Good Housekeeping – 2017
Your friend raves about a moisturiser but, even though you have the same skin type, it does nothing for you? It may be time to consult your genes…
Since 2012, beauty brand Olay has been collaborating with genetics company 23andMe to investigate the genes linked to skin ageing and understand how they vary according to ethnicity. Led by a Harvard professor of dermatology, the study examined approximately 20,000 genes and identified that ‘exceptional skin ages’, those people who appear almost ageless, have a unique skin ‘fingerprint’ of around 2,000 genes. Decoding these could hold the keys to looking youthful for longer.
In the meantime, there’s a small but growing number of companies in the UK offering the ultimate in personalised skincare – a regime based on genetic tests. The latest service, FutureSkin DNA (£495, katekerrlondon.co.uk), comes from holistic facialist Kate Kerr at London’s Phi Clinic, and may just be the best skincare consultation I’ve ever had.
Kate begins by taking a DNA swab from the inside of your mouth. This goes off to an Australia company that looks at 16 genetic markers related to skin ageing and compares your results with its database of over 40,000 people. Kate also gives you a mini exploratory facial, asking endless questions about your skin and then yet more questions via an in-depth questionnaire that also goes off to Australia.
Two weeks later, you back to learn you genetic predisposition to collagen breakdown (think firmness and elasticity), sun damage and pigmentation, free radical damage, inflammation and sensitivity, and glycation (excess sugars link to skin’s collagen and elastin fibres, reducing their regenerative ability and, in the long term, causing deep wrinkles). Specific skincare, ingredients and supplements are identified that will work well with your ene profile, which Kate explains thoroughly. Armed with this information, you can buy tailored beauty products from her or simply read labels when you go shopping – and of course, re-assess your current skincare routine and any products you already have at home. Kate also gives plenty of lifestyle advice and tips, as healthy habits can override your genetic results – just as bad habits can eventually get the better of in-built genetic protection. Although I found I had plenty to thank Mum and Dad for, I do have a high risk of glycation. One solution? Eat less cake!