas with facial scanners like to use them so that they can target the treatments, products and any home care products to the client. Some also offer regular progress reports so that you can look at your photographs over time and see how your treatment regime is helping to improve the condition of your skin.

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