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  • Ellen Eide Kislal 3:48 pm on June 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cameras, , variability,   

    Variability in Wrinkle Index Due to Camera 

    I was challenged last week with an interesting question: to what extent does the specific camera used influence one’s wrinkle index? Does a user need to always use the same camera in order to get comparable results?

    I checked my wrinkle index at on 3 different photos – pictures taken within a 24 hour period using three different cameras:  a Nikon digital SLR camera, the camera that came with my Mac (via the Photo Booth application) and my iPhone (version 3.1.3)

    My wrinkle index came out as 74, 70, and 77, respectively, in the three photos. Not bad variability!

    For the record, I think the variability is at least as much due to a slightly different facial expression in each photo as it is to the camera.

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  • Ellen Eide Kislal 5:11 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , discoloration, , Neutrogena, , , skin discoloration, skin tone,   

    Quantifying the Impact of Neutrogena Tone Correcting Targeted Treatment 

    I’ve recently become much more aware of the impact that uneven skin tone has on the perception of age. Wrinkles alone are not as good a predictor as a more comprehensive analysis which includes both wrinkles and evenness of skin tone. (And a few other dimensions too.) When I took a good look in the mirror, I noticed discoloration, especially along my cheek bones. A lingering “pregnancy mask” crossed with sun exposure I suppose.

    With uneven skin tone on my mind, I went shopping.  I came home with a tube of  Neutrogena® Tone Correcting Targeted Treatment.  I wanted to see first-hand whether I could measure a difference in the evenness of my skin tone after using the product.

    I uploaded a photo of my cheek  my account at and measured the evenness of the skin tone, manually marking the area along my cheek bone as the region of concern.  This led to a discoloration index of  “25.”

    I’m now four weeks into the application of the cream.

    I  uploaded a new photo to and again measured the discoloration along my cheek bone. The result:  “18.”

    These numbers seem to jibe well with my own visual assessment: less discoloration on my cheek. 28% to be precise.

    Yea!  I am glad to see on my own skin that the product is doing what it says it will: correcting tone.

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  • Wael Hamza 4:22 pm on May 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    SkinOfMine Video 1: Moles 

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  • Ellen Eide Kislal 12:50 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , experiment, olay, pro-x, proof, , , ,   

    Experimenting with Olay Pro-X 

    I’m four weeks into an experiment with Olay Pro-X intensive wrinkle protocol. I wanted to see if I could quantify the effect of the cream on my own skin. I’ve been using the creams as the package insert directs, and documenting the effects by taking photos of myself using the PhotoBooth feature of my MacBook Pro.

    Executive summary: it’s working! And I can quantify the difference.

    To begin, I uploaded a photo of my face to my account and used the wrinkle counter to measure my wrinkle index. Voila. My starting wrinkle index was 121.

    Now for the fun part.  I used Olay Pro-X intensive wrinkle cream twice a day for four weeks, trying to keep my diet and exercise programs unchanged. I again photographed myself using PhotoBooth. It’s really important here to keep lighting and camera conditions as consistent as possible, and also to have the same facial expression in both photos in order to minimize unwanted variability.

    Again, I measured my wrinkle index at, this time using the “after” photo.

    Ta da!  Wrinkle index is 107.   That’s a 12% reduction.  Definitely worth smiling about.  I was also able to align my before and after photos using the “track changes” function at and saw through animation that the wrinkles under my eyes were indeed lessened. Ole Olay!

    By the way, this experiment was in no way supported by Olay. Just an honest experiment to test an interesting product.

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    • Judy 7:28 am on December 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I actually found this more enteraiitnng than James Joyce.

  • Ellen Eide Kislal 7:26 pm on March 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Privacy, Security, Skin Of Mine   

    A Word About Security 

    Security -noun Freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence (as defined by

    Something on all of our minds these days, as more and more of our lives go into “the cloud.”
    A dermatologist recently asked me about the security of How can we all feel confident that images we upload will always be there for us? And for us only?

    SkinOfMine has taken several steps to block unauthorized access, starting from the connection up.

    Our connection is secure; we offer 256-bit encryption so that cyber-eavesdroppers cannot snoop on users’ sessions.  Files and database entries are backed up daily in case of machine failure. Files are not shared with any outside entities.

    What about authorized access?

    There are two ways that an uploaded photo can be shown to someone other than the person who uploaded it. Both require the permission of the uploader. The first: when someone uploads an image, they are asked whether SkinOfMine has permission to show that image to other users. If “yes,” the image goes into a queue to be vetted by SkinOfMine staff as relevant and non-offensive. If vetted, the image goes into the database of possible “best matches” for other images, and could then be shown as a result of the “Find Similar” function on the dashboard.  Only the image and biopsy information, if available, would be shown. No information about the person who uploaded that image would be revealed.  If you do not want your images to show up as a “Find Similar” result, simply say “no” when asked if we have permission to show this image to others.  You can do this at upload time, or later by clicking on the pencil icon in the lower left corner of an image from the “MY FILES” page.

    The second way that an image could be shown to a user other than the one who uploaded it is through the “Share” function of the dashboard.   In this case the image owner chooses the SkinOfMine user with whom that image is to be shared.  A copy of the image and the identity of the sharer are then shown to the sharee.  The sharee does not have the right to share a shared image.  The sharer can remove a sharee from the sharee list at any time, thereby revoking the sharee’s viewing rights.

    We are working hard to protect the security of our users. Users need to do their part, too, by making sure their passwords are not easily guessed. (Anybody use 123456 as a password? That’s been reported as the most commonly used internet password!)

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  • Ellen Eide Kislal 9:30 am on March 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Asthma, Prevention, Sunscreen   

    An Ounce Of Prevention… 

    Health. We appreciate good health most when poor health arises. I’m writing this memo from Westchester Medical Center, where my two-year-old son John (pictured) is hospitalized for asthma. Not exactly the way I had planned to spend the weekend.  God willing, we’ll be home later today. But this time we’ll be doing preventative medicine on a daily basis, to try to avoid another trip to the hospital.

    This experience has brought to the forefront of my mind how precious good health is, and how carefully we should guard it.

    I think the same lessons are applicable to our skin. Sunscreen, sunglasses, watching our moles between regular visits to the doctor: all may be easy ways to avoid an unwanted disruption to our good health. An ounce of prevention…

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  • Ellen Eide Kislal 4:12 pm on December 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Moles, New, Self-examination of skin, Website   

    Why Am I Starting 

    Why am I starting this website? In a word, Berk.  My husband.  He grew up on the Aegean coast of Turkey, spending long summers in Cesme, a lively-yet-quaint beach town. He was among the first to enjoy windsurfing in Alacati, which has since become a hotspot for windsurfers internationally.  He spent endless days (and nights) diving in his local bay.  He boated. And waterskied. And swam. All this fun in the sun left him with moles. Lots and lots of them. He regularly visits his dermatologist and usually has a few moles removed for biopsy when he goes. Thankfully, we haven’t had any of them come back as melanoma.  But we are cautious.   And we do self checks between doctor visits.

    One day it hit me … we could automate the process!  As a computer scientist,  the idea had a lot of appeal.  As a wife, the idea gave me a lot a comfort – we would have a better way of seeing changes in the moles our doctor seemed most concerned about. And maybe other people would find it helpful and interesting too. I mentioned the idea to our dermatologist, who thought that in conjunction with regular medical visits, an automated tool for analyzing and tracking moles would be great. Fueled by her excitement, I put pen to paper, so to speak, and the rest is (unfolding) history……

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    • Tolga 4:30 pm on February 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      What a great site. I truly hope that this service of SkinofMine alerts users about melanoma and causes them to take steps to detect it early. Congratulations and best of luck!

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