The Top 4 Apps for Improving Your Skincare Routine

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These days, there’s an app for just about anything. With just the tap of our fingers we can order groceries, hitch a ride, or even learn a new language. With technology improving the ease and efficiency of just about every daily activity, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that there are apps to optimize your skincare routine as well.

The skincare market is growing faster than any other segment in the beauty industry. With sales of skincare products are up by 13% in the US last year, but make-up rising by a mere 1%, it’s clear that people are starting to care more about the health of their skin. However, skincare is a complicated and nuanced process. There is not one tried-and-tested routine that works for everyone, and anyone who’s ever struggled to resolve a skincare issue will tell you that finding a solution isn’t as simple as merely finding a dermatologist or buying a new face wash. Luckily, these four apps will make it a little easier to establish a skincare routine that works for you.

 Think Dirty

 Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients that make up your skincare products? If so, odds are you don’t even know what half of those words mean, nevermind what they do. Furthermore, most ingredient lists are so long and complex we don’t even bother to research their effects. Who has the time? Surely they wouldn’t be selling these products if they weren’t good for our skin, right?

Wrong. The harsh reality is that so many popular products on the market are filled with harmful and toxic chemicals that are doing the exact opposite of their supposed intention. Even products that claim to be “natural” or “organic” could potentially include ingredients that are detrimental to not just our skin, but our health too. The side effects of some common ingredients can range from dry skin and breakouts to more serious results like infertility and cancer. Luckily, an app called Think Dirty is here to save the day.

Think Dirty gives users an easy way to learn about the potentially toxic chemicals in everyday skincare and cosmetic products. Simply scan the product barcode with your phone and the app will pull up easily understandable information about the product that outlines the toxic chemicals and provides cleaner alternatives to shop instead. The unbiased rating scales gives products a numerical rating out of 10 that indicates it’s toxicity, and explains the long term effects in detail so you can stay informed.

Founder Lily Tse was inspired to create the app after watching Annie Leonard’s “Story of Cosmetics”, which documents the pervasive and relatively unknown use of toxic chemicals in everyday products. Shocked at the lack of transparency in the cosmetic and skincare labels, and disturbed at how difficult it was to find helpful information, Tse decided to start a consumer revolution. In 2012 the app was awarded the It’s a Start Competition Grand Prize by Digifest Toronto, and since it’s launch it has added over 1.4 million products and 4.5k brands to its database.

“There are hormone disruptor chemicals in many products that have been possibly linked to breast cancer. I was shocked the cosmetics industry was not regulated like the food and drug sectors. And like most women, my lipgloss and shampoo are products I would never think to describe as “toxic” or could contain cancer-causing chemicals,” wrote Tse on the app website.

According to Tse, Think Dirty is more than just an app; it’s about changing our mindsets and making more informed decisions for life.

 Face Yoga Face Exercises

 We all wish we could slow down the aging process without resorting to invasive and expensive techniques like botox or surgery. Well, turns out you can!  Your face is made up of 43 muscles which can be toned and slimmed just like the muscles in your body, and an app called Face Yoga Face Exercises will show you just how to do it.

Facial yoga is the daily practice of stretching the muscles in your face to boost circulation, smooth fine lines and tighten the skin over time. Designed to slow down the aging process, these exercises can keep your skin looking youthful and fresh, much like going to the gym to keeps your body fit and healthy.

Another benefit of facial yoga is that it focuses on relieving the tension in your face. Think about how often you’ve been engaged in a mindless activity, like watching TV or scrolling through Instagram, only to realize you’ve been frowning the whole time? Tensing the muscles in your face can cause wrinkles and headaches that may spread to your neck and shoulders. Committing to daily exercises that will aid the relaxation of your facial muscles will not only improve your skin, but your health too.

It’s important to note that facial yoga cannot replace traditional anti-aging methods like wearing sun protection and good nutrition, but can be combined together. The app is comprised of premium custom workouts that take just 5 minutes per day, with results promised after just one week. The app allows you to set objectives and target specific areas, whether you want to plump up your cheeks, reduce puffiness under the eyes or smooth forehead creases and lip lines. It features over 30 different exercises, and allows you to track your progress with a timelapse of daily photos.

UV Index Widget – WorldWide.

Anyone who cares about skincare known the number one rule: wear sunscreen. It’s not breaking news that the sun is damaging to our skin. UV rays penetrate our skin and cause a breakdown of collagen, which causes discoloration, dark spots, wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. It can also cause skin cancer, which is why we lather up in SPF when we go to the beach. However, wearing sunscreen should be a daily, year-round habit, not just in the summer months, because even on a cloudy or winter day, you are still extremely susceptible to the sun’s harsh rays.

According to studies, people under the age of 55 who regularly apply sunscreen have a 24% less chance of developing signs of premature aging. However, applying sunscreen in the morning isn’t enough. Most sunscreens are only effective for a couple of hours, and unless you’re willing to carry around a bottle all day and constantly reapply, you will still be exposing your skin to harmful UV rays.

Of course, the most effective way to protect your skin from sun damage is to stay out of the sun altogether; but obviously, that’s unrealistic. What you can do though, is avoid being out when the UV index is at its highest, and you can figure out when exactly that is with an app called UV Index Widget – WorldWide.

The UV index is affected by wind, clouds, wind, distance from the equator, and stratospheric components like ozone holes, so it will vary according to your location and the time of day. The app uses a scale developed by The US National Weather Service, which scores as follows:

  • 1-2: Low
  • 3-5: Moderate
  • 6-7: High
  • 8-9: Very High
  • 10-11: Extreme

The app allows you to add the UV Index widget to your Apple health app and receive notifications when the UV Radiation exceeds certain levels. There is also a “My Skin” section, where you can choose your skin type and receive personalized safety information and recommendations. Best of all, you can set a Sun Burn reminder, which will send you a notification when the risk of sunburn is high. Staying informed about your current UV index can help you decide whether it’s worth venturing out, and ensures you’re prepared if you do.

Cherie

With so many different skincare products on the market, it’s overwhelming trying to pick the best one. A company can boast about the supposed benefits of their product, but since their bottom line is making money, can we really believe them? What you can trust, however, are the opinions of real people who have actually used the product themselves. Enter Cherie, an online community where skincare and beauty fanatics can share their honest reviews of products so others can make an informed decision before purchasing.

As stated on their website, “We believe your next great discovery can come from anywhere—not just from those with the biggest followings, loudest voices, or most conventional looks.” Since Cherie users are real people with no financial interest in the products, their opinions are honest and unbiased. Statistically, 87% of consumers place as much trust in a product review as they do word-of-mouth. The app gives a platform for ordinary people to be heard, so you can engage with others and discover products you usually wouldn’t find.

One of the app’s features is called Cherie’s Skin Report technology, which helps users get personalized advice.  Simply snap a selfie and Cherie will analyze and grade your skin’s acne, wrinkles, pores, dark circles and dark spots. The app will then cross-reference it with the skin profile of users with similar skin problems and recommend products that worked for them. A user can also monitor their skin progress over time with their Skin Journey profile.

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