Photographer Reveals 'Secrets Hidden In Your Skin' with UV Light Experiment

A French photographer who runs various experiments for his YouTube channel collaborated with one of his peers in order to create a DIY UV lighting setup to expose what our skin looks like when different, everyday cosmetics are applied.

The three-minute video shows French photographers Mathieu Stern and Pierre-Louis Ferrer assembling ultraviolet light bulbs and a giant UV ring flash. The pair recruited various female subjects to sit in front of the lens.

Stern uses the UV-sensitive camera to reveal how the women initially look under UV lights. He then has his subjects apply a variety of different everyday skincare and cosmetic products to review the effect via UV-cam, showcasing what is not visible to the naked eye. Freckles that were previously faint become much more prominent, whilst sunscreen appears black on the skin. They also test out a clay mask, foundation makeup, and a number of foods.

You can see high-res stills below, as well as watch the video and the behind-the-scenes making-of to see how it was all done.

Stern is constantly experimenting with different photographic equipment and techniques – last year, he 3D printed a camera lens. You can see more of his work here.

For similar UV projects, see these sets by Cara Phillips and Thomas Leveritt.

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4 Comments

that's awesome

The full-time cancer researcher in me is cringing every time that UV flash fires off.

Emma Grigoryan's picture

I think this is an excellent way to show everyone how important it is to use sunscreen. Some 5 years ago I was doing a research on it and came across a very similar video on Youtube, showing exact same thing. Although it was not a photography project but rather a demonstrative awareness for the society in a candid visual way. The photographs are beautiful !

And yet women, especially, keep ruining their skin getting suntans, only to spends hundreds and thousands later in life to fight wrinkles, spots and other sun damage. These kinds of pictures should be public announcements on TV, if just for the awareness of avoiding skin cancer.