The renowned 'before and after' shots may have been mocked in the past, but a team of scientists headed up by Dr. Torsten Clarius, of the Cognis group, has published findings in the latest edition of Skin Care Forum demonstrating advantages for this method.
The study works on the pretext that demonstrating a cosmetic product’s efficacy through percentage comparisons – percentage change for improvement in wrinkles, for example – reduces the marketing options and the potential for further comparisons.
Clarius and his team worked on the summise that human’s register variations with better efficiency on a visual basis, a factor that is now being further enhanced thanks to high-capacity image analysis that includes three dimensional analysis.
Visual sense strikes a chord
Of the five human senses, visual and touch are by far the most effective, which goes some of the way to explain why the advertising industry has evolved as such an effect marketing tooll.
Traditionally personal care advertising has been conveyed on a language level, but more recently the message has been increasingly conveyed in percentages, to demonstrate the improvements a consumer can expect from a product.
However, claims of 90 percent approval rates for product evaluations inevitably lead to a dead-end situation, the study hypothesizes, leading advertisers to look for new ways to differentiate themselves.
This is where concise and efficient visualisation techniques using superimposed graphics can really come in to play.
A simple approach is before and after photos that use identical photographic conditions.
However, this is an unsophisticated and often used method which might not convince the most demanding of consumers.
Video lenses, laser microscopes and FOIDS
Building on this, video lenses or usage of a confocal laser microscope allows a more exacting focus of problematic regions, providing far more detailed before and after shots.
Further to this, Dr. Clarius suggests that Fast Optical In vivo Topometry of Skin (FOITS) is one of the most advanced and effective methods to represent such comparisons because it allows the profile of skin surfaces to be measured, providing even more detail.
Such testing can demonstrate the profile of skin and even hair surfaces, while also providing accurate replicas that are easy and quick to develop as well as more complex three-dimensional visulalisation, stressed using colour differentiation that can even be animated.
Companies such as Laboratoires Serobiolgique, the active ingredients arm of Cognis, are increasingly using this type of graphical illustrations to demonstrate the efficacy of the its ingredients, methods that are expected to be increasingly used by cosmetics manufacturers in media campaigns.