One of my favorite beauty blogs, Birchbox, shared a tip about a new skincare forum that’s plugged into Facebook and Twitter, as well as numerous online retailers – allowing users to interact, make suggestions and shop all in one place. The site also has an iPhone app that’s free to use and download. From the creators of mySkin: “In a world of hype, marketing, and hyper advertising and ‘experts’ who may push you products, join us here and take a look at products, routine, and advice from an unbiased approach.”
Intensive Five-step Assessment
I signed up with Facebook, so the registration form was pre-filled with my birth year and gender, and I completed it with my country, ethnicity and ZIP code. In the second step, I indicated my skin type specifics, including my skin’s reaction to sun exposure and product sensitivity. There are three sliding color scales in this step to pinpoint skin tone, eye and natural hair colors.
Rather than asking if you are “acne-prone” this assessment clarifies what types of acne you experience specifically (acne, blackheads/whiteheads or enlarged pores). Since the system recommends both facial and body skincare products, you’ll also note body conditions that concern you such as cellulite, rashes, stretch marks, and skin allergies. There’s a place to note other skin conditions, typically treated by a dermatologist like eczema, melisma, psoriasis and rosacea. Signs of aging, both big and small, have a place on the assessment too.
You can further streamline your product suggestions by setting your preferences on ingredients, packaging and production.
As you know, there’s more to your skin’s condition than the products you use. With a brief explanation why, mySkin explores
– Your medical history
– Details about your parents’ skin
– Your sleep, stress and physical activity levels
– Your diet and consumption of hormones (hormone therapy and birth control pill use), supplements, caffeine and liquids
– Particular life milestones and changes
Profile, Shelf & Routines
Your skin type, coloring and concerns are fed into your profile automatically. From there, you can select items for your shelf and review products you’ve tried to help others. The review form is very user-friendly and allows you to comment on characteristics like scent, texture, absorption, residue, rinsability, irritation and effectiveness. You can suggest a product if a favorite item is missing from the mySkin database. You can build routines to feature and share with the complete collections you use on your face and body – you can create multiple collections based on your AM/PM regimens, seasonal changes, etc.
If you have a skin issue or question, you can post it in the “Ask” area, which is keyword-tagged for easy browsability. I inquired: “I have been ‘reactive’ to virtually anything and everything lately. Is there a cleanser and moisturizer that I can use to neutralize and detox for a while before going back to my typical skincare regimen?”
By the next day, Crystal, my SkinTwin of 70% (she has brown hair, I have blonde, and I classify my skin as “combination” whereas she considers hers “normal”) posted a detailed response with a product suggestion I’ve never tried before. “Earth Science Skincare worked for me. I usually get it at Whole Foods and it’s pretty inexpensive. It stopped the flareups pretty quickly and my skin has been normal since.”
There are more than 100 stores represented in the mySkin database where you can search for products by punching in a keyword, condition or brand name, and then compare for the best price before buying. If you aren’t ready to buy right then, save it to your Wish List.
Your profile details generate a personalized skin report with fun facts and details about your skin based on your ethnicity, gender, genetics, sun effects and skin type. A “Buzz” area will help you stay abreast on new updates in skincare by streaming in posts from influential beauty bloggers.