Your Skin Type is the professional guide for consumers searching for the appropriate skin care and aesthetic treatments of the face. Your skin is unique and deserves personalized care. Learn how to observe, decide and act like an expert. The skin is after all a living and complex organ that requires an in depth view.

A guided skin analysis differentiates over 300 000 skin types. This book will help you understand your personal needs and prevent you from buying inappropriate cosmetics.

Dr. Karavani’s years of research on skin ageing has led to a new mapping of skin types. We now know that sensitive skin can also be oily and that tightness does not always indicate dry skin.  The complex language of the skin is translated by using the Your SkinType© method. A unique skin code represents your skin type.  This is the key to personal advice and tailored skin care. is unique approach is bundled into a coherent form that encompasses all aspects of skin care. In addition to cosmetics, the latest techniques in aesthetic facial treatment, such as  fillers, botulinum toxin, lasers, peelings, needling, and thread lift will be discussed. Your skin type represents the unique characteristics of your face. The challenge is to map your skin type in a scientic evidence-based manner. The YourSkinType© method, an innovative skin analysis, upgrades the old established theory of four skin types into a detailed system of 300,000 different types and customized solutions. The new determination of your skin type by the YourSkinType© method is a real blueprint of your skin. A skillful examination of your skin is only possible when you know exactly where you should look at. e skin expresses it- self in its own language, and we can learn that language.

The YourSkinType© method takes about 40 parameters into account, each of which is further divided into degrees of severity and intensity. A parameter is never an individual element, but must be seen as an aspect of a skin type. For ex- ample, the same degree of wrinkles will be treated differently, depending on the severity of all other parameters, such as sensitivity, the photo type, or hydration. Each parameter is measured in its zone of maximum and minimum occurrence. The relative value for each parameter is determined. The results of all parameters are used in the nal calculation of the skin type. Because all these parameters influence each other, only the full combination of all parameters de nes your new skin type. The YourSkinType© method distinguishes over 300,000 different combinations of unique skin types. An experienced skin analyst knows how to determine your skin type within minutes at a certainty of over 99%. Your new skin type is neither expressed with a long description nor in a single word, but is assigned a numeric code consisting of 15 digits. is unique Skin Code determines the cosmetics and treatments that are appropriate for your skin type.



The sensitivity of the skin is a very im- portant parameter. It is the measure of the skin’s response to external and / or inter- nal stimuli. Is the skin responding by in- creased redness, an uncomfortable feeling of tightness, or itching and irritation? If the answer is positive, chances are you’re having a sensitive skin.
















Under normal circumstances, there is just enough sebum to provide a protective lm and save the skin from dehydration. e excess sebum creates a shiny, oily film that you can feel when you run your finger over the forehead.


How do we evaluate hydration? The mois-ture content of the skin is measured in the upper 50 microns (0.05 millimeters!) of the stratum corneum, where the skin peels off. In ideal conditions each corneocyte contains enough water-binding proteins (NMF) in the cell to retain water in the upper layers. We can speak of a well-hydrated skin.

















The structure of the skin surface is never completely smooth, not even with a new- born baby. It contains grooves in a regular and ne pattern. is is called the skin structure or microstructure. As the skin ages, the microstructure becomes irregular and wrinkles start to appear.

Before 1901 all skin care products were handmade and tailored to the needs of the customers skin. Each pharmacist had his secret formula’s and some grandmother’s recipes were very much in demand. About a century ago the cosmetic world changed, and chain production entered the scene. Helena Rubinstein introduced her famous four skin types: dry, oily, sensitive and combination skin. This knowledge stayed pretty much the same till now. Naturally not everyone fits entirely into one of the four categories, as there are many different variations of skin types. That causes much confusion concerning the description that corresponds better with our skin condition.  As the cosmetic industry grew to serve the masses, sales were the only concern. The need for personalization was addressed to in a very simplistic way by proposing “all in one solutions for all skin types”. So it’s not surprising that over 80% of the customers struggle with skin issues that are not dealt with in the current situation.

As a young dermatologist I faced the same question at each consultation; “Doctor, what is the best cream?”. I knew deep inside that the answer was; “the cream that suits your skin type!”. But how was I going to deliver such a miracle when the whole industry ignored the problem and made promises such as “10 years younger” with the purchase of their new jar. I decided to address the issue of cosmetic skin care just like I would address skin diseases. After all, if change was to be expected from skin care we should consider the cream as a drug too. The “not so beautiful” skin was a living organ in need of support and the cream was a healing drug, at the same level as many of the topical formulations I prescribed daily for severe skin diseases. The first step was obviously to purchase  tools and acquire knowledge to examine the subtle “cosmetic needs” of the skin. This journey started in 2001.

The stunning discovery of Your Skin Type

My first visit was to the Free University of Brussels (VUB) where I graduated in Cosmetic Sciences and co-founded the Belgian Association of Dermato-Cosmetic Sciences in 1989, under the leadership and initiative of Professor Vera Rogiers, head of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Unfortunately, nothing was available there that could be useful to my purpose. I visited several labs belonging to major cosmetic concerns in the hope to find some clues. But there too I faced disillusion as the research was more marketing oriented.

The next step was the University of Besançon in France, known for skin biometry. Yet even there, nothing conclusive was known about skin typing. Research on skin ageing was their major activity. According to the established theories at that time, the “rose of distribution” was the reliable measure for skin ageing. That rose like graph featured the orientation of the lines in the microstructure of the skin surface. A flat rose represented ageing, while a round rose was found in young skin. For the time being it was my best and only choice, unless I could come up with new findings. So far for the knowledge, now it was in search for the best equipment and software to collect data from the skin. During a congress I and came across a tech company in France, near the Swiss border who developed promising tools to collect data from the skin. Their project was still in a beta-version and by enrolling as a partner I helped to develop the first prototype with software that examined the features accurately.

Back at my clinic in Antwerp I started to examine the skin of nearly every patient that crossed our front door. My dedicated team put literally thousands of patients under their tools. Their faces were mapped as nearly every square centimeter of skin was measured with all of our sensors. This included visual data with polarized and non-polarized skin at a magnification of 50x and 30x, TEWL, temperature, acidity (pH), elasticity, hydration, colour and many other readings. The result were inconclusive as we compared them to the existing science, including the famous rose of distribution. So called “bad” values were seen on good skin conditions and vice versa. We quickly understood that the rose is more correlated with good hydration than with ageing. The solution was stumbled upon by chance. Our clinic at that time was located on the first floor of in a multi-level office building. It just so happened that a nursery opened on the ground floor of our clinic. One day, as I entered the parking lot of the clinic, I was blocked by a group of parents making their way to the entrance of the day care with their crying and happy babies on board. Suddenly I saw the opportunity to assess the baseline for the ideal skin, I needed so desperately. It was a great opportunity to analyze ageing from the very beginning. The perfect skin these babies had, would serve as my control population for ideal values. The next week, with the consent of the parents and the day care staff, we started to collect data from the skin of these babies. The measurements were totally non-invasive, and most babies were still sleeping after we left the day care. As a compensation we provided skin care and sunscreens for these delicate young skins and everybody was happy.

After a year of analyzing the skin of numerous babies and their helpful mothers, the team compared the data of the babies with those of older people from our clinic and converted the results into numerical graphs. The results were still inconclusive. So the next two years, thousands of patients of all age groups were examined until one morning in March 2003, the secret of skin ageing was revealed. After years of research, it all made sense to me. I thought found the algorithm that determines ageing! Immediately I checked if it was applicable on all our charts…. And YES! The figures were consistent and thus code of ageing was cracked. The language of the skin was clear. It felt like reading the Rosetta stone for the first time and writing the proper reply. A conversation between the skin and the dermatologist was all of a sudden possible with the same ease as we use now electronic translators to talk and understand a foreign language. Shortly thereafter we started mapping the face of thousands of our patients. We measured each square centimeter of their face with all the equipment at our disposal. Like the map of the world, the landscape changed as we gradually moved on to the next area. Finally we divided the face in 13 zones that were distinctly different in many aspects such as texture, colour, temperature, hydration, sebum content etc. In each zone we defined the expression of each parameter. That’s how we discovered that there where zones of maximal expression and zones of minimal expression. In some spots sensitivity was at its peak, in others the sebum glands were the most active. We discovered which part of the face suffers the most from sagging skin and where skin surface roughness appears first.

Our research pointed out which area of the face corresponds to which parameter. We called them the zones of expression for each parameter. It is indeed important to measure the right parameter on his specific area of expression. A precise and reliable reading of each parameter is the start of our patented skin analysis system. Each area is measured in such a way that the data correspond to the following three criteria: representative for the condition, reproducible on several consecutive measurements, and finally reliable as the reading must be correct. Once all readings are done, the software calculates the interactions between the readings and expresses the outcome as the identity of the skin. Your Skin Type was born ! Our moment of ecstasy was brief as we realized that in order to use that newly acquired understanding we had to develop an alphabet and grammatical rules. No language has a value to others unless we codify it, so everyone can read, understand and correspond in that language too.

Finally we succeeded in converting these valuable and unique data from each skin type into a 15 digit code that represents the “digital fingerprint of your skin type”. From now on we could formulate the appropriate response to each skin condition. The proposed solutions were codified in a large database and connected to a search engine. By entering the skin code in the search engine, the proper solutions appeared with their personalized directions of use. At first the database contained only medical solutions known to improve our skin, such as laser applications, energy based devices, peelings, medical creams, injectables, and other certified treatments.

The next step was to add existing cosmetics. But as we examined more than 2500 items sold in pharmacies, our team encountered a major problem. Most of those creams were not specific and even described as “good for all skin types”. The manufacturer who indeed had not the slightest idea of which skin type was going to purchase what product, decided consequently made a weakened “fit for all” version of his product. It was like selling “unisex, one size fits all, T-shirts” in order to eliminate the need for a fitting room. Definitely not the kind of product you expect to match your specific skin condition. There was no other option as to develop a new line of personalized solutions that was only available after a reliable skin analysis. That is how the modular concept of IKARI Skin Care was born.

Nearly at the same time, we got the request from several angles to use our technology to examine skin tumors and melanoma’s too, which led to the next development; the YST Viewer. This device with its corresponding software is capable of collecting data from the skin, examine its features, store and share the data with professionals and thus facilitate e-medical consultancy. The Your Skin type project proved to be one of a kind as it emerged from the point of view of dermatologists and not from the need of the cosmetic industry to create a marketing tool. During all those years this skin analysis system is the core of leading dermatologic clinics and the guarantee for a customized skin care solution.