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April 13, 2007

CSI Miami: Solve Your Beauty Crimes

series of photos of a model with different facial expressions

Photo Credit: Sheryl Nields

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When Sephora unveiled its Skinphysical diagnostic machine in select stores late last summer, it did so "to demonstrate that knowledge is power," says Sephora's education development manager Laura Filancia. Developed in conjunction with Klinger Advanced Aesthetics (Georgette Klinger created the world's first "medical facial") and tested for safety and efficacy at Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Skinphysical uses visual imaging and sensors to show what the naked eye can't see: your skin with every bit of sun damage, spotting, and loss of hydration and elasticity accumulated through your life. Scary? You bet, though most people are galvanized by the findings, says Filancia: "The reaction young women have, particularly to seeing the damage UV has done, results in an immediate call to action to step up protection." Nu Skin and Olay will be introducing similar skin analysis systems by this spring. Of course, sun isn't the only culprit, cautions Filancia: "Central AC, heat, and computer screens sap the moisture right out of your face." While the Skinphysical is free, Sephora is stocked with creams, serums, and sunscreens you'll likely be shocked into buying. Though Filancia won't play favorites, she doesn't deny that dermatologists' brands are buying up more and more aisle space at Sephora, from N.V. Perricone's eponymous line to Dr. Dennis Gross's MD Formulations, to Murad and Cosmedicine.
Expectations about skin creams are climbing, explains Perricone, a Connecticut-based skin doctor who calls his products "cosmeceuticals": "Women are demanding powerful topical treatments that rival more invasive dermatologic and plastic-surgery procedures."

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