Getting access to a dermatologist is expensive and time consuming. But what if you could get all the personalised information you’d get from an expert at the click of a button? That’s essentially what Vichy’s brand new Skinconsult AI, aims to do. You feed a selfie into an algorithm developed in collaboration with dermatologists, the image is then graded against the concerns of thousands of other dermatologist patients, it detects key signs of ageing and formulates a skincare plan targeted around your personal areas of concerns as well as letting you know where your skin is performing particularly well.
Elle Turner, Deputy Beauty Editor
I am more clued-up than most when it comes to the inner workings of my skin – what with being a beauty journalist and doing it for a living. I know my benzoyl peroxide from my bakuchiol and I know what to apply to my skin when it’s feeling particularly parched or spotty, but I also do mess around a fair bit with my skincare in order to trial multiple different products. It’s ended in allergic reactions, searing hot rashes and pores that are full to the brim with too much product – so I’d be interested to see how my skin performs and whether the areas of concern the Skinconsult identifies are the same as the ones I’ve identified myself (dryness, fine lines and lack of radiance).
This tool doesn’t require an extra app, so if you’ve already maxed out your Apple storage, you’re still good to go. You access the Skinconsult online straight off the webpage. Reassuringly, there are virtual Skin Experts available to chat if you have any extra questions. If not, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Click start and you can choose to take a selfie, or upload an existing picture (taking a selfie is easier because the requirements here are quite specific – you need to remove your glasses and your makeup, look straight ahead with a neutral expression and ideally wait until you’ve got natural lighting for the most accurate reading).
Once you have your selfie, the scanner analyses – in detail – each area of your face. You’re asked to input your age (so you can compare your results to others in your age group later) and indicate what skin type describes you best at that moment (for instance, it could feel dry after a hot shower or greasy after a long day at work).
Next, it will show you your skin matrix and grade your skin against seven signs of ageing – lack of firmness, pore visibility, fine lines, deep wrinkle visibility, under eye wrinkles, lack of radiance and dark spot intensity. The good news is, my skin is pretty banging in terms of firmness “your skin has a better firmness score than 50% of women your age,” (I was feeling pretty smug about that…) The bad news is, when I scanned my face in the evening under lamplight, my areas of concern came up as fine lines and deep wrinkles. Deep!? I wear SPF every day people! That said, when I re-scanned my face the next morning in front of a window in natural light, my priorities switched from deep wrinkles to lack of radiance (an area of concern I’d already identified). So, it’s worth noting that the lighting will drastically change your results.
Underneath your skin chart, you can read in more detail about what each area of concern actually means and how you score against them. Then, you can click across to see your recommended skincare routine based on your results. Whilst all the products here are Vichy (a brand I actually really rate) you can apply the logic to other skincare brands too – e.g. add in an anti-ageing serum and a dark-spot targeting moisturiser.
Even though I was thrown by the results changing from picture to picture, it was helpful to know which areas I’m doing well on and which need more attention. It’s a good starting point for those wanting basic advise, but for any more in-depth worries about your skin, I’d still recommend going to an expert.