The Dirty Truth About Beauty Before And After Photos

Written by Aaron Guldager — December 07, 2017

The Dirty Truth About Beauty Before And After Photos

Skincare companies have a passionate love affair with before and after photos. No matter how hard they try, the beauty world simply can’t part with these telling images. You already know the kind we’re talking about — the photos that make you wonder how such a drastic, practically magical transformation is even possible.

The first photo will show a woman with droopy eyelids and dark under-eye bags. Perhaps crow’s feet, frown lines, and other blemishes are visible.

In the second photo, there’s that same woman, but with flawless skin! No wrinkles, no bags — just smooth, bright skin for days. Her skin is so radiant, you might need sunglasses to look directly at her.

How exactly did this miraculous beauty transformation happen, you might ask? Is it truly the same person in both pictures? Have the beauty gods suddenly answered our longstanding prayers? Or, have the images been secretly altered at the expense of us trusting consumers?

At SiO, we never retouch our Before and After images. In this article, we’ll explain why we leave our images alone, as well as how you can expertly spot false before and after snaps.

Why Should You Believe SiO Beauty’s Before And After Photos?

The reason why SiO never retouches its Before and After photos traces back to our fearless founder, Gigi Howard.

Gigi's Hit A Wrinkle

In her late twenties, Gigi Howard had wrinkles on her mind. Even at this young age, the PR maven and former model began noticing creases in her décolleté, which she attributed to side sleeping. “My face still looked young, but my chest made me look much older than I actually was,” Howard told Anna Nicholson in a 2017 interview with Shen-Beauty. “I became so insecure; I even started wearing turtlenecks and scarves in the middle of summer.”

before and after photos of chest area skin

A “Complete 180” In Beauty

After 180(!) product prototypes and four years of development, Gigi found an exciting solution, and SiO Beauty was born. SiO’s medical-grade silicone patches have been referred to as “tiny miracles”. Most women notice that their skin looks visibly smoother, whether around the eyes, forehead, mouth, or neckline, after the first night of use.  

With the support of an expert team of medical professionals, Gigi has been testing, designing, and distributing her line of high-quality, overnight, wrinkle-smoothing products ever since. Not only do Gigi’s products work, but they work in just a few hours.

Now, SiO Beauty is backed by Dr. Dendy Engelman, a NYC-based dermatologist with decades of expertise and an exclusive roster of celebrity patients. As our Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. Engelman ensures that our products provide real results—not just convincing before and after photos. Here’s what she says about SiO Beauty’s hydrating skin patches:

“For patients that are hesitant to use injectables, such as Botox, that prevent wrinkles, SiO Beauty patches are the closest, most effective at-home alternative solution. These patches correct existing wrinkles and prevent new wrinkles from forming over time.”

In a 2016 press release, Dr. Engelman made another strong statement in support of SiO, telling clients: "SiO offers the first, clinically-tested, affordable at-home solution for the skin, that creates a unique microclimate, reducing wrinkles in just 8 hours."

According to Dr. Engelman and other professionals, our medical-grade wrinkle patches have been clinically proven to reduce lines, improve skin texture, increase hydration, and help combat UV-ray damage. SiO skin pads can even ward off new lines with powerful plumping effects.

Dr. Engelman also tells us that some of her “patients call SiO ‘Fauxtox’ because they see wrinkles, including chest wrinkles, virtually disappear with use.” That says it all, doesn’t it?


The Pics Don’t Lie: Our Retouch-Free “Before And After” Philosophy

As a matter of course, most fashion and beauty photography includes a little bit of “fixing in post" (AKA retouching). A blemish or red eye might get erased, or a model’s hair will be made to look shinier in the published version. In extreme scenarios, a model’s body may be digitally re-sculpted. Perceived flaws are often minimized for the sake of glossy industry standards.

Gigi Howard envisioned that the line of SiO beauty products would flatter and support women from all walks of life. With this guiding vision, all of our professional before and after shots are taken from the same close-up, straight-on angle. We focus on real women experiencing real results.

Our at-home photographers are often our happy (if initially skeptical) customers who take selfies using only natural lighting or the flash on their smartphone. Even our founder, Gigi uses her smartphone to take quick snaps. You can see Gigi’s results in the image with the “S” necklace (her son’s initial) in the photo above or of her eye images below.

When you purchase any SiO products, including our best-selling SiO Facelift and SiO Browlift patches, you don’t have to worry that altered or enhanced photos are promising an impossible outcome. At SiO, we stand by everything we offer our customers – including before and after images. 

Ultimately, it’s in no one’s best interest to promote enhanced “after” shots. We want our images to accurately display the results that you’ll have at home after your first use of our lift patches, as well as the benefits that accrue over time.

So, while the skin versus gravity war wages on, we at SiO pride ourselves on the proof. SiO’s skincare products have been tested in extensive dermatologist-approved clinical studies, as well as validated by customer testimonials and reviews.

Simply put, we’re committed to letting true results speak for themselves. That’s why the team at SiO doesn’t alter any before and after photos — that’s a promise!

How To Tell If Before And After Photos Are Real Or Fake

Photo manipulation is almost as old as photography itself. But, it’s one thing to flaunt adventurous beauty photography and quite another to “improve” images that claim to be realistic. So, while SiO Beauty’s before and after photos depict the truth, photos from other companies may not be as trustworthy.

Whether you’re an avid beauty buff or have only dipped your toe into the skincare realm, it’s important to identify fact from fiction. There aren’t any foolproof methods for spotting fake before and after photos, but there are warning signs to look out for.

Here are the usual suspects.

Digital Editing

It’s no secret that virtually every published beauty photograph has been digitally edited. Even we at SiO Beauty occasionally use Photoshop or other methods to enhance our images. But, we never implement those tactics for before and after photos.

Given how heavily edited many other beauty brands’ photos have become, celebrities have started speaking out against egregious image editing. In some cases, publishers have retracted their edits and released the original photos.

In September 2017, France even passed a law that requires a warning label to appear on any image that was edited before being published. The label will simply read photographie retouchée, or “edited photograph.”

The photo editors of today are digital-enhancement wizards. So, it can be tough to know when and how an image has been altered. A good rule of thumb is: if a photo doesn’t look believable, it’s probably not. So, if a pair of before and after photos seems too good to be true, trust your instincts. There’s likely funny business going on behind the scenes.


With the rise of Instagram and smartphone photography, you likely already know that good lighting can make or break a photograph. With low lighting, shadows are naturally emphasized. Shadows draw attention to wrinkles, such as smile lines, which will appear much darker than the rest of your skin’s surface. The same is true of dark under-eye circles.

On the other hand, when a photo is taken with superb lighting, blemishes seem to magically disappear. Good lighting can also artificially fill every little line and crease, creating the illusion of smoother, more youthful-looking skin. Even dark spots stand no chance against a professional photographer and a good set of lights.

So, if you see before and after photos with radically different lighting, your suspicion is warranted.

Photo Angle

Most people understand the importance of a photo’s angle. Photos taken from a low vantage point, with an upward angle to your face, are less flattering. Photos taken from higher up, on the other hand, make your face and body appear thinner. That’s why we all hold our phones up high while taking selfies!

If we’ve figured out this trick, then professional beauty photographers surely understand how to manipulate camera angles for more glamorous images. But, informative before and after photos should never be shown at different angles.

Companies that are serious about showing the results of their products use the same camera angle in both the before and after photos.

Body Position

The last small trick used by the pros to deceive unsuspecting buyers is body position. For example, when your body is slightly rotated from the waist up, the skin on your stomach looks tighter. Check out the before and after photo below to see what we mean.

before and after photos distorted by body angle

The same is true for your face. When your chin is tilted up, the skin on your jawline and around your mouth is pulled tight. This makes your skin appear smoother than usual.

For trustworthy before and after photos, the subject’s body positioning should be identical in both photos.

So, there you have it—the dirty truth about before and after photos! Just keep these four secrets in mind, and you’ll be able to spot fake before and after photos a mile away.

Stay Awhile, Look Around…

To recap: SiO doesn’t use Photoshop to retouch before and after photos. It’s important to us that you see (and believe) our products’ true effects before making a purchase. We’re not excited by a beauty culture that isn’t 100%  up-front about a product.

In the spirit of this quest to “keep it 100,” we love to offer our customers beauty tips and tricks to supplement our products. Elsewhere on the SiO blog, you can find recipes and self-care tips, including restorative face masks and dietary tips, that may lead to healthier skin. So, stick around! You can trust that our products (and the people behind them) are thrilled to have the real you here.

Also, feel free to browse through our customer reviews to see what real SiO users are saying. If you opt to try out our products for yourself, your own before and after shots will be a welcome addition to the collection!