At our Surrey skincare clinic, our consultations always include two important measurements for treatment success: the Vectra Image and the VISIA® scan for sun damage. Here, we’ll explain the VISIA® Complexion Analysis System.
This facial analysis software uses both cross-polarized and UV photography to make a digital map of your skin. It gives us a data-based view of your skin’s true condition, both above and beneath its surface. It also reveals your skin’s age, by measuring the amount of sun damage you have, in relation to other people of similar skin types. It’s very, ‘hello future,’ if you know what we mean!
The key to the usefulness of the VISIA® imaging technique is that it gives us quantifiable data on your facial features – especially under the skin where damage is not presently visible to the human eye. It then lets us track changes to your skin over time.
In short, when you have your skincare consultation at our clinic, we give you advice based on science.
Of course, we also use our skin expertise to examine your visible skin features. But if we only did that, we wouldn’t be able to see the prevention measures we should be taking to help your skin, before it gets worse.
Are skin imaging scans just a gimmick to get you to buy expensive products?
No! We’ve heard that some people don’t like facial analysis scanners because they’re “depressing.” People also claim they’re used as some sort of trick to sell you expensive products.
Our response to that is this: the scans show facts. And, sometimes, the hard truths can propel us to make serious changes in our lifestyle routines. That’s a good thing!
For example, seeing your actual sun damage, which may be invisible to the naked eye, can show you how much you need to be wearing sunscreen everyday. Sun protection is no joke – whether motivated by beauty reasons or not.
Clients who come to our clinic already want to improve their skin’s condition. So, we’re going to use the best techniques we know of to do that. Your goals might be about anti-aging, clearing up acne, getting rid of hyperpigmentation, or even growing longer lashes. We have dozens of treatment options available to customize skin care for our clients. But, regardless of what we can offer, we want to know that what we’re advising is going to be effective for you in the long term.
Knowing what your skin needs starts by knowing what your current skin condition is. If we can use scientific technologies to figure that out better, then we will!
Even if you choose to never go outdoors, skincare is not going to be free. But, the good news is that there are many options available, at many price points, to give you the opportunity to improve your skin. You can do this at our Surrey skincare clinic, or not.
So, is skin imaging a scare tactic? Only if science scares you!
What can a VISIA® skin analysis reveal about your skin, that the naked eye can’t see?
Using specialized cameras, the VISIA® face scanner gives cosmeticians a ‘map’ of your facial features, based on how they react to light. While the naked eye can see deep wrinkles or obvious brown spots and redness, it can’t see everything. More especially, humans can’t see what’s happening in the very tiny, deep areas of your skin, beneath its surface. It’s often these underlying issues that develop into bigger beauty and health concerns later on. By catching them early, we can do what we can to prevent skin damage from progressing.
However, even if we could see all the damage in your skin without a UV camera, we’d still need a way to document the progress of cosmetic treatments. The VISIA® skin imaging software makes this very easy to do.
Below is a list of aging concerns that the VISIA® skin imaging technology can reveal and track:
Sun exposure, as we know, is a form of radiation that causes melanin in the skin to accumulate. Melanin is another word for skin pigment. Some people see these come through as freckles (even immediately upon sun exposure). Worse cases can morph into skin cancer.
The VISIA® camera is not meant to detect cancer, however. So, definitely don’t rely on it for that – see a doctor!
For cosmetic purposes, however, it can give us a visual representation of the sun damage just under your skin’s surface. This helps patients see how important good skin care regimes are.
As you age, your skin loses laxity. It happens to all of us. It can’t be stopped, but it can be slowed down, even if only temporarily. Knowing the depth, quantity and location of your wrinkles – especially the fine lines and natural creases – will help us map out where you need skin tightening or dermal injections.
These are essentially your skin’s circular openings to release sweat. Since they are like tiny holes in your skin, they create shadows that contrast with your natural skin tone. The camera and software in the VISIA® system can find and map these on your face. This helps us hone in on pore treatments in the right spots.
Porphyrins (skin bacteria leading to acne)
Porphyrins naturally occur in human bodies. But, too many can cause health issues. Symptoms that occur from porphyrins on the skin, specifically, are grouped as “cutaneous porphyria.”
Some people have a genetic skin condition that is more severely affected by bacteria from porphyrins. Redness, blisters, and skin that is very sensitive to the sun can be signs of porphyria. Extreme cases can result in pigmentation and scarring.
However, the VISIA® skin assessment tries to find the types of porphyrins that lead to acne, essentially. We use this to treat breakouts before they flare up. It also lets you see where you need to improve your daily pore cleaning habits.
Surface-level red and brown spots
Visible red and brown spots on the face can be from a variety of sources. Because of that, they have a host of possible solutions, depending on the case. Regardless of type, their distinct colour allows the VISIA® cameras to identify and track them. That way, we can see if treatments are working for you over time, or if you’re forming new pigmentation spots.
Brown spots forming beneath the skin
Though usually the cause of UV exposure over time, brown spots can appear due to melasma, old acne scars, or even medication side effects. As mentioned above, hyperpigmentation can be from a variety of sources. The good news is that we can spot the brown ones that are forming under the skin, before they’re obviously visible, thanks to the VISIA® imaging technology.
Redness and visible veins
Areas of general redness are more than just red spots. These skin tone nuisances can make you look flushed. When veins start to show, they also make you look older. Skin redness can be from common dermal conditions, like rosacea. However, redness and dark spider veins can also be from sun exposure causing blood vessels to break. The VISIA® skin analysis can show exactly where your redness is forming, for more precise treatment procedures.
Uneven skin texture
The VISIA® cameras don’t only scan for fine lines and wrinkles. They also analyze the general texture of your skin, as a plane of high and low areas. This gives us a digital view of your skin smoothness.
Skin texture gives your face its overall appearance of youthfulness or age. It contributes to the ‘glow’ (or lack thereof), that most people are after.
Knowing the formation of your skin can reveal simple solutions to get you looking your optimal best – regardless of age.
How does the VISIA® skin imaging software work? What makes it amazing?
As we’ve seen above, the VISIA® skin images help us see aspects of sun damage and aging that we can’t reach with our eyes alone. So, what’s behind the technology of a VISIA® skin complexion analysis? And, why this skin imaging technique, specifically?
Of course, it has the special software that puts together customized diagrams of your face. However, to make those facial maps possible, the system uses multiple types of cameras to capture your skin condition, all in one sitting. It also uses unique calculations to give you information about your skin health and age.
The VISIA® imaging features include:
RBX® Technology by Canfield Imaging Systems
The RBX® Technology reveals the red and brown chromophores (i.e. pigments) in the skin, based on their intensity. It shows where melanin and hemoglobin are building up, which are brown and red in colour, respectively.
Ideally, melanin and hemoglobin will be evenly distributed in the skin. If too much of either is being produced, this imaging technique can tell us where skin tone is becoming uneven.
You can read more about the RBX® technology here.
IntelliFlash® with cross-polarized and UV fluorescence lighting
Just like a flash or shutter on a traditional camera, the VISIA® skin analysis IntelliFlash® system also uses bursts of light to capture your facial data. It does this quickly, and in different modes to get different types of data.
For example, a cross-polarized flash, just like polarized sunglasses, takes out the glare that a ‘normal’ camera flash produces. But it still gives us good lighting, so we can see skin features clearly. The UV light flashes help us see sun damage under the skin. The system then stores the information and displays it on a computer screen for viewing.
Comparison To Norms percentiles
This is a patented, comparison technology to help measure your skin type and age. It uses a built-in database, based on thousands of skin samples (from dark to light, young to old). The system allows us to see how your skin fares, compared to others who are similar to you, for a general benchmark of skin health.
This technology is built into the VISIA® imaging system. It gives you a calculation of your skin’s age, to let you know if it’s where it should be at. If it’s younger, congrats, you’re on a roll! If it’s older, you’ll want to up your skin care game.
The calculation of skin age in this software is based on your probable, prolonged exposure to the sun (which is the basis for most signs of aging). This helps us select skin care that is best suited to your skin type and needs.
The VISIA® software allows us to simulate your aging process. It gives a glimpse as to where you’ll form wrinkles, spots or other signs of aging. Yes, kind of like that app…except more ‘science-ey.’
The VISIA® software can track the effectiveness of your eyelash growth treatments with numerical data. For example, if you are using Latisse® to grow thicker, longer and darker lashes, it can tell you if it’s working.
3D skin surface viewer
Using the 3D simulation viewer in the VISIA® system, we can get a close-up look of your skin’s surface. It gives us a computerized model, which we can view from different angles, too (on the 2D screen, of course!).
Other imaging features for advanced skin analysis
The VISIA® software also comes with the ability to zoom in to your skin zones in a chosen area. It tells you basic information, like your skin type, too.
How many facial scans will I undergo during treatments at your Surrey skincare clinic?
We use the VISIA® facial scan during your initial consult, to give you an unbiased analysis of your skin. This happens before your treatments begin.
During treatments, we usually rely on photographs to track changes. If you diligently stick to the regimen we recommend for you, we may also do a final VISIA® scan after treatments, to show you how effective they were.
What does a VISIA® skin analysis cost at your clinic?
When you book your initial consultation with us, we collect a fee that can be used towards treatments at our clinic afterwards. This fee includes both a VISIA® and Vectra imaging analysis, as well as a personal examination by a skincare beautician or doctor.
This consultation, however, does not apply to minor skin treatments at our office, such as for microdermabrasion.
You are under no obligation to buy services from us after your consultation, nor after imaging sessions. However, we use the scientific data provided by the software to be able advise you on treatment paths we think will work on you, for the condition you want to treat.
Of course, the skin complexion analysis is not the only information we use to come up with treatment recommendations for you. We also learn about your health history, and ask questions to determine your budget, tolerance for discomfort, time allowances and other factors. These must all be weighed against each other to come up with a balanced, appropriate solution for you, personally.
Pricing can change at any time.
Results can vary from person to person, and are not guaranteed.