7 Awesome Skincare Apps You Had No Idea You Needed

If you’re anything like me, chances are good that there is very little you wouldn’t do if it meant you could have clear skin. You’d drink a gallon of water a day. You’d give up cheese. Offer to sell your soul in exchange for a flawless complexion. But, as it turns out, getting clear skin doesn’t actually have to be that complicated because, as the old adage goes, there’s an app for that.

Or, to be more exact, there are a whole bunch of apps for that. You probably know about the apps that help you out with your homework and makeup, but the app store on your phone is also literally (not figuratively) teeming with apps that are designed to help you out with your skincare routine, whether you want to banish acne or just find out which products are right for you. The offerings range from virtual dermatologist visits to product recommendations to general reminders and tips about skincare that get sent to your phone every day. Wanna  find out which one is right for you? I’ve combed through the app store and picked out the best of the bunch–check ’em out here:


If you search "acne" on the app store, most apps that come up are designed to help Photoshop zits out, not actually help you get rid of them IRL. Not so with MDAcne, an app that uses mobile image analysis and machine learning to analyze and build a customized plan. Basically, you take a picture, the app analyzes it, and tells you exactly what you need to do to make your skin look great by creating a personalized schedule for morning and night.

The app itself and its acne management program is  free.You can also get a subscription service (one week for $3.99, one month for $7.99, or three months for $17.99) that includes video tutorials, daily treatment reminders, daily treatments tips and daily treatment check ups to monitor and help maintain treatment commitment.  

Get it here.


This app is basically like having a dermatologist in your pocket--you take photos of your skin condition, answer a few questions, and submit them to an actual dermatologist. Then, in twenty-four hours, you get an official diagnosis and prescription, if your derm thinks that you need one. This is a great app if you need to go to a dermatologist but don't have too much time or can't afford it, since each "visit" is $39.95. This is sorta steep for an in-app purchase, yes, but compared to an actual derm visit, it's very cheap. Plus, this works for more than just acne--these derms will analyze everything from moles to eczema to cold sores.  

Get it here.


The idea behind Piqed, which describes itself as the "Netflix for skincare," is pretty straightforward--basically, you've always been your own product tester. You know what products do and don't work for you, it's just hard to keep track of it. This app has you catalog which skincare products like, which ones made you break out into weird hives, etc., and makes recommendations based off of that.  

Get it here.


Lots of beauty products have weird, borderline-toxic chemicals in them. If you're not super into putting harsh chemicals on your face but aren't really sure how to move into the "non-toxic" beauty realm, you need to check out ThinkDirty, an app that, according to their website, was designed to "understand the truths in the beauty industry." All you have to do is scan the bar code of a product and the app will tell you how "toxic" it is, listing the chemicals that you might want to stay away from so you can stay more informed about what you're putting on your skin.  

Get it here.


MySkin is basically a social network for skincare junkies. First, you take a skincare assessment that figures out what your skin type is and what sort of products you should be using. Then, other people on the app submit and review different products, so you can comb through and see if the face wash you've seen advertised really is that great, or if it's actually all hype. You can also ask people for recommendations--if you have super chapped lips or bacne, you can ask people on the app who have similar skin types what products have worked for them, and what hasn't.  

Get it here.

Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App

UV protection is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to skincare, but it's also something that a lot of people tend to forget about. With the Wolfram app, you won't--this app analyzes your skin and gives you personalized results that tell you how much SPF you should be wearing based on your location and skin type, a UV forecast for your location, and how long you'll be able to stay in the sun without burning.  

Get it here.


Okay, so, say you've checked all of these apps and you're totally ready to start your new skincare routine. It's just that you need to post a selfie right now and, in it, you would really love for your skin to look clear. No worries! Just check out FaceTune, an app that helps you (subtly) edit out zits, remove red-eye, and smooth your complexion overall. It's not something you should feel like you have to do, obviously (acne isn't something to be ashamed of), but sometimes it's the quickest way to boost your self esteem. If you want to get rid of a zit fast, this might be the best way to do it.  

Get it here.

Do you have any of these apps? Did I forget any cool ones? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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