True North Cosmetics: The Consultation
As the name of the blog suggests I love skincare and I love science and I especially love it when the two come together. So I was HUGELY excited when an invite popped into my inbox to attend a skin consultation at Manchester Harvey Nichols with the founder of True North Cosmetics who would be bringing the True North state-of-the-art biometric skin analysis instrument. The instrument analyses deep into the skin and from the data obtained recommendations can be made as to how to optimise skincare regime and slow the signs of aging as much as possible before they even become visible on the face. Science in action!
I arrived at Harvey Nichols excited for my one-on-one consultation with Jan. I was offered a glass of bubbly and we got straight into the analysis. The True North biometric skin analysis instrument is a large round dome with a very bright ring of light inside with a camera in the middle. My face was lined up central and (very close-up!) pictures were taken, it literally took seconds! The instrument was attached to a computer so my images appeared on the computer instantly. The next job was for Jan to set the gates on my face image, fine-tuning where the computer would characterise each section of my skin on my entire face. Gone are the days of verbal consultation or hand-held skin patch analysis of just one skin area! Once the setup was complete the analysis algorithm was run which took a few minutes to complete.
Out of scientific curiosity I asked Jan how the algorithm worked, however my knowledge of programming and computer science is (tragically) very limited so I’ll try my best to explain what I understood of the process! Light can permeate through skin and tissue to some extent (like when you shine a torchlight through your hands). The bright light in the instrument does exactly the same thing with your face, meaning the high-resolution camera can pick up details further down in the layers of the epidermis that you can’t see with your eyes. From these high-resolution images the algorithm works through a flowchart; it’s been written to analyse the images and look out for certain features which will diagnose certain skin issues. For example if it sees emerging lines (wrinkles) it then goes on to look for slightly deeper fine lines; if it finds fine lines it goes on to look for deep lines but if it sees no fine lines then it doesn’t bother.
After a few minutes the algorithm had worked its way through the different skin issues that it looks out for and my skin diagnosis was ready to view. It first looks for redness which can be the first sign of underlying issues. It then went on to look at skin hydration, pore size, acne, skin tone, UV damage/pigmentation and wrinkles. With each analyses there was a rather scary up-close image of my huge face with various areas mapped out depending on the parameter. The results were hugely insightful and I was so impressed by the fine details that the instrument had managed to pick up! I have some redness and some mild acne (too many sweets!). Though I was diagnosed as having normal skin I have a fairly high proportion of enlarged pores which leads to oily areas yet dryness was picked up under my cheekbones and on my forehead. I had a rather scary amount of emerging lines and a couple of fine lines (I’m 25!) though Jan assured me this was normal and that a more intense moisturiser should do the trick. My UV damage was thankfully minimal, I always try to keep my face out of the sun and use SPF protection every day and the results showed that my efforts are worthwhile.
The most scary part of the consultation was the ‘forecast’ which showed my current image, an image of what I would look like in 10 years time using my current skincare regime and a third picture of what I could look like in 10 years with an optimised skincare regime. The differences were frightening yet promising! From my analyses Jan was able to recommend which True North Cosmetics products would be best suited to my skin. For my enlarged pores he recommended the True North serum which penetrates deeper into the skin and tightens enlarged pores much more than a surface moisturiser. For my dryness I was recommended the Night moisturiser, the best way to restore hydration. As part of a good skincare practice the gentle cleansing was recommended as well as the toner to sooth skin and help with tightening (temporarily) the skin, particularly on my forehead.
I was extremely lucky to be handed a bag of my recommended True North products, as well as an additional body moisturiser and an SPF50 lip balm for me to try at home based on the results of my consultation. I am currently loving testing out the True North range and will be sharing my thoughts and the effects on my skin in part 2 of this post coming up very soon. The True North skin consultation was a great way to get feedback on my skincare regime and is great for those who are concerned about signs of aging and want to do something before it happens; would definitely recommend! I absolutely loved seeing science applied to mainstream cosmetics!
Huge thanks to Jan from True North Cosmetics and the Harvey Nichols team for inviting me to this personalised and science-filled consultation!