Could the secret to perfect skin be in our genes? Some studies suggest genetics account for 50–60 percent of aging, otherwise known as intrinsic aging.
For years, formulators have developed products based on skin type, but there has been a recent shift in thinking and some brands are beginning to develop their products based on individual genetic makeup. Let’s dive into the world of DNA-based skin care.
A Few Notes on DNA
We’re born with the skin we’re in. DNA determines the appearance and behavior of our skin. While we can’t change this, we can influence the external factors our cells are exposed to and protect our skin from sun exposure, pollutants, poor diet, and stress.
DNA-based skin care begins by gathering information about genetic makeup, including collagen degradation, melanin production, and sensitivity levels. This test is easily performed with a cheek swab—some brands go a step further with an online quiz. The results from the swab and/or quiz produce an entire skin regimen specific to you. This regimen can be adjusted as your skin evolves and ages due to your DNA.
Opponents argue this approach is not any different from purchasing a product based on your skin type. But can products actually alter DNA to truly prevent aging? YES!
Epigenetic Skin Care
This concept, still in its infancy, is based on the concept that ingredients can affect gene behavior by turning their behavior up or down like a dimmer light switch.
Do you carry the DNA for freckles, melasma, or red cheeks? Epigenetics can turn the dimmer up or down to determine whether these tendencies will happen.
- Helps the body help itself
- Regulates processes that occur naturally in the skin
- Avoids topicals that only improve skin health at the surface level
- Undocumented side effects
- Limited research
- Even though formulators include ingredients that affect gene behavior, they cannot claim the product works on the genetic level since that would classify the skin care as a drug.
ASCP's Esty Talk episode 107, DNA Based Skin Care, discuss whether ingredients can truly alter DNA to prevent aging and ask the question, “Could the secret to perfect skin be in our genes?”.