I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
There is nothing better than a shopping experience that comes with a little education.
I made a trip over to the SoHo outpost of the SK-II Pop-Up Studio last week, and it was great to say the least. For the next few weeks, you can, too, to see what's good with their new technology, the SK-II Beauty Imaging System. If you have never had your skin digitally analyzed, you are missing out, and it is free to boot!
My consultation was led by Brooke, who was enthusiastic about explaining all of the different points of the results of my face analysis. I was nervous that with such a high-end line, the recs would be pricey at best and pushy at worst, but I felt comfortable not buying anything on the spot, and enlightened about some new products and ingredients.
I've had my face digitally analyzed before, and the results shocked me. During the skincare portion of beauty school, we had this service performed by Dermalogica while learning about skin science; it changed what I thought I knew about keeping my skin "clean" and "clear" as well as my attitudes about sun protection. I tweaked portions of my routine to reflect what I learned, but it has been quite a few years since that first analysis, and I was nervous to see what the results would be this time.
The first time around, I had a large swath of sun damaged skin on my cheeks and nose. This time? Massive improvement, which I suspect is due to my vitamin C serum usage. The last time, at age 22, I was told I had a 32-year-old woman's sun damage. This time, I scored a 24, and I am currently 27. Wahoo! The imaging system also allows you to get re-checked to track your improvement, which is pretty awesome.
In addition to sun damage, SK-II considers a few other areas of focus in their approach to skin. The following criteria are analyzed: Texture Refinement, Firmness Power, Wrinkle Resilience, and Radiance Enhancement.
In these categories, my "skin age" varied in the early 30s, meaning not "youthful" but not "mature" (aka a grown-ass adult). Overall, I scored a 30. Not too shabby, though I can easily remedy this with moisture.
Both Brooke and my last aesthetician told me that my skin is (still!) dehydrated, though oily, and with a moisture intervention, I have years of texture, firmness, fewer wrinkles, and radiance to look forward to. Brooke's analysis confirmed the opinion of my facialist, so snaps for that.
I am not intimidated by aging, nor do I seek to prevent it; I just know that having great skin takes knowledge and a little bit of ring-finger grease, and that products help, not cure. The SK-II line is considered a luxury brand, and is priced as such, but those who have heard of it don't simply dabble; they pray at the altar, which is a clue as to how well the cult says they perform.
We've talked about SK-II's prestigious masks before, but I never quite understood what made the line so special, and more importantly, so expensive. SK-II's premier secret ingredient is a liquid called pitera. Pitera was discovered by scientists looking for wrinkle solutions, when they stumbled upon the gloriously smooth hands of elderly sake brewers. This liquid--a nutritious fermented liquid with high levels of vitamins, amino acids and minerals--is considered by devotees to be a now-essential part of their routine, as it is found in all of SK-II's products.
If you are in San Francisco or New York City, drop in the studio and receive the complimentary service. It's fabulous and informative, and comes with a deluxe sample. Can't really beat that! It's going on until May 24th, so hop to it!
Don't shed a tear if you do not live in one of these cities; I have on good authority that you have until the 24th to hit your local SK-II retailer (most Sephora or Nordstrom stores) to receive the same service! Hashtag blessed.
Photos by Darnell Scott