About two years ago, the New York Times gushed about a British company that could analyze DNA to determine best skincare practices. I was admittedly skeptical. The £600 price tag seemed hefty. And, it felt a bit like an excuse that a “One Percenter” might offer when rationalizing Botox, collagen injections, or a face lift! Since then, however, I’ve learned how DNA analysis can truly revolutionize skin care in a variety of areas. And, I was recently able to put that theory to the test with my own HomeDNA Skin Care Test. This is a scientifically-based DNA test that examines 28 genetic markers (SNPs) in seven unique categories associated with skin aging.
How the test works
It was a simple, painless process. The kit arrived and I registered my kit number and information online.
I took four swabs from inside my cheek. I was careful to follow the instructions to the letter, to ensure the most accurate results possible. Then, I mailed the kit to HomeDNA in the prepaid envelope provided.
I’ve been waiting for my Home DNA skin care analysis and report all week and today my notification finally arrived! So, I sat down to read the results to learn more.
How to read the results of the HomeDNA Skin Care Test
My skin’s genetic potential was evaluated in seven areas of skin health. Each area was shown on a colored scale (far left is red which is non-ideal and far right is blue which is optimal).
Each category was further broken down into gene profiles summarizing all of the specific markers tested for that category. (I could even see where on the scale I fell based on a global database.)
Of course, the closer the results are to blue, the better. But, if you do fall into the yellow or even red in some areas (as I did), there is a helpful table summarizing the types of topical ingredients, supplements, and even professional treatments that are most effective for skin with your specific results.
For me, the results confirmed some things I knew. But, they held a few surprises, too!
Fine Lines & Wrinkles. Blood sugar levels can affect skin’s appearance. And, my results indicated that I had very few of the gene variations associated with glucose-related fine lines and wrinkles. (Not a surprise since my husband is such an excellent cook and uses wonderful, fresh ingredients!). In fact, I was so high into the optimal level, my only recommendation was to consider using preventative antioxidants such as vitamins C or E. Sounds easy!
Sun Protection. Here I fell into the mid-yellow range, below the global average. It was no surprise, however, since I am very fair and tend to burn easily, then tan. According to the results, my results indicate that I carry some of the gene variations that can weaken skin’s natural protection against the sun. The result was a good reminder to me to invest in some heavy duty sunscreen and remember to wear it daily.
Skin Sensitivity. This was my first surprise as I scored very, very low in the category. Noticeable signs are skin dehydration as well as itching and redness, both of which I suffer from only occasionally.
Skin Elasticity. Another low score, but no wonder. Elasticity is the ability of your skin to stretch and return to its original shape. As I’ve aged, I definitely noticed a difference (pillow lines, anyone?). Luckily, there was a laundry list of helpful product recommendations, as well as treatments such as Skin Needling, LED Light Therapy: and Radio Frequency/IR.
Pigmentation. A “super score!” This one was so high in the blue,optimal area that there were literally no recommendations for improvement. And, in fact, my skin is very evenly toned, with almost no blotching or dark patches. Right on the money!
Collagen Quality. Since skin collagen levels naturally decline with age, I was not shocked that my score was only in the mid-range. And, in fact, my skin has genetic variations that can speed up the rate at which my collagen quality declines. But, surprising was that my body’s ability to maintain healthy collagen levels may not be optimal. This is definitely an area I can to improve by using the right products.
Skin Antioxidants. This final category was the most interesting. Antioxidants are your skin’s best friends. They are naturally-occurring substances that help reduce the damage to the skin caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are also produced from within the body by key genes to help provide a boost of protection. And apparently, I have an abundance of them! For example, my gene that regulates free radical scavenging and helps protect skin cells from oxidative damage is working overtime. This explains the mystery of how I can have lived with a smoker all my life and still not have “smoker’s skin.”
HomeDNA Skin Care Test: My takeaway
I absolutely loved this process. Not only was it interesting, on an academic level, to examine various genes and how they affect certain visual outcomes, it also explained a lot about my skin!
I highly recommend the HomeDNA Skin Care Test, especially for young people, as they are developing skin care routines and product preferences. Why waste 10 years (and hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars) using Vitamin C-based products, for example, if your individual skin needs something entirely different? This evaluation is really about minimizing effort for maximum benefit.
And, I consider the price tag, just $99, money well spent. It’s a small investment when you examine how much you actually spend annually on skincare products and services. Click here to learn more or to order your own kit.
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PHOTOS: used with permission.
DISCLAIMER: No financial compensation was received in exchange for this post. I did, however, receive a sample of the HomeDNA Skin Care Test in order to fully test the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers.
Since 2009, Susan Said… WHAT?! has been your guide to a life filled with style – from beauty essentials, fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest ideas for and events of all kinds. Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.