What benefits accompany these types of machines?
Retailers and brands are finding that [these tools have] a positive effect on sales, with upwards of 30% to 40% improvement. Customers learn more about their skin and are better informed about where their
opportunities for improvements are, and the photographs make their current skin situation more obvious and compelling. We’re used to seeing our face on a daily basis, and we don’t necessarily recognize all of the conditions we have. Seeing the photographs gives an objective view.
Should stores charge customers for the use of these machines?
Typically, the store or skincare brand—whoever sponsors thetechnology—doesn’t charge the customer for the analysis. The goal is to get as many people exposed to the technology as possible, so that the skin consultant or beauty adviser can provide as much information as possible to that customer and help guide the purchasing process. Charging [customers for use] might exclude people who don’t see the value or aren’t sure or don’t know if it’ll be worth the time and the cost.
What’s the concept behind these machines?
They generally have the same concept: They’re based ontaking a photographic image of the skin, whether full-facial photographs or small-field photographs. From there, the [beauty adviser] can use the photographs in the consultation process. And depending on the device, the range of analysis tools becomes increasingly sophisticated.
VISIA does skin analysis for identifying and measuring spots, pores, wrinkles, skin texture; then UV photography measures UV spots. VISIA takes three pictures in total, including a polarized picture, from which we can evaluate hyperpigmentation and vascular damage—everything from acne to spider veins to rosacea; common concerns of customers. Reveal, a slightly less-sophisticated unit, evaluates hyperpigmentation and vascular issues and provides the opportunity for review of wrinkles and texture. DermScope is for looking at pigmented lesions as well as for vascular problems and skin texture.
What amount of space do these machines require within the store?
DermScope is carried in the hand. It’s entirely mobile, using an iPhone 4 and has a cartridge that slips onto the iPhone that includes the batteries, electronics software, optics and lighting; so it’s very lightweight. Reveal is a small-footprint countertop device that’s usually paired up with a laptop. VISIA is larger footprint and requires either a traditional or laptop computer. So, whereas DermScope uses the iPhone as the computer and monitor, Reveal and VISIA both require a separate computer—a laptop or desktop—that’susually stored under the counter.