Delivers highly accurate and reliable results in a short amount of time. Easy to use with one-button operation. Will automatically detect and identify several different conditions beyond dry skin. Good for repeated use for consistent results.
Can be difficult to take multiple readings in different areas.
Extremely small profile fits comfortably in the hand as you use it. Registers and records a measurement in just a few seconds. Built-in recorder will automatically save the last five measurements. Comes with instruction manual.
The use of button-cell batteries makes it difficult to replace the batteries when necessary.
Extremely compact and narrow, will easily fit in a variety of pockets and bags for on-the-go use. One-touch operation makes it easy to set up and use right out of the box. Large LCD is easy to read from a distance when used on the lower extremities.
Varied results depending on the area of skin you test.
Extremely accurate skin moisture sensor built into the tip of the device. Will detect moisture levels related to dry and dehydrated skin conditions. Also detects the amount of oil present in the skin. Small for convenient storage and portability.
Lack of an oil and water chart can make it difficult to understand the readings.
Uses a bioelectric analyzer via two detection prongs at the top of the device. Quickly displays a number of skin conditions as well as hydration and oil levels. The use of a single 12V battery makes it easy to replace when necessary. Often used by skincare professionals.
Results can be skewed when measuring in hot and humid environments.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Creamy, glowing skin radiates youth and beauty. Today, with so many skin care products on the market, it can be hard to know what you need and when you need it.
A skin moisture analyzer is an easy at-home beauty enhancer that gives you a quick reading of your skin's moisture level. Some models can even recommend products to help you achieve healthier skin.
If you're ready to customize your skincare routine, you’ll want to put a skin moisture analyzer on your shopping list.
Size and design
In general, skin moisture analyzers aren't big and bulky. However, there are definitely some models that are designed for portability. Some skin moisture analyzers look similar to a pen and can easily fit into a makeup case or bag. The downside to these products is the small digital display, which can be hard to read.
Other skin moisture analyzers have a shorter, wider design with a bigger display, yet they still come in palm-sized packages. If you get one with a bigger display, you may also enjoy a wider variety of readings.
The third and final product design looks like a disk with a hole in the center. Moisture sensors line the interior circle with two probes on the underside to take additional moisture readings. These designs are held against the skin and transmit results via Bluetooth at a phone app.
Battery type and size
The type of battery required depends on the model, but the types range from AAA, C, and AG13 to a few which aren’t removable or rechargeable. Skin moisture analyzers that don’t have removable batteries are advertised as lasting up to three years, but two years or less is typical. Battery type and size also affects the size and weight of the unit. As you can imagine, smaller batteries equal less weight.
Lightweight and accurate
The Neon is the analyzer for those who want simple accuracy in seconds. The layout and display are easy to read, and it checks your skin’s oil levels. The small stand doesn’t take up much space, so you can store it on the countertop if needed.
Skin moisture analyzers use bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) technology, which is the same technology used in some bathroom scales. BIA measures body composition, including water content, by passing a harmless electrical current from one probe through the skin to a second probe. The time it takes to travel from one probe to the other determines the moisture level.
A few factors can affect the accuracy of results.
Try to keep the conditions and location of the reading the same for the best comparative results.
Oil detection technology can help you decide what kind of skin care products to use. While this is a convenient feature, not all skin moisture analyzers have it. However, most people already know if they have oily skin. An analyzer will just tell you how oily and can help you measure if a particular skincare product is reducing oil levels.
It goes without saying that the smaller the analyzer, the smaller the display. Models with a larger display are not only are easier to read, but they usually show more information, such as oil and skin softness level in addition to moisture level. Models that connect to a smartphone via an app have the best and most informative displays on the market. But then, of course, you've got the added hassle of connecting to a phone to see your results.
A few skin moisture analyzers also rate skin softness, which is based on a combination of the moisture and oil levels.
Included charts and measures
Moisture, oil, and softness measurements don't mean much if you can't interpret them. A good skin moisture analyzer should, at the very least, come with a chart that tells you how to interpret readings. The best models may have a booklet and charts for each season. They may also include advice on makeup and skincare products. Models that connect to a smartphone app create charts to show you patterns in your moisture levels. They also have occasional beauty tips and advice based on your readings.
The latest skin moisture analyzers include Bluetooth technology and produce readings in under two seconds, though it may take longer to show up in the app. However, while the results are definitely easier to read, the readings are similar in accuracy to other models. A note of caution: these models are new to the market, and manufacturers haven’t had time to work out all of the kinks. While some units work very well, connectivity issues do arise once in a while.
Skin moisture analyzers are typically small enough to fit inside a makeup bag or purse. If you want to keep one with you while you travel, those with a pen-like design are the thinnest and most lightweight. However, you may sacrifice on readings, because many of them only take skin moisture readings.
Cap and stand
All skin moisture analyzers have a cap to cover and protect the probes through which the electric current passes. Only a select few also have a stand. You only need to worry about a stand if you plan to have the analyzer on your countertop. Otherwise, it can be safely stored in a drawer or makeup bag.
A few skin moisture analyzers have built-in memory for up to five readings. Those that connect to an app have greater memory capacity because information can be stored on the phone or in the cloud. Some apps create a graph that displays skin health history based on readings.
Some high-end skin moisture analyzers use Bluetooth connectivity to track far more than your skin condition. Not only do they determine your skin type based on your history, they can store skin type and readings for multiple users. Some models measure UV rays and offer sunscreen tips as well as moisturizing advice.
Before you nix your favorite skincare product, take a look at what else could be affecting your skin health. Environmental conditions like cold and humidity will affect your readings, as does your hydration.
Check the warranty. Manufacturers may include a one- or two-year warranty on products, which can be particularly valuable on models with non-replaceable batteries.
You can and should take readings on different parts of your body. Don’t forget to test your hands, around your eyes, your forehead, and your wrists. You can even check your arms and legs if you want to track moisture there.
Skin moisture analyzers start at less than $15, with some costing as little as $10. Some of these models only read moisture levels; others measure moisture, oil, and skin softness. These analyzers may have a stand for easier storage. Battery types vary by model.
Between $15 and $40 are larger models with bigger displays. All of these models measure moisture and oil, and a few also measure skin softness. A few Bluetooth-capable models fall in this price range.
There’s a gap in price for the remaining Bluetooth-capable models, which jumps to $80 and up. These models offer the same readings along with personalized beauty advice. Some of them also have a UV sensor.
The accuracy of a skin moisture analyzer can be affected by makeup, sweat, and where on your body you take the reading. Most manufacturers recommend taking readings on clean, dry facial skin. For the greatest accuracy, try to take readings from the same place each time.
You should clean the probes after each use. If the analyzer is not properly cleaned, over time, the results may grow less accurate.
Read through the directions carefully. A skin moisture analyzer may not work if the probes are not kept in contact with the skin for the entire reading.
Skin moisture analyzers are fairly new to the market, and those that incorporate Bluetooth technology are the latest innovation in that realm. There a couple of Bluetooth-capable models worth considering. The Morjava HD-E20 MiLi Smart Skin Moisture Detector is a tiny model that gives consistent readings, though it can have some connectivity issues. However, if you want something to slip in your bag or carry while you travel, you’ll hardly notice it’s there. If you’re ready for something high-tech, take a look at the WAY Wearable WAYSKIN Personal Wearable Device. This model requires a bit of an investment, but it offers readings well beyond moisture levels. It does a skin analysis to identify your skin type and recommends articles based on those readings. Several people can use the analyzer to track skin health, UV levels, water intake, and period tracking to keep tabs on monthly breakouts.
Q. Can I track my skin moisture levels to check the effectiveness of a particular skincare product?
A. A skin moisture analyzer is one way to test the effectiveness of a particular product, though you’ll need to take a baseline reading to really know if it’s working. Even though you’re tracking how the product affects your skin, read the instruction manual to see whether you need to clean your skin before taking a reading. You don’t want product-covered skin to affect accuracy.
Q. How quickly do skin moisture analyzers go through batteries?
A. Battery usage depends on the design of the analyzer and how often you use it. Manufacturers advertise up to three years with non-changeable batteries. However, some have been known to run out of power after less than a year.
Q. How long do you have to hold the analyzer to your skin for results?
A. Analyzers may take anywhere from two to five seconds for an accurate reading. Some models have two reading lengths if you’re in a hurry. Longer readings are, in general, more accurate. Bluetooth models may take several seconds to connect to the app before you can see results.
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