The Science of Skincare – Finding The Ideal Regimen Using Your DNA
Posted On Nov 08, 2017
By: Angie De Angelis
Knowing what happens below the skin—way below, at the genetic level—is the best way to treat what’s happening on your skin, according to the doctors, estheticians and cosmetic scientists behind Targeted Skin, a new genetically focused line of skincare products personalized to meet the needs and inherited traits of each user.
If you knew that high blood pressure ran in your family, for example, or that you were predisposed to breast cancer, you’d probably approach your healthcare in a more targeted way than if you had no idea. Similarly, you might treat your skincare routine differently if you knew your genetic makeup put you at risk for issues like sunspots, sensitivity or loss of elasticity.
Targeted Skin takes the guesswork out of exactly that. Testing yourself and being informed of your family history has always been a part of maintaining a healthy body, and now the same individualized attention is being applied to keeping healthy skin.
“It’s a great way to think about skincare,” says Amy Jimenez, one of Targeted Skin’s founders. “It really opens people’s eyes to what they need.”
Each user first receives a kit with easy-to-follow instructions for DNA sample collection (i.e. a quick cheek swab) and prepaid packaging to send off to the lab. Once it’s analyzed for appearance and aging characteristics, a customized DNA report is created that explains the categories tested, specific genes examined, risk levels for different traits and issues, and corresponding treatments and procedures for the future are recommended. With that personalized information, users receive a skincare regimen tailored to their specific genotype.
My report, for example, had lots of information that was new and fascinating to me, especially as someone who considers herself on top of her preventative skincare game. My results suggested that I’m at an increased risk of developing skin irritation in response to pollutants or overly perfumed products (a concern to me because I’m a product junkie who happens to live in a big city) and that I’m also at medium risk—based on my genes for collagen balance and protection— for excessive laxity (or skin sagging and wrinkles). And for those intimidated by all the science talk and lab lingo, the report was surprisingly approachable as it was easy to read and easy to quickly refer to again and again (after all, time goes on but your genes stay the same).
Targeted Skin goes beyond traditional skincare labels like oily, dry or combination-skin, which still have a one-size-fits-all feel. The DNA report and professional regimen I received from Targeted Skin was aimed at directly what I needed most. Because of my genetic sensitivity to perfumes, dyes and overly active ingredients, everything, including a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer and night cream, felt gentle and clean, never heavy or medicinal. Just a few days into using it, my skin already felt more clear and even toned, soft and hydrated.
Past adolescence, most of skincare is preventative, especially around aging-related issues, which is why having all of this information specific to your particular skin needs could save you years of trial and error skincare, not to mention money, stress and unnecessary products.
“Imagine finding out at 18 what your skin will need later on in life,” says Jimenez. “If you can find out early on, it’s a game changer.”