I Tried a High-Tech Skin Scan To See *Exactly* How My Skin Would Age, and It Changed My Routine Forever
I wanted to check it out for myself, so after some desperate emails, I managed to book a coveted appointment at The Skin Lab by Augustinus Bader in New York City. Despite my excitement, I couldn't help feeling a bit nervous. Did I really want to know what my skin would look like as I got older? But as someone who takes a lot of pride in her skin-care routine, I knew it was essential to understand the true state of my skin, so I decided to give it a try.
What is Visia?
"Visia is a skin analysis system that uses advanced technology to provide dermatologists with extremely close-up images of your skin… so we can understand what needs to be done and what needs to be monitored throughout treatment," says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
The process involves sitting in front of a camera while it takes a series of high-resolution images of your face from various angles. The camera is equipped with specialized lighting that can illuminate the skin in different ways, such as UV light to reveal sun damage or cross-polarized light to highlight areas of redness and inflammation. The whole thing is quick, painless, and non-invasive.
Once the images have been captured, the software analyzes them to comprehensively assess the skin's condition. First, it evaluates factors like texture, tone, overall skin health, and common concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and acne. Then, it compares the individual's skin against a database of others who are similar in age, gender, and skin type, which allows for a more precise assessment.
Dr. Engelman highly recommends Visia to anyone dealing with unwanted breakouts, wrinkles, or inflammation, as the software provides insight into these areas to help target them more effectively. It's also an excellent tool for anyone looking to tailor their regimen to account for specific needs and concerns, as it can provide valuable insight to help with product and treatment recommendations and lifestyle changes to promote overall skin health.
What happened when I tried it
The Visia scan feels eerily similar to getting a mouth X-ray done before a dental exam, except instead of the smell of fluoride in the air, I was soothed by the scent of a 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Diptyque candle (I was in one of the most luxurious spas in New York, after all).
The scan took less than a minute and produced a facial assessment result that showed my TruSkin Age, which compares your skin to that of others in the same age, gender, and skin type demographic. The lower your TruSkin Age, the healthier and younger-looking your skin is considered to be.
In my case, the machine reported that I had the skin of a 22-year-old, which was fantastic news for me, given that I had just turned 26—thank you, sunscreen and genetics. The Visia scan also includes an aging simulation, which shows how your skin will age over time. While I don't usually dwell on thoughts regarding my mortality, the simulation served as a reminder of the significance of maintaining healthy skin. Alexa, play "Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey.
After the scan, I had a consultation with my aesthetician to discuss the best course of treatment based on my results. The images revealed that I had high levels of texture, enlarged pores, and UV spots, which initially concerned me. I also had one pronounced wrinkle forming on my forehead, which was not surprising given how much I tend to make exaggerated facial expressions. However, my aesthete-bestie reassured me that my percentages were within the "normal" range for my age.
She recommended adding a chemical peel or exfoliant to my skin-care routine to even out the top layer of my skin. She also suggested a topical retinoid, which would further smooth my skin and help minimize the appearance of my enlarged pores. And to address the discoloration, I was told to use an SPF 50 (minimum) every day and re-apply every two hours.
It's worth noting that personalized treatment plans should always be curated with the help of a practitioner since everyone's skin is unique.
Knowledge is power
The Visia scanner can be an excellent resource for people who want to take better care of their skin but may not know where to start or what to focus on. It can also be helpful for those interested in taking preventative measures against visible signs of skin aging.
While the results may seem overwhelming, they can also serve as motivation and empower individuals to take control of their skin-care routine. Though expensive (prices range from $60-$120), if you're looking to elevate your skin-care game, it's definitely worth a try.
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