Phone Apps Play Dermatologist and Beauty Consultant

There are a host of apps out in cyberspace for almost any purpose. Innovative beauty brands are offering more specialized apps to pinpoint such needs as letting you virtually try on makeup products to see the result before you commit to buy and letting app-users talk directly to skincare experts.

“Apps in the skin-care category are just scratching the surface of what’s possible,” said Daniel Joseph, a founder of the App Business, a London-based software company, to the New York Times.


Take the L’Oreal Paris Color Genius, which helps users coordinate makeup with outfits by taking a photo of themselves and then deciding whether to Match, Blend or Clash it. Meanwhile, InStyle magazine’s Hairstyle Try-On lets you try on celeb coifs, like Heidi Klum’s or Jennifer Aniston’s, for fun.

More practical apps, like the Coppertone MyUVAlert, supplies consumers with localized, real time UVA and UVB information, sunscreen reapplication reminders, coupons and sun protection tips.

If you’re concerned about a pesky mole, Dr. Bobby Buka’s SpotCheck, is just one of several board-certified dermatologists available to review your photo submission, who responds within 24 hours to tell you if your mole looks atypical. (The app is free to download. Submitting a photo for review costs $4.99.) Of the 6,000 downloads, 4,000 photos were submitted. Seventy percent were atypical, or precancerous, and needed a second look, according to the company.

“ ‘Do I need to get this checked out?’ is the initial question that can keep patients away” from a traditional doctor, Dr. Buka said. “The average wait to see a dermatologist in the United States is 38 days. When your window for catching a melanoma early is very small, 38 days can be a matter of life or death.”

San Francisco-based My Own App uses facial-recognition technology to track 50 points on your face, the app assesses signs of aging by the number of fine lines, deep-set wrinkles, percentage of pigment and number of age spots. Those numbers are then compared to others in your age group.

If you just want to have something fun and worry-free to keep you entertained, apps like Beauty Booth let you magically erase acne, scars and dark circles from an uploaded photo, while Makeup Touch lets you “paint” your face and add quirky accessories like gemstones and sunglasses to your made up face.

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