11th October, 2021
So the very foundation of Myrror app is incredibly simple. It is a way of tracking beauty product effectiveness. It is taking regular photos of your skin, hair, teeth, whatever. Then comparing those images over time to see if you are getting the beauty changes you are looking for. One big thing for us is that there are no filters, no fancy lighting, no specific poses which then give the illusion of change. These are raw, factual beauty tracking results which are completely under the control of the lucky Myrror app user. It is you.
But can images taken on a smart phone really be accurate enough for tracking beauty product effectiveness?
There are now studies that have proved that consumers should be using their smart phones for tracking beauty product effectiveness. Essentially – keep taking those ‘selfies’! It is scientifically proven! (Did you know that Selfie is now in the Oxford Dictionary?! I was today years old when I learned that!!)
A 2021 study found that images taken via a smartphone were as effective in the visualisation of progress, as an Antera 3D CS camera when tracking skin changes over a 4 week period.
But why should we track images ourselves, surely beauty brands give us all of the facts and evidence we need?
It may surprise you to know that many beauty products are unregulated. This is primarily due to the fact that, to be recognised as a drug, products need to fundamentally change the function or structure of an organ. In the case of beauty this is primarily the skin. Therefore, as beauty products aim to change the ‘appearance’ of the skin, marketing firms will stick in some fancy terminology to make us think these things are special. This is summarised in a fantastic article in Health Line. Let’s look at some examples:
- ‘Decreases the appearance of fine lines’. Decrease is a transient, time limited term. Generally these products will just add hydration, AKA water, to plump the skin – temporarily decreasing the appearance of fine lines.
- ‘Instant results’. As explained above, any product can achieve these fairly easily with a boost of moisture to plump the skin.
- ‘Firming’ – How is this measured? What is your definition of ‘firmness’? This is very subjective and therefore easy to say, as the measurement doesn’t have a metric to prove it otherwise. We are yet to have a ‘firmness measurement’.
- ‘Maximum Strength’ – Sounds fantastic right? Yeh well what this generally means is that there is just a higher concentration of the active ingredient compared to the normal, recommended dose. More does not always mean better. More just generally means more expensive …
- ‘Anti-Aging’ – again here, read ‘decreases the appearance of fine lines’. If something was truly anti-aging a consumer would see a permanent and measurable reversal. If this really was the case then it would require approval as though it was a medical grade drug. If the product is not a prescribed medical grade treatment then you are probably just getting a temporary moisture boost.
So how do we as consumers get around this marketing mind f**k. Well let’s go back to the start of this blog – use your beautiful smart phone and track it yourself. Selfie away my friends!! The same author of this report recommended that one of the most valuable things that a beauty company can do is to share ‘visually accurate’ (read this as unfiltered and no fancy lighting) before and after images. Especially where consumers have used their product consistently for 6 months. This is particularly relevant for collagen products or those claiming to improve skin complexion.
This recommendation really does epitomise the phrase ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’. Consumers need to know a product works by actually seeing the results.