Since we can personalise almost everything about our lives these days, from our license plates to our stationary, why not personalise our skincare?

Scientists have developed ways of analysing our genome so we could potentially use this to tailor our skincare regime beyond the usual ‘one size fits all’. Before we dive in, lets start with the basics such as, what is a genome? A good way to think of genomes is like the instruction manual for all the cells in our bodies, as it contains our DNA. Beauty scientists have suggested that we can use our genome to personalise our beauty regimes.

But how would this work?

Currently, the procedure of obtaining a DNA sample doesn’t involve any needles or doctors in scrubs (you’re probably be pleased to hear!). All it takes is a simple swab from the inside of your cheek with a cotton bud. Experts then look for Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP’s pronounced “snips”) within your DNA. All human DNA is 99.8% identical and so our uniqueness lies in the 0.2% difference. These variations are the SNP’s– and they determine the variations that are present in our skin. By analysing these differences, we could potentially then formulate specific products that are targeted at our individual skin profiles, and this is the whole concept behind personalised beauty!

The variations investigates vary between the companies carrying out the test, but the common genes analysed are those involved in collagen production and degradation, antioxidant protection, sun damage and pigmentation, free radical damage and inflammation. Each of the factors is then assigned high, medium or low risk, so skincare products can be selected based on your individual needs. For example: being high risk sun damage would mean you are at higher risk for UV induced damage, which without assistance, could manifest as pigmentation, sun spots and wrinkles later on. Therefore, a UV protecting product would be top of list!

So what do the Geeks make of personalised beauty? Hype or tripe?

We are really excited that the beauty industry is implementing cutting edge science to improve our lotions and potions. However, as much we want it to, the Geeks are not so sure how well it will live up to expectations. Skin ageing is such a complex process, and involves so many different factors. Especially as these companies only tend to analyse several genes when our genomes consist of around 21,000 genes, therefore how can it be an accurate representation? Another thing we should mention is that this tech-y beauty trend can set you back around £600 (depending on where you go!), so we’d consider it more of a beauty splurge than a staple at the moment!

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