Development and validation of a new Skin Color Chart®


Jean de Rigal
Departement of Evaluation Internationale Peau
Sté L'Oréal
188 Rue Paul Hochart
94550 Chevilly Larue
Tel: +33 1 49 79 64 05
Fax: +33 1 49 79 54 85


Background: Age-induced skin color variations are of great importance and incite increasing demand for cosmetic products to improve the appearance. The evaluation by clinicians or estheticians of the efficacy of skin care products is particularly difficult and requires the help of color charts.

Purpose: To standardize this kind of evaluation, we have developed a new Skin Color Chart®. In contrast to other color charts, this new one represents true skin color without metamerism and covers almost all skin colors encountered around the world. This new instrument has been validated for both Asian and Caucasian skin complexion and sun spot color.

Method: The new device used to record skin color, the Chromasphere®, developed by L'Oréal, is briefly presented. All skin color measurements and the validation of each selected Color were performed under identical conditions, and then, absorption spectra of both skin and chart were compared using severe criteria. The first use and the validation of this Skin Color Chart® were performed by dermatologists (two in China and one in France) in groups of about 40 women on sunspots and complexion color.

Results: Regarding repeatability (intraobserver agreement), the new Skin Color Chart® showed very good statistical validation on complexion and sunspot color. The agreement between dermatologists, the reproducibility criterion, although not as good remained high. An example of the evaluation of the efficacy of a whitening product is given in order to illustrate the ‘sensitivity’ of this new device to evaluate very weak color variations.

Conclusions: The new Skin Color Chart® appears to be very useful and easy to use even by clinicians without training in color evaluation.