Could artificial intelligence be the secret to acne-free skin?


Then there are brands, like Curology, which use the expertise of medically trained providers (doctors, medical assistants), to create unique formulations that target rashes, fine lines and other skin problems. Likewise, there is Doctor, who employs medics to rate a makeup-free selfie and vanity shelf before shipping your skin prescription.

Machine learning is even used to improve the subscription box model. “We use data to connect customers to products that work and run high performing skincare routines that they never would have created on their own,” says Katrina Moreno Lewis, Founder and CEO of Kura skin, a quarterly subscription box that offers a complete, tailored routine – from cleanser to sunscreen – that starts at $ 99 or can be purchased all at once.

Quickly and effectively calming redness, melasma discoloration, and beating rashes with the help of technology sounds like a dream, but this data-driven trend raises important questions. First of all, can an at-home quiz really reveal the secret to healthier skin?

“Self-reported data has limits,” says Corey L. Hartman, MD, a certified dermatologist based in Birmingham, Alabama, explaining that the very language we use to describe our skin problems is subject to interpretation. “There aren’t a lot of parameters or specific criteria for some of these terms that we place a lot of credibility on.”

For example, he says the reason medical documents don’t use the terms “dry,” “oily,” or “combination” is because they mean different things to different people. “These are things we talk about in beauty spaces and marketing, but in terms of real science, there’s nothing related to that, so what does that really mean? “

Another question to consider is how our personal health data is stored and used. Margaret foster riley, privacy expert and law professor at the University of Virginia, raises some red flags about this growing trend. “Sometimes you’ll see companies claiming that they will never sell or use your data inappropriately, but what’s not clear is what happens in a succession context,” she says. , noting that your data might not be protected in the event of bankruptcy or acquisition (both common with startups).

Then there are potential long-term risks: “A lot of people [who willingly provide their data to companies] are young and healthy and don’t think about the impact this might have on health insurance or, even in some contexts, on employment, ”Riley adds. “They go out there ready to share it all, and then later they recognize that if things happen they may have an obligation to share it with a long term care company or a life insurance company and they didn’t think about it at the time. It gets more complicated when more in-depth testing is involved, a natural progression in the trend that we’re likely to see deepen.

Take Veracity Selfcare, the New York-based startup’s process begins with a $ 149 mail-in sputum test, but unlike genealogy companies like 23andMe that examine DNA, it checks for hormones – like estrogen and testosterone – and levels of pH. “Our test results give women real insight into the status of their hormones and offer solutions that will improve their skin health, skin care products and ingredients that they should use in diet recommendations and lifestyle solutions tailored to their unique biofactors, ”said the founder and CEO. Allie Egan.

Right now, the technology is aimed at women, but Egan says they plan to expand to men in the future. “We focus on women because we test for estrogen and progesterone, which are dominant female hormones, but the men took the test,” she says. “In the future, we will be able to provide more personalized information to men.”

For example, if Veracity’s test shows low levels of estrogen, which could mean a decrease in collagen production, then its algorithm would trick the website into recommending a collagen-boosting serum or something from its own range. products, like his Bioevolve Serum for $ 85 or Bioevolve moisturizer for $ 75.


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