a header image for skinsta project including mockups of the app rendered on an iPhone X.
skinsta - A Skin Analyzer App
June 2020
Problem Statement

There is no shortage of skincare products on the market making it difficult to narrow down which products to purchase when targeting certain skin issues.

Everyone’s skin is different so there’s no “one size fits all” for skincare products. This leads to wasting money on skincare products that aren't effective.


A mobile app that uses the camera on smartphones to assess skin issues and produces a list of products on the market that target those issues.

Role & Responsibilities
UI Design
UX Research
UX Design

skinsta is a mobile skincare app that curates a list of skincare products from a selfie taken by users. The camera on a smartphone is transformed into a microscope that assesses issues related to the skin. With the image taken, skinsta can curate a list of top-rated product recommendations that target specific skin needs.

There are two goals for the user
✪ Finding product recommendations based on skin issues
✪ Tracking the efficacy of skincare routine and/or products

Scope & Constraints

This app was for a class project, with the objective of designing an app that serves as a digital microscope.

Some of the cONSTRAINTS included
➣ A limited timeline, as this project was a part of a course, I only had 4 weeks
➣ Limited resources for research and testing
➣ Lack of in-person user testing due to COVID-19 pandemic

Competitor Research

A logo for Neutrogena's 360 skincare app

Neutrogena Skin360 is a mobile app that allows users to get an expert opinion on their skin by snapping a selfie.

✪ tracks skin changes over time
✪ does a scan of skin
✪ provides a personalized skin routine with a skin coach

A logo for the SkinDiary app

Skincare Routine Diary: MyFace is an app that helps users keep track of their skin journey. The app gives users recommendations on how to improve their skin condition.

✪ serves as a skin diary
✪ tracks skin routine
✪ creates a personalized skincare routine

A logo for the ClearFace app

ClearFace is an app that utilizes AI to help users understand the state of their skin.

✪ does "scientific" scan of skin
✪ pinpoints issues in skin

From the reviews of these apps in the app store, I was able to figure out what users liked and disliked about each:
From the research, I was able to confirm some of the features I wanted to include
❁ Scan the skin to pinpoint present skin issues
❁ Curate a list of products that target the skin issues present
❁ Track skincare routine to measure progress in skin health



I was able to get some user feedback on the high fidelity mockups I created. My goal was to understand users’ shopping experience with skincare products:
What struggles do users have when shopping for skincare products?

Most users have trouble figuring out whether products would work for their skin, and they want to find trustworthy products.

What factors into user’s decision to make a purchase?

Users have ranked reviews from others as one of the most important factors. Although they are more likely to use products from brands they already know, they tend to want to see reviews before making a purchase.  These reviews could be from people they know personally, or from searching for reviews on the internet.


Understanding the ingredients is another commonality among all users. They want to know what kind of ingredients are in their products, especially those with sensitive skin. Some also have preferences for certain ingredients, for example, all natural ingredients.

“One thing I don't like these days is that ingredients aren’t easily found on the site, when I see the ingredients easily next to the product, I trust it more.”

Would users find a tool like this helpful?

Users have expressed interest in a tool like this, especially since at the time of creating this app, the world went under lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 restrictions have made it harder for people to browse and try products in-store.

How would users prefer to get product recommendations?

Some users find skin quizzes helpful in identifying more information on their skin, but feel a camera scan of their skin would pick up on more issues they would like to address.

“I find those[skin quizzes] helpful, I like the personalization of it, but this one definitely with the whole taking a picture and highlighting problem areas, I feel like it takes a deeper dive into personalizing products.”

How do users track skincare routine/measure the efficacy of new products?

Most like taking a before picture of themselves before using a new product, and would take photos throughout their usage of the product to make comparisons.

“I have a whole album on my phone with before and after pictures and progress on my skin. That's how I would know if it was making any difference.”

What do users feel is missing from the dashboard?

Users have noted the dashboard is helpful and convenient. They can see their skin profile which shows their skin type and goals, their current routine, and their past routines through their SkinStory.

The SkinStory feature didn't stand out as much to users as other features. The SkinStory feature serves as a way to keep a log of any past skin selfies taken and their corresponding skin routines. There were questions of how the SkinStory would save old routines if there were updates made while the routine was in use.


The interface is clean and easy to navigate

Users enjoyed the clean and intuitive interface, some noting that's what they want to see when shopping for skin products.

Improvements need to be made to SkinStory feature

Some users thought the SkinStory routine was the current routine and wondered what would happen with their routine if there were changes made in the middle of it. Adding tips and hints in the app could be a way to solve this problem.

A sort feature for the products would be helpful for most users

Users wanted to have a way to sort skincare products by price, rating, etc.


Although I only had four weeks to complete this project, I accomplished most of my goals for this project. Through research and user testing, I was able to find that there are people interested in a product like this that can help them achieve skin goals by viewing their skin issues. An app like this could not only save people from spending a lot of money on products that don't work for them or their skin.

Given more time(and a bigger budget), I would have researched what kind of supplemental features users would enjoy. For example, I would look more into how skincare professionals such as dermatologists and estheticians could coach and inform users as they work through their skin concerns.

There's room for improvement in the "Current Routine" feature, such as creating a way for user's to set up notifications for their morning and evening routine. This feature has become a point of interest, one user noted it as a helpful feature for those who want to keep track of what is and isn't working for them in their routine.

User testing participants also expressed an interest in being able to sort the recommended products by price, rating, etc. They also wanted written reviews, instead of just star ratings, to get a more detailed review.