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Elemis Skin Lab at Edinburgh's Womankind beauty salon

Your skin. What lies beneath. Fancy finding out? It could be sun damage. Yikes. Or dehydration? Eek. Even wrinkles. Waah. Or maybe, it's not as bad as you think. But you could be wondering, why bother finding out in the first place? Well, then how do you know that you're using the right products? If you know more about your skin in-depth, then you can use products to specifically target what your skin needs. After all, what's the point in putting on the wrong skincare products? That's just a waste of time and money. 

Elemis Skin Lab at Edinburgh's Womankind beauty salon
And if you fancy the chance to see beyond the skin's surface, and learning more about your skin, like what type it is, where it needs some TLC and where it's doing just fine, then the Elemis Skin Lab is just the ticket. It's what's I recently had it done at Edinburgh's Womankind salon in the Stockbridge area. The lovely Jen Finestone, seen here above, is an account development executive for Elemis and travels around the country doing just this.
Elemis Skin Lab at Edinburgh's Womankind beauty salon
The Skin Lab is what's called lifestyle consultation and Elemis has been doing it for six years and in the past year, the brand have introduced the spanking new Reveal Machine. It's sort of looks like something from an opticians. Putting your chin of the blue plastic rest, then closing your eyes, it takes two pictures, one is just a plain old picture and the second uses UV light to analyse skin and show things such as sun damage. Jen says,

"The way it works is the machine takes a reading of the skin and the computer then analyses it. It's done by using photographs, and gives the client an idea of the state of the skin. It works almost like giving a skin care prescription, so I talk through the images, what these mean and how to tackle anything it throws up and anything that will benefit skin right now. And it can also be used to recommend the facials. You can have it done as often as you like, and it's good to do at any time of year. But it's also useful if you're looking to make sure your skin is coping with the changing seasons. And the machine works through makeup so you don't even have to take it off."
The machine measures your skin in six different categories: spots, wrinkles, texture (this includes dehydration and oiliness), pores, UV damage and brown spots, and circulation. After the images, there's a short questionnaire about your general health, any specific issues and then it's time for my report card - seen here below:
Elemis Skin Lab at Edinburgh's Womankind beauty salon
So let's explain picture by picture. First up, the spot analysis and it doesn't mean simply spots but really any surface marks on the skin. It takes into account any blemishes, but can also includes things like freckles, moles, basically any darker pigment in the skin. Or it can even be pollution that has settled on the skin. The wrinkle images is really about fine lines. In my case there are some fine lines towards the corner of my eyes (pesky laughter) and on the nose area. This suggests my skin is dehydrated. The big long green one (which made me grimace initially) Jen explains is actually because I had been smiling when the picture was taken. If you relax your face then this could be avoided. The picture with Texture underneath shows where your skin is dehydrated (blue spots) and oily (yellow spots) and this is where the Skin Lab comes into its own for me. That's because all my life I've been buying products for combination skin but as it turns out, that's really not the case. According to the analysis, it shows my skin is pretty well balanced and normal, perhaps borderline combination around my nose. This basically means that I have been buying the wrong products.  And where I'm prone to spots, there is not really underlying problems there, therefore stress could be behind them. Poor circulation is what is being analyed in the red areas image and would show up red. So with little sign of that in this picture, it's not a skin concern for me at the moment. Freckles and moles show up in the brown spots picture while the yellow dots are UV exposure. Clearly I've got some on my nose, but although it makes me yelp, Jen assures me this isn't really too bad. Better yet, this UV damage is repairable. And finally, pore analysis shows up I ought to work on smoothing skin.
So what did we find? Well, as much as it looks like something out of petri dish, my skin is actually not too bad a nick. There's not really any sun damage or redness. But the one thing I need to tackle is skin repair from stress levels and rehydration. The revelation for me, however, is the fact I've been choosing the wrong skin category. And all this info in just 15 minutes. Now you may think that a high tech treatment like this will set you back but it's really affordable at just £15. Or you can pair the Skin Lab Consultation and 25 minute Express Facial for £45, which is redeemable against Elemis products. For me, Jen recommends the Modern Skin Facial, this is an anti-oxidant facial and is perfect for combating stress levels, break-outs and city living and it definitely brightened up my skin. The Skin Lab also gives you a printout of recommended products, which for me are:
Daily Products-
Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser
Soothing Apricot Toner
SOS Emergency Cream
Pro Collagen Marine Cream
Pro Collagen Advanced Eye treatment
And weekly or bi-weekly products:
Gentle Rose exfoliator
Herbal Lavender Repair Mask
The Elemis Skin Lab is available via Elemis Spas and certain Elemis counters. And to find out when Jen will next be in Womankind, contact the salon on 0131 343 6262, it's really worth doing. The Stockbridge-based salon also has some great special offers so it's worth getting in touch with them and finding out. For instance, this week it's taking part in the Stockbridge festival, Stockfest, and currently there are great daily deals including nail services and Hi Browz so pop into the salon for more info.
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Sarah Tolan is the founder and editor of Scottish Beauty Blog, Miss Nifty and Kate's Wardrobe. Learn more about her here and connect with her on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.