Are you happy with the skin you’re in?

I recently attended a beauty and wellness open evening at my local beauty salon, TIME to be ME, with the intention of checking the place out, seeing what they offered and then heading across the road for a cheeky midweek glass of wine with a friend.

I’m not usually the sort of girl who goes in for all this beauty lark, preferring to take the easy, some might even say lazy, approach to my skincare and beauty routine. The thing is, I’m not getting any younger and I’ve started to realise that unless I up my game a little now, I’m going to pay the price in years to come!

Which is why, when the Elemis beauty consultant at TIME to be ME started talking about the SkinLab, my ears pricked up.

What is the SkinLab?

The Elemis SkinLab uses state of the art technology to take a detailed 3D map of the face in order to assess the state of your skin. This is combined with a lifestyle consultation, in which notes are taken to ascertain for example, how much caffeine you drink, how much sleep you get etc., after which an analysis is made and solutions to the various skincare problems are given.

I must admit that when I made the appointment I had no idea what to expect; my only concern was that I would be told I had the skin of someone double my age. My skin has never been my best feature; I frequently suffer from hormonal spot outbreaks and patchy dryness, so my thinking was that if I had my face mapped I would at least know what I was dealing with.

The bare faced cheek of it!Factors such as, air pollution, what we eat, how much we exercise, our skin cleaning routine, air conditioning, central heating, whether we smoke etc., can all affect the look, feel and quality of our skin and to counteract the effects of these it is important to use products that are right for our particular skin type. Use the wrong products; for example if you have sensitive skin and use a heavy, rough exfoliator, you will make the problems worse, so it’s incredibly important to seek professional guidance to ensure you look and feel your absolute best.

So, after answering a few questions about my lifestyle, which was as I pretty much suspected; I drink too much coffee and don’t look after my skin properly, it was time to get mapped.

The process was simple; I literally placed my chin on the rest in front of the machine’s screen, closed my eyes (apparently eyelashes show up as wrinkles and I definitely didn’t want to add any more than I already had of those!) and the machine then scanned the right hand side of my face. For what looks like an unassuming, almost basic looking machine, it sure has some pretty clever technology installed in it. From sitting there for not even two minutes, it was able to analyse and assess my image map, then transmit the results across to the computer, ready to print out a few, very honest and well, not exactly the most flattering, pictures of the state of my skin.

SkinLab technology at TIME to be METhere are 6 photos in total, each one focusing on a different aspect of skin damage:

  • UV damage
  • Wrinkles
  • Problem pores
  • Texture
  • Areas of redness
  • Spots

From this, the consultant can then recommend a course of action, which should hopefully reduce the appearance, prevent further damage and in some instances even clear up the affected areas.

Check out my results!

Each photo is given a number to indicate the extent of each particular problem you have and I must say that it is a little difficult to fully understand how bad these numbers are without have anything to compare it against. All I do know is that in some cases I was pleasantly surprised, whereas others I was completely and utterly shocked.

SpotsSo, here are my results:

Spots 42

Now, I must point out that if you were to look at the right hand side of my face the day the image was taken, you definitely would not have seen 42 spots on my face. What the machine does pick up on, however, are areas that are likely to suffer from spots. This could be blocked pores, areas of bacteria or may even suggest an oily skin surface. As a sufferer of spots, albeit not usually on my cheeks, I can use this information to establish which products are best suited for my spot prone skin that will soothe, thoroughly cleanse, unblock and moisturise.

WrinklesWrinkles 38

I’m 37, which means I’m at an age where I’m starting to notice a few fine lines around the eyes and mouth, but wrinkles aren’t something that concern me too much at the moment. In fact, I joked with the consultant that it’s only since having kids that I seem to have noticed my wrinkles and grey hairs! I must admit that I am slightly annoyed that my wrinkle number is higher than my age, but hey who’s going to notice one extra wrinkle, right? Again, this number isn’t an indicator of the actual visible wrinkles I have, but more a warning that these are areas, which are dehydrated and are likely, if left untreated, to develop into wrinkles.

Texture 243

Firstly, woah that number’s huge! But, actually when you look at the picture, things aren’t quite as bad as the number would suggest. It’s a little difficult to see in the photo, but there are two different coloured dots; blue and yellow. TextureThe blue dots indicate areas of dehydration, which tally up with the same areas that I am most likely to get wrinkles, so…makes sense. The yellow dots indicate oily areas. Now, it seems crazy that skin can be both dehydrated and oily at the same time, right? But, wait for it…here comes the science bit. When skin is dehydrated it will naturally produce more oil. This is the skins way of protecting itself; a bit like giving itself a protective barrier. The result, however, is that the pores open up to release the oil and this is when bacteria can get in and cause blockages, which lead to spots. The texture analysis indicates your skin type and unsurprisingly I have combined skin, which means I have both areas of dryness as well as areas of oiliness.

 PoresPores 90

This highlights pores that are blocked, open, as well as areas of dehydration. I was quite surprised at how scattered my pores were. I’m aware that I have a fair amount of enlarged pores on and around my nose, which was picked up by the SkinLab, but I wasn’t expecting them to affect my whole face and has made me want to do something about reducing them before the problem gets worse.

Brown Spots 227

Another high number and for me the most shocking of all the photos. Brown spots are linked to UV Sun damage and although there may be no visible signs of this damage now, it is certainly lurking below the skin’s surface waiting to emerge, as brown patchy spots, with age. Brown spots - UV damageI think the problem with living in a country like England, where the weather is so temperamental and, let’s face it, we don’t get much sun, it can result in us being very blasé about skin protection. When we go abroad on holiday, we lather on the Factor 50 without a second thought, yet somehow it seems unnecessary in damp, dreary England. This couldn’t be further from the truth! OK so we don’t get many days of blazing sunshine, but the sun is still there and its harmful UV rays are still penetrating their way through the clouds and damaging our skin. Our faces are the one area of our bodies that is exposed all of the time. This means that if it doesn’t have the right level of protection, it is more prone to sun damage, which will lead to premature aging on the one area you can’t hide! I must confess that although I moisturise my face everyday, I certainly don’t use a product that contains an SPF and the results from this analysis has shown me that this is something I definitely need to change.

Red AreasRed Areas 25

The light at the end of the tunnel and the one piece of good news is that I don’t really suffer from any areas of redness or sensitivity…HOORAY! There is a little bit around my nose, which I am aware of and if I’m completely honest I think has something to do with the fact that my make up brushes may need a good old clean, but other than that I’m faring pretty well on the redness front.

Based on the results of my SkinLab, the consultant prescribed the following treatment plan to help alleviate my main areas of concern. Fortunately for me, I had already purchased some of the products in a special gift kit at the TIME to be ME beauty and wellness evening and the consultant was fantastic at adapting my plan to suit these products; informing me how to use them, whether to use them day or night, how much to use and how frequently.

My Personal Skin Care Prescription

The products marked in red are the products I have bought and intend to use from now on.

Cleanse

Tone

Exfoliate

Eye CareQVCseptember

Anti Pollution Detox

So, what now…?

Well, I plan on sticking to this skincare routine and on top of that I’ve booked myself in at TIME to be ME for one of their Elemis Facials designed to suit my skin’s needs. Time will tell…

If nothing else, it gives me the perfect excuse for a well deserved bit of ‘me’ time; some time to self indulge, pamper and replenish, which is perhaps the best recipe for good skin there can possibly be!

TIME to be ME in PetersfieldWatch out for my skin updates in the next few weeks, where I’ll be posting photos to see if any visible differences can be seen. I’m also going to book a follow on analysis with the SkinLab when it next comes to TIME to be ME, in order to see whether any of the skin problems have got better and it would be quite nice to see some of those numbers go down!

The Elemis SkinLab is only available at TIME to be ME at select times throughout the year, so it’s always worth phoning ahead and finding out when the next sessions will be. You can contact them on 01730 260260 or e-mail info@timetobeme.co.uk.

I’m also interested to hear about your good skin tips, whether it be your home made face pack recipes, or products you simply couldn’t live without, email us at info@artofhealthyliving.com, leave us a comment on the Art of Healthy Living Facebook page or send us a Tweet.