For years, spas and some unscrupulous dermatologists have used UV imaging as a way to freak consumers out about their skin — and get them to buy products. They're sales tools, and they're not actually medically valuable. MySkin advances the technology by removing the middleman, so you can freak yourself out, and then buy products.
The idea is that you can find a "skin twin," said Sava Marinkovich, the company's co-founder and CEO, while assessing my décolletage — for professional reasons, I hope. Anyway, the idea is that you and your "skin twin" can compare notes on what products work and what ones don't. Their technology is proprietary, though it hasn't been assessed by any serious medical journals. The founders were thinking of looking for FDA approval, until they decided the scientific review process was too onerous. The review process is thorough because the FDA likes to make sure medical products do what they say they do. Users of MySkin have no such assurances.
The OKU scans your skin — you apply it directly to your face. Then a series of questionnaires come up about your health and lifestyle. And then you get an assessment. I was told repeatedly that OKU uses technology from dermoscopy, spectroscopy, and nanotechnology — even though I kept asking how. No one ever did explain exactly how it worked to my satisfaction, and no peer-reviewed research was forthcoming to clear up my questions.
There are plenty of things consumers can do to protect their skin. Sunscreen is atop the list; melanoma is a bummer. Drink plenty of water. Get enough sleep. Wash your face sometimes, maybe? Don't smoke. You'll be fine.