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Your smartphone and your skin

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Our smartphones are starting to play ever more important roles in our health beyond just fitness tracking. Now, they may help monitor our skin health.

Photo by SHTTEFAN on Unsplash


Our skin is the bodies largest organ and it can tell us many things about our overall health, so we take measures to protect it. Moisturizing in winter and sun block in summer. Then there’s melanomas of varying degrees, skin tags that can be annoying and dangerous, psoriasis and more. Whenever we’ve had a concern, we’ve gone to our doctor and sometimes been referred to a skin specialist. But what if our smartphones could give us a better heads up? Perhaps let us know when we need to be very concerned or when there are easier fixes?

Maybe our smartphone can also help with just good old beauty advice on dealing with blotches or texture? Marianna Naturals has just released a skin diagnostics tool that works from their website by scanning your face and using Artificial Intelligence to analyze your facial skin, either from your PC or your smartphone.

“It was important for us to create a truly interactive online-experience for our customers, who crave customization and personalization,” said Joel DeBellefeuille, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Marianna Naturals Corp. The goal of Marianna of course, is to sell their skincare products, but you can get some valuable insights along the way, even if you don’t buy their products.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, over 8,000 Canadians were diagnosed with melanomas in 2020 and of that 3,600 will be women with over 400 dying as a result. So the more we can use technology that’s in our own hands with trusted apps that can help us know when to seek help fast, the better.

But how does using artificial intelligence (AI), work? Right now, it’s about using the camera on your smartphone, be it an Android like Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone. You take a picture and it is sent to the app maker that does the scanning. They then compare your image to millions of others they have in a database. These companies develop a detection app based on certain skin conditions. The AI they use is what’s called Machine Learning (ML), where they have worked with a number of cancer specialists who have helped train the AI software to deliver a preliminary diagnosis.

It is important to note that while our smartphones can play a critical role in helping to diagnose skin conditions, the final diagnosis still needs to be done through final testing such as biopsies and other lab-based tests. 

Some other apps use your smartphone to help diagnose or check up on more beauty oriented conditions, such as RYNKL, which helps you see how your wrinkle care regimen is working. Then there’s ThinkDirty (no, not that kind) which helps analyze any toxins in skincare products that may hurt you. Clever. Sunzapp will help you know when to reapply sun protection in the summer too.

As AI gets better and our smartphones continue to evolve, we’ll see more and more apps that will help diagnose skin conditions, eyesight issues and more.

More Insights: Check out these great tips for skincare in 2021!

Author: Alexa Hurst is a staff writer for HUM@Nmedia, the parent brand for Optimyz and Silver Magazines based in Halifax.


  • Alex Hurst is a writer for HUM@Nmedia covering Optimyz and Silver magazines in print and digital editions and is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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