Boots No7 launches free derm-grade skin scan to rate your wrinkles, hydration, oil and pores

Ever feel like you don’t even know where to start when you’re shopping for skincare? Then you might be interested in a new, free service at Boots which scans your face with a derm-grade device to help figure out what your skin needs.

The No7 Pro Derm Scan is arriving on Wednesday 6th April at 429 Boots stores nationwide, and uses professional grade technology to assess your skin in different ways.

“It’s something that’s never been done before on the high street,” says Andreea Sabau, No7 global education specialist.

The service is live for booking now here, and even had Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman serving up their faces for scanning at its official launch.

So what’s involved? A hand-held scanner magnifies your skin by 30 times and also has a hydration sensor to measure moisture levels both below and on the surface of your skin. Your skin is then given scores out of five for wrinkles, hydration, oil and pores.

It’s part of a 20 minute consultation, led by a specially trained No7 advisor, who will take you through a questionnaire, note down your current regime, scan your skin and then issue product advice.

As well as being given skincare recommendations, your skin tone will also be analysed at two points – forehead and jawline – to create a digital recommendation of your ideal foundation and concealer shade.

While the recommendations are restricted to No7 products, there’s no obligation to buy any of them and if you do, there’s a four-week “love it or your money back” guarantee.

You can also check, for free, how well any new regime is working for you. “At the end of the consultation you will get a card with your scores so you can come back in future to see if your skin has improved,” says Andreea.

Our beauty director Lynne was granted a sneak preview of the technology ahead of its launch – here’s what she thought…

“I completely get the thinking behind the Pro Derm skin scan – who doesn’t want a bit of personal attention? The fact it’s being done on the high street does feel like another small step back to normality, which I can only rejoice at. We need beauty counters to feel like playgrounds again, not something to speed past for fear of what might be lurking in those lippy swatch samples.

“The scan doesn’t take long to do, and my inner beauty geek was delighted to gawk at the magnified images of pores etc. (Okay, they didn’t actually mean much to me but they do have that nerdy science experiment appeal.)

Boots is keen to stress that the scan is absolutely no substitute for seeing a dermatologist – while the technology is pro-grade, it would be irresponsible to suggest it could either diagnose or rule out serious skin conditions.

However that’s not to say the scan can't be useful. OK, full disclosure: mine gave a massive ego stroke with my wrinkle rating – thanks Botox! – but it did also give me pause for thought with a rock-bottom oil score.

That suggests my skin isn’t producing enough sebum (important for its basic function as a healthy barrier), which may explain why my face has become more reactive of late.

I’d say if you’re looking for no-pressure advice on affordable and proven skincare, it’s well worth booking in for a scan. And who doesn’t want to see their pores blown up to the size of caverns?

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