As much as I talk about sunscreen on this blog, I haven’t always been so sun aware. I distinctly remember my mom slathering me with sunscreen when I was trying to play in the backyard or at the beach as a kid. In high school I would occasionally lay out in our back yard to get some color, though I was afraid of turning red and usually still wore SPF 15. In college I decided that the reason I had never been tan not because of my pale Irish skin but because of the sunscreen. So, for one summer I worshipped the sun with my roommate and without sunscreen. I finally was “tan” with the aide of sunless tanner. I have regretted that summer for years, and while I have good skin now I’d like to stay that way!
So, I took advantage of the complimentary photo-imaging analysis available at Calidora. They have quite a few locations, so check them out, there might be one near you!
Anyways, it was quite and painless and was quite a bit like the image above (not me, that’s from their website). You put your head inside of the white box pictured on the left and a high tech camera takes a picture of the left side of your face (the “drivers side” that gets more sun exposure and therefore usually is worse than the right).
From that single image they can do a huge amount of analysis! First I saw a greatly magnified image of my face, then a UV filter that showed the “hidden damage” and even an image that aged me by 10 years! The software even analyzed my face for wrinkles, pore size, brown spots and smoothness of skin. That info was given to me as a comparable number against other females my age and skin type.
I’m proud to say that I did not have a single wrinkle, therefore I was in the 99th percentile, but my freckles dropped me down to 76th percentile for spots, pores had me at 60 and my texture was a disappointing 51. When I aged by 10 years I stayed wrinkle free but I did become one giant freckle, which really was rather alarming. They did tell me which treatments would help my issues (microdermabrasion for the texture and pore issues, a series of 5 laser treatments for the freckles/spotting), but there was absolutely no pressure to sign up for anything. I’m not quite ready to start lasering and having microdermabrasion treatments, but in a few years I might be. In the meantime seeing that image of me in 10 years was definitely enough to keep me slathering on high SPF sunscreen!
As an aside, in the past few days I have seen commercials from Coppertone promoting their DermaPhoto Booth, which does similar UV analysis. If you’re interested the booth is on tour across the US, but the dates are very limited so I would show up early or check out a local skin clinic for analysis instead.