The relationship between science and beauty is an ever-evolving one. When it comes to skincare, the future is bright. Newer innovations are coming through thick and fast, each hoping to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach and instead, start delivering the formulations that your skin specifically needs.
Whilst DNA-based skincare isn’t new, the desire for a more personalised approach to skincare is growing. The quest for identifying what works best for you goes beyond just skin deep – right down to the genetic level – helping you analyse and predict how to control and reverse specific skin concerns by nourishing your skin with exactly what it needs.
The relationship between our DNA and our skin
Our genetic makeup has a significant impact on our skin – it can influence our skin’s appearance and behaviour and even conditions such as pigmentation, acne, and ageing.
Human DNA comes in 23 pairs of packages called chromosomes. These chromosomes are large bundles of tightly packed DNA. The genes that you have in your body make up your genotype, which determines your physical appearance. It also significantly impacts your skin health regarding how soon you will start ageing, your probability of developing acne or pigmentation, and how sensitive your skin is to glycation (the process whereby sugar attaches to protein and lipid cells and produces a molecule that speeds up the ageing process).
How does DNA skincare work?
This new skincare realm allows us to dive into someone’s genetic make-up to see exactly how their skin functions, where it’s over-performing and where it needs a little help. By identifying any underlying concerns, you have the chance to take preventative action accordingly. Of course, a well thought out skincare regime can successfully prevent or control concerns once you notice them, but if issues aren’t resolving despite your best efforts, then DNA testing could be a way to help you understand what the underlying problems could be.
What does the process involve?
The test itself involves a simple swab of the cheek, usually conducted at a clinic or through an at-home DNA testing kit. The swab is then sent to a laboratory, where the genetic components are broken down and studied to understand how your genetics influence skin characteristics such as hydration, elasticity and antioxidant capacity, which all play a vital role in the skin ageing process. Once these factors are determined, your expert will recommend the right products for you.
For me, the beauty of personalised skincare is that it allows people to invest their money in a more purposeful way. By cutting out the trial and error, we can focus on the specific products that will drive results for our skin’s needs.
Is it the future of beauty?
We’re still very much in the early stages of DNA-focused skincare but I do believe that personalised medicine will be a big part of our future. It is my dream to provide a crossover between personalised DNA analysis and skincare expertise – perfect for my patients on a budget who can’t necessarily afford to experiment.
At the moment, brands offering DNA-testing include personalised skincare products as part of their service. I hope to see this shift in the next few years so that instead, I can use the products that I like to work with to bespoke my patients’ regimes in a way that I feel is most suitable.