Posts in Industry / Science

Looking at your skin’s future through a crystal ball

Jun 22, 2020 Posted by Beauty, Industry / Science 0 thoughts on “Looking at your skin’s future through a crystal ball”

How do you budget for your skin during uncertain times in this pandemic? Stick with me and I will unpack your turnkey solution to your stress-free future!

Born to be Beautiful

Sep 26, 2018 Posted by All Media, Industry / Science 0 thoughts on “Born to be Beautiful”
Australian Advanced Aesthetics – 2010



SkinDNA ™ revolutionizes the cosmetic industry with its genetic test to assess an individual’s DNA; revealing their genetic propensity to intrinsic skin aging.

Imagine if you can recommend a skincare product specifically suited to your client’s genetic make-up, or perform skin treatments using parameters determined by their DNA. Sounds like something from science fiction, but thanks to recent research in genomics that may not be too far in the future.

Today the field of cosmetic medicine is on the brink of a scientific revolution; thanks to recent advancements in field of Personal Genomics it’s now become possible to purchase a genetic test that will assess an individual’s DNA to reveal their genetic propensity to intrinsic ageing. This information can be used to empower individuals to make health-promoting lifestyle and dietary changes, and help skin professionals make more informed treatment choices.

The practise of cosmetic medicine has been marked by several great technological innovations in the last century. The 1958 invention of Laser optics in the field of physics for example, eventually transformed the face of cosmetic medicine. The use of Botulinum Toxin in Ophthalmology first in the 1960’s – little would we have known at the time – would go on to become a standard worldwide treatment for dynamic facial wrinkles. Like most innovations, each of these occurred in external scientific disciplines which eventually transferred into ours. This technological diffusion process, this time from the field of Personal Genomics, is yet again set to change the face cosmetic medicine.

Genetic testing use to be limited to the realms of forensic analysis and parental identity, but with the unravelling of the complete human genome in 2003 it’s been a lot more pervasive. In 2008 the winner of Time Magazine’s invention of the year wasn’t NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Tesla Roadster (an all-electric sports car made by Tesla Motors), nor was it the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator. It was a new Personal Genetics test being offered by 23andMe. It represented the true beginning of a personal genomics era, with several companies following suit.

In the Genes

In 1909, Danish botanist Wilhelm Johanssen coined the word ‘gene’ for the hereditary unit found on a chromosome. Nearly 50 years earlier, Gregor Mendel had characterised hereditary units as ‘factors’, or observable differences that were passed on from parent to child. Today, we know that a single gene consists of a unique sequence of DNA that provides the complete set of instructions to make a protein. Genes instruct cells to make sets of proteins at just the right times, and it is through this specificity that our ‘uniqueness’ arises.

The concept of uniqueness is important because even though the DNA of any two individuals is more than 99.9% identical, every one of us (except for identical twins) is genetically unique. The crucial difference lies in the remaining 0.1% – differences most typically represented as variations known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (or SNPs). Genomics research has determined that many SNPs can be associated with an increased risk of disease including Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Melanoma and Diabetes – to name a few. But the influences of SNP’s don’t stop with disease; they determine most of our personal characteristics – everything from the colour of our hair to the shape of our nose, to the thickness of our hair and as recently discovered, the youth and vitality of our skin.

The Quest for Youth

Our discipline has long been focused on the maintenance of youth, or at least of a youthful-looking skin. This has important utility for our patients, because a youthful-looking skin is significant in interpersonal contact and in personal satisfaction. Recognising this we’ve made extensive efforts into researching and documenting the age-related changes of the skin: thinning, exaggerated expression lines, enlarged pores, wrinkling, pigmented lesions, patchy hypopigmentations, and actinic keratosis. What’s been missing is a proper understanding of the intrinsic molecular mechanisms involved

Answers from the human genome

That is where recent findings from the global SkinDNA™ research collaboration led by Australian pharmacogenomics company Wellbeing Genomics Pty Ltd comes in. The collaboration of geneticists, cosmetic physicians, skin scientists, and volunteer study participants commenced their work in 2006 with two principle objectives in mind: (1) To identify the genetic factors that contribute to age-related changes in the skin; and (2) to identify “actionable pathways” available for each of those genetic pathways in order to “help each and every individual worldwide preserve a more youthful-looking skin”.

The researchers profiled the action of 6,347 genes and – using genome-wide association studies – they discovered more than 200 abnormal gene traits in the form of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) implicated in the health and wellbeing of our skin. Most significant was the prevalence of some of these SNP’s and the effect they had on the skin. Whilst many of these findings are due to be outlined in a forthcoming paper, we can reveal some of the results:

30% of the adult population were found to have a specific 2G2G polymorphism in the Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 gene increasing their predisposition to excessive collagen breakdown;
Polymorphisms in the ERC22 gene having a population prevalence of 27% was associated with increased sensitivity to sunlight and heightened sunlight-induced skin damage.


The 5 cellular ageing processes

The genes tested were catalogued according to the structural, functional and metabolic effects they had on the skin. Together with the knowledge of the molecular events that underlie the ageing process, the researchers were able to identify five cellular processes involved in skin ageing. These can be described broadly as: Collagen Breakdown, Photo Defense, Oxidation, Inflammation and Glycation – each one of which is controlled by a specific group of genes. A Polymorphism in any one of these genes changes its molecular activity and intervenes with the skin’s normal ageing process.

1. Collagen Breakdown

Collagen is an important element of human skin; in fact it is the principle structural protein holding skin together. Representing 75% of the skin’s dry weight, the quantity and quality of Collagen plays a major role in the skin’s appearance. The genes in this category are involved in slowing the breakdown and degradation of Collagen Fibers found in the extracellular matrix of human tissue. Key variations in our genes can identify if the synthesis and degradation process of Collagen inclined to be in balance, or if the predisposition to collagen degradation predominates – which can result in premature sagging and wrinkling of the skin.

2. Photo Defence

Causing premature skin aging and a host of other profound changes to the skin, repeated exposure to ultraviolet light (UV radiation) from the sun accounts for nearly 90% of symptoms of premature skin aging, skin damage and skin cancer. Genetics were shown to play an important role in determining how well our skin can naturally cope under the strains of the sun.

3. Oxidation

The Oxidation process starts with Free Radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive short lived molecules that can damage virtually any molecule in our body – including the important cellular structures found in the body’s largest organ – the skin. This kind of free radical damage leads to the generation of even more free radicals! It’s a chain reaction that can wreak havoc in every layer of the skin – including the Hypodermis, Dermis and the particularly vulnerable epidermis. This sort of cellular destruction in any one of the skin’s layers can lead to a dull, lifeless, aged complexion. It’s not all bad news however, because our bodies have been built with a natural defence: Internal Antioxidants. The activity of these internal antioxidants is determined in large part by their mediating genes, and their activity levels were found to vary substantially.

4. Inflammation

Inflammation is the skin’s first line of defense against foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Inflammation also initiates the tissues healing processes and limits the damage to skin cells caused by everyday chemicals and pollutants. Excessive inflammation is one of the most common themes in early onset skin aging. While it is a helpful response in the short term, if inflammation continues on-going, it can play a very harmful role. Often subtle, the signs include skin sensitivity, redness and irritation.

5. Glycation

Glycation causes the skin proteins (like collagen and elastin) to lose their ability to function normally; Glycation is now well recognised and heavily implicated in accelerated skin aging. Advanced Glycation End Products (A.G.Es) are the end result of a glucose-driven process known as Glycation. Glycation occurs when excess bodily glucose molecules link to the skin’s Collagen and Elastin fibers. This cross-linking can form chemical bridges between these proteins. Glycated fibres can become rigid, less elastic and have reduced regenerative ability, which can lead to damage such as laxity, cracking and thinning skin.

Current and future implications

The implications of these findings are vast. Not only has the SkinDNA™ allowed physicians and skin professionals to incorporate a cutting-edge genomics test into the care of its patients, it has also provided the tools to pave the way for new strategies for diagnosis, treatment and prevention plans. As the skin’s ageing mechanisms are further identified, and further insights into the underlying processes of skin ageing emerge, better strategies to prevent the undesirable effects of skin ageing should follow. In the near future, look out for new gene and cell therapies to repair skin damage and to optimise skin health as well as personalised skincare and skin treatment programs tailored to an our very own DNA
By R.G.


Aussie Invention Makes Global News

Oct 7, 2018 Posted by All Media, Beauty, Industry / Science 0 thoughts on “Aussie Invention Makes Global News”
Professional Beauty – 2012


A simple DNA testing process that educates consumers on the right products and ingredients suitable for their skin, based on their DNA.

A young Aussie entrepreneur, passionate about beauty and skin science will have his invention, SkinDNA ™ showcased on one of the world’s leading morning chat shows, Good Morning America on Tuesday 27th November, after lifestyle anchor, Lara Spencer discovered and trialled the product herself.

Stefan Mazy creator of SkinDNA; a simple at-home DNA test kit which provides consumers with a blue-print of their skin’s DNA to combat ageing and is making a big impact overseas after it was recently shown on the hit US talk show, The Doctors which airs in Australia on TEN.

Sydney based, Stefan came up with the concept after seeing a gap in the market for a simple testing process that educates consumers on the right products suitable for their skin based on their DNA. Stefan approached a team of doctors with his idea and set forth to change the way consumers think about their skin.

Stefan says: “SkinDNA is revolutionising the way we take care of our skin, this is the future of an industry and the key to combating skin ageing before the signs even appear. All this information is found inside us buried in our unique DNA blueprint”.

A recent report revealed; Aussie’s are spending more than ever on beauty and possibly on the wrong products. Imagine having a blue-print of your skin that tells you exactly what products will work specifically for you? Well Stefan says this Aussie invention using a swab test to identify your skin’s DNA can help to create customisable skincare routines/laser treatments programs for your skin and has hailed it as the latest holy grail in scientifically combating premature ageing and predicting genetic skin dispositions.

Using a non-intrusive swabbing of the inner cheek, the SkinDNA sample is analysed with the proprietary DNA DermXT micro-chip technology developed by a worldwide collaboration of scientists. The client’s sample data is used to create a personalised guide that allows them to advance beyond the ‘one-size-fits-all’ suggestions – using the right skincare products targeted to their own genetic blueprint. This custom tailored preventative skincare and health program allows the client to achieve the optimum levels of skin protection and long-term health.

SkinDNA is now available in Australia, USA [SkinShift – by Dr Ruthie Harper], Brazil [DNAage], China [VITA-Genes], Canada and United Kingdom. According to Advanced Dermatology’s Dr Sarah Freilich, “SkinDNA is one of the most exciting, eyebrow-raising developments out there in the skin health and skincare arenas”.

It’s In The Genes

Oct 7, 2018 Posted by All Media, Industry / Science 0 thoughts on “It’s In The Genes”
Popular Science – Best Inventions of 2010 Issue


DNA Profiles could lead to specially targeted skin products.

Moisturisers maintain a balance of the oil on our skin, but claims such as ‘reducing wrinkles’ and ‘defying age’ often simply refer to the reduction of damage from external factors such as pollutants or the sun. That’s why they often contain sunscreen, but they dont really make you younger. That said, people respond differently to moisturisers based on numerous factors – from their genetic makeup to their daily activities – and thats where the choice of product can make a huge difference.

It’s not realistic for a product to cater for every individual need of its customers, but a new product called SKinDNA might make it possible. Their DNA tests, available from can reveal information such as collagen breakdown, photo aging, wrinkling, oxidation and tolerance to surrounding pollutants. There’s just one catch: this isn’t a test you ca simply conduct at home – you have to send the swab in for analysis.

The site doesn’t offer specific products based on the genetic information, but it does point towards a future in which skincare can be made to suit individual needs. The company has already profiled more than 6,000 genes and they have a pretty good idea of how many people lack the specific gene needed to regulate sun protection.

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