Your smart­phone can or­der your lunch and book a flight. But is your skin­care keep­ing up? Anita Quade ex­plores the world of beauty tech­nol­ogy

Friday - - Contents -

DIY skin­care is get­ting hi-tech.

Gone are the days of ba­sic DIY beauty – when an at-home makeover meant heat­ing up su­per­mar­ket-bought wax strips in the mi­crowave for hair-free skin, beauty masks were made with the con­tents of your fridge and teeth whiten­ing came on a strip. It was ba­sic beauty main­te­nance, but if you wanted salon-wor­thy re­sults, then your only op­tion was to in­vest in a trip to the beau­ti­cian.

That’s chang­ing: To­day, at home-beauty tech prom­ises the re­sults of a salon ser­vice in the pri­vacy of your home with lit­tle fuss and – best of all – purse-friendly so­lu­tions.

The place to start when it comes to get­ting a lu­mi­nous glow is not with make-up tricks, but the con­di­tion of your skin. The tex­ture and tone changes daily thanks to a bar­rage of en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors, air con­di­tion­ing and, es­pe­cially here in the Mid­dle East, the sun’s rays. Skin also changes con­stantly, thanks to a mix­ture of diet and life­style, so you need to keep an eye on its con­di­tion and adapt your beauty game to suit.

In the past, a trip to the der­ma­tol­o­gist un­der the gaze of bright lights and a mag­ni­fy­ing de­vice would get you the an­swers on how best to take care of your skin, along with a pre­scrip­tion of prod­ucts re­quired. But what if you could have your own 24/7 per­sonal skin con­sul­tant on hand? You can: There’s a smart de­vice that makes judg­ing your skin’s con­di­tion as sim­ple as look­ing in a mir­ror.

The HiMir­ror can tell you ev­ery­thing from the time of day to the tex­ture of your skin and whether your beauty ar­se­nal is work­ing. The mir­ror, which took three years of re­search to de­velop, was cre­ated by Si­mon Shen, who says he de­signed it to rev­o­lu­tionise women’s beauty rou­tines us­ing the world’s first smart gad­get beauty prod­uct. It was named a CES 2017 In­no­va­tion Awards Hon­oree in the Smart Home prod­uct cat­e­gory.

‘When peo­ple ask where HiMir­ror came from, I usu­ally say I came up with it be­cause my wife, Amanda, is a Virgo, a sign known for con­stantly striv­ing for per­fec­tion,’ he says.

‘I watched Amanda as she went about her skin­care rou­tine. It oc­curred to me that she usu­ally spends around 10 min­utes in front of the mir­ror, choos­ing from myr­iad ex­pen­sive skin­care and cos­metic prod­ucts; many of them ap­pear rarely used.

‘What you see to­day is the re­sult – the first mir­ror in the world that helps you an­a­lyse your skin and track your skin­care prod­ucts and their ef­fec­tive­ness through a handy re­port.’

The touch-free de­sign is a hu­mid­i­tyre­sis­tant tablet with an HD cam­era that runs on An­droid, can be in­stalled in your bath­room and of­fers an anal­y­sis of your skin by sim­ply tak­ing a make-up free pic­ture (you can in­ter­act us­ing voice com­mands). It will give you a re­port to eval­u­ate firm­ness, bright­ness and health and track skin flaws such as sun dam­age, en­larged pores and de­hy­dra­tion.

The im­age is an­a­lysed and feed­back is given via an app on how to best use your cur­rent skin­care prod­ucts, along with help­ful tu­to­ri­als and tips from der­ma­tol­o­gists. It also stores pic­tures so you can eas­ily track your skin’s progress.

There is also the HiMir­ror Plus ver­sion that of­fers more pho­to­graph stor­age space and up to five dif­fer­ent light set­tings, from a brightly lit of­fice to sun­set, so you can be sure your make-up looks great in all light­ing. This WiFi-con­nected de­vice can also dis­play the lo­cal weather and even play Spo­tify.

Once you know your skin’s con­di­tion, it’s time to start boost­ing your rou­tine. Achiev­ing flaw­less skin starts with a great can­vas. It doesn’t mat­ter if you have all the lat­est serums and mois­turis­ers – with­out a great base, the prod­ucts won’t be ef­fec­tive. This is where Clar­isonic has be­come a leader in the mar­ket since it launched in 2004. The hand-held de­vice prom­ises to change your cleans­ing rou­tine in the swirl of a brush. The range has a brush head to suit ev­ery skin type, even the most sen­si­tive, and uses a

sonic fre­quency of over 300 ro­ta­tions per sec­ond to clean skin, re­move make-up, ex­cess oil and re­duce pore size. Best of all, it re­quires only 60 sec­onds of your time to get fast re­sults that will leave you with a smoother, clearer com­plex­ion.

Re­search shows that it leaves skin six times cleaner than skin washed with hands, so you are guar­an­teed squeaky clean skin. The recharge­able de­sign has be­come a musthave for celebri­ties, in­clud­ing Hol­ly­wood golden girl Naomi Watts, who ad­mits she uses it once a week to get flaw­less skin, and singer Fergie who loves the ‘clean and smooth fin­ish’ it of­fers when she uses it daily. Given that it is wa­ter­proof, this de­vice is per­fect for use un­der the shower – sim­ply

What if you could have your own 24/7 per­sonal SKIN con­sul­tant on hand? You can: There’s a SMART de­vice that makes judg­ing your skin’s con­di­tion as sim­ple as look­ing in a MIR­ROR

add your cleanser and get to work. A gen­tle wash of the brush head should see it last for up to three months be­fore a re­place­ment is re­quired. While this de­vice wins plenty of rave re­views, some users have re­ported that it can ir­ri­tate skin, so it’s best to start off with a once-a-week treat­ment and build up de­pend­ing on your skin’s sen­si­tiv­ity and whether you suf­fer from any con­di­tions such as acne.

An­other cleans­ing win­ner on the mar­ket, while small size, de­liv­ers big on in­no­va­tion. The Luna 2 is a com­pact cleans­ing de­vice that utilises 8,000 pul­sa­tions per minute, which are chan­nelled through sil­i­con touch points with a tap­ping-like move­ment, to avoid pulling the skin. Swedish com­pany Foreo launched it in 2013 and claims that the sil­i­con tech­nol­ogy means it is up to 35 times more hy­gienic than ny­lon-bris­tled al­ter­na­tives.

The two-minute daily rou­tine ex­fo­li­ates dead skin cells and prom­ises to re­move up to 99.5 per cent of dirt and oil to help with the ab­sorp­tion of your favourite skin­care prod­ucts. On the re­verse, it also has an anti-age­ing side that of­fers re­duced fre­quency to gen­tly ban­ish fine lines and re­veal ra­di­ant skin.

Boost­ing the skin’s ra­di­ance with beams of light used to be re­stricted to salon vis­its, but in­no­va­tions such as the Tria Age-De­fy­ing Laser are mak­ing pro­fes­sional skin­care tech­nol­ogy avail­able with­out step­ping foot out­side the home.

This hand-held de­vice aims to kick-start col­la­gen pro­duc­tion and plump up skin with just 12 weeks of use. The frac­tional, non­ab­la­tive laser uses tar­geted beams of light to work below the skin’s sur­face to ac­cel­er­ate col­la­gen and elastin pro­duc­tion. The laser has ad­justable set­tings for those with sen­si­tive skin and is sim­ple and quick to use. The de­vice is placed on clean skin and glided over the tar­get area, in­clud­ing cheeks, chin and fore­head and will beep when the treat­ment for the area is com­plete. It can take up to eight weeks to see re­sults and feels like a warm pin-prick on the skin. It’s best to try this in the evening as skin may be slightly red (and to di­min­ish the chance of sun ex­po­sure af­ter treat­ment).

Tria’s in­no­va­tive de­vices also ex­tend to laser hair re­moval with the Tria Pre­ci­sion. This gad­get means an end to wax­ing and monthly vis­its to the salon – of­fer­ing a cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion to un­wanted hair. It’s suitable for face, un­der­arms and bikini line, and uses diode lasers to send light beam im­pulses di­rectly through the skin to dis­able hair fol­li­cles and per­ma­nently re­duce hair growth. Treat­ments need to be done ev­ery two weeks, for three months, to see re­sults.

A se­cret of youth­ful looks is pearly white teeth – but in-house whiten­ing den­tal treat­ments can cost up­wards of Dh2,000 per visit. Celebrity den­tist Dr Apa, who has pri­vate prac­tices in New York and Dubai and who counts among his clients Vera Wang and Lea Michele, re­cently launched what is re­ferred to as ‘the Fer­rari of tooth­brushes’. While some stud­ies have sug­gested elec­tric tooth­brushes can be harsh on enamel, Dr Apa’s in­no­va­tion of­fers ad­justable vi­bra­tion modes to pre­vent enamel abra­sion, but still of­fers a com­plete clean thanks to its 40,000 vi­bra­tions per minute and three unique clean modes.

‘I de­signed the Apa tooth­brush to be both sim­ple and ef­fec­tive, yet aes­thet­i­cally ap­peal­ing. The bris­tles are firm and gen­tle, ad­min­is­ter­ing enough power to clean, whiten and mas­sage teeth and gums all in one,’ he says. It can be used with the Apa White Duo, Tooth Gloss and Blue Lip Shine prod­ucts.

Naomi Watts and Fergie put their flaw­less skin down to a rechar­gable brush that uses sonic fre­quency

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