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Atolla Skin Lab: How To (Accurately) Determine Your Skin Type

The first step to building a successful skincare routine is always to identify your skin type and concerns. Are you oily? Dehydrated? acne-prone? Dry? Combination? How can you really tell? 

Countless guides and infographics across the internet attempt to explain the best way to identify your skin type, but even then this process can be confusing and overwhelming and often feels like you’re just guessing.

But Atolla is on a mission to make the skincare process as simple and straightforward as possible. They use each individual’s skin data and the machine learning algorithm they developed at MIT to deliver a skin diagnosis and a custom skincare formula. Yesterday, I stopped by their pop-up event in SoHo to learn more about my skin!

Atolla Skin Lab Pop Up Soho

Intake Survey

When I first walked in, I was asked to complete a brief form about my current skincare routine, my skin concerns, lifestyle (i.e., how much water I drink and how often I exercise), and how easily I get sunburned. My main skin concerns are acne and discoloration. I also noted that I tan easily and rarely get burned. After completing the form, I was asked to remove my makeup in preparation for my UV photos.

UV Photos

The UV photo was, by far, my favorite part of the experience. Atolla uses UV cameras to detect skin damage. The Atolla team told me the images would give me an insight into how my skin might look when I get older.

Levitate Beauty Atolla Skin Lab UV Photo Sun Damage

I’m glad to report that I don’t have visible sun damage (woohoo! My diligent sunscreen use is paying off!) and it looks like wrinkles won’t be a huge concern for me as I age (which wasn’t a surprise to me considering my mom and my grandma don’t really have wrinkles). My photo did indicate that my main concerns are acne and texture.

Oil and Hydration Measurements

After I finished up with the UV photos, the Atolla team took my oil and hydration measurements on various parts of my face. These measurements, along with my intake survey answers and my UV photo results, were run through Atolla’s algorithm. This provided me with my custom skin sequence: BT645.

This sequence gave me a little more insight into my “skin type.” It represents my average sun damage, hydration, and oiliness on a scale of 1-9. The first number in my sequence, 6, represents the fact that I tan easily and don’t burn often. The 4 shows that I am below average in hydration. And the 5 shows that my oiliness is average.

My Customized Formula

Based on this data and skin sequence, I received a custom oil formula with Rosehip Oil, Calendula Oil, and Squalene Oil. I was really excited about my custom formula because oils are, by far, my favorite type of skincare product. I’ve used rosehip and squalene before and I love them both. They have been so effective in hydrating my skin and gently healing my acne and dark spots.

Atolla Skin Lab Custom Formula

This is my first time ever using calendula, which is known for having soothing and moisturizing skin benefits. I used my custom oil last night, and it’s very lightweight and moisturizing. It absorbed quickly and didn’t feel heavy or greasy on my skin.

If you like your customized sample, you have the option to purchase the full size for $70. Usually, I would say that $70 is a steep price for an oil. However, it’s more than worth it when you consider the benefit of the entire process!

Final Thoughts

Atolla Skin Lab Custom Formula

Atolla is definitely a skincare startup worth following! The experience was not only fun but incredibly informative. Knowing your skin type and having a deeper understanding of your skin concerns are, by far, the best way to build a successful skincare routine! And I think Atolla will help reduce a lot of the frustration people experience when trying to diagnose their skin on their own.

Atolla gave me so much insight into whether my skincare routine is working, and where I have room for improvement. I do not doubt that Atolla’s app (coming soon) will provide an even easier way to track my progress throughout my skincare journey.

If you’re in New York, I highly recommend making an appointment at their pop up on 251 Elizabeth Street.


Don’t forget to subscribe and follow me on Instagram @Levitate.Beauty for daily skincare updates and reviews!


How to identify your skin type levitate beauty


2 comments on “Atolla Skin Lab: How To (Accurately) Determine Your Skin Type”

  1. July 21, 2024 at 7:32 pm

    Love this! Wish there was something like this in the UK x

    1. Becca Velez
      July 21, 2024 at 7:51 pm

      Hopefully they’ll expand soon! Their goal is to eventually make it possible to complete the entire process through an app along with tools to test oil/moisture.

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