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Skin DNA Testing: Personalized Skincare for Radiant Results 

Professionals

2023-06-14

Last Updated On: 2024-01-07

Skin DNA testing is a breakthrough in the world of skincare, offering a deeper understanding of your skin's genetic makeup.

Doctor Medica team

Most people have some kind of skincare routine based on their type of skin: dry, oily, or normal. But these categories are too broad, and most of the time they are hit or miss when it comes to helping you find the best skin products. How many times has it happened to you to use a skincare product that doesn’t do anything for your skin? Probably a couple of times, at least.

Each of us has unique skin, and this should be reflected in our skincare routine. 

Imagine having a personalized approach to skincare, tailored specifically to your skin’s needs. With the revolutionary advancements in DNA testing, this is now a reality. Skin DNA testing is a breakthrough in the world of skincare, offering a deeper understanding of your skin’s genetic makeup and allowing us to optimize our skincare regimen like never before.

Skin Aging Process

The skin, just like anything else in our bodies, changes with age. Over time, we experience the loss of skin fat, thinning of the skin, the formation of wrinkles, and a decrease in elasticity, leading to sagging.

Our skin is composed of many layers, but for the sake of simplicity, we generally talk about the three main ones being:

  1. Epidermis (the outer part) – containing: proteins, skin cells, connective tissue, and pigments.
  2. Dermis (the middle part) – containing: oil glands, nerves, skin cells, connective tissue, blood vessels, and hair follicles. 
  3. Subcutaneous (the inner layer) – containing: fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, sweat glands, and some hair follicles. 

As you can see, there are many parts to our skin, and each of them has a role to play in keeping it fresh. By understanding our skin’s genetic makeup through a skin genetics test, we can better understand and address potential concerns. On top of the natural aging process, we also have external factors like harsh weather, sun exposure, and our own bad habits that contribute to the changes our skin undergoes.

Here are the most common aging processes that people typically aim to address:

Skin thinning: Contrary to popular belief, we do not lose any layers during the aging process. What happens is that we lose melanocytes (pigment-containing cells), so the remaining cells need to spread to cover a larger area of our skin, which leads to the skin looking paler, thinner, and more translucent. 

Loss of elasticity: As we age, we produce less and less collagen and elastin, which naturally leads to saggy skin and the dreaded wrinkles. Other habits and lifestyle choices like smoking and poor nutrition, or reckless sun exposure, don’t help at all. Luckily, there are numerous ways to regain the skin’s elasticity, including laser and ultrasound treatments, and dermal fillers. While DNA skin testing cannot provide specific solutions for combating these issues, it can offer insights into the rate at which skin elasticity changes over time. 

Losing skin fat: While losing fat may look like a positive thing to most people, it’s not when you start losing too much in the areas where it matters. It leads to a skeletal appearance that most people avoid by using dermal implants or fat grafting. 

Decreased oil production: Both men and women experience this effect, but it happens at different times. Most men experience it after 80, but women start producing less oil after menopause. Less oil leads to dry and itchy skin. 

Sun damage: While we need the sun to get our daily dose of vitamin D, too much of it can lead to other unwanted effects, including cancer, all due to UV radiation. Other forms of skin damage include age spots, also known as liver spots and solar elastosis. The sun also harms the skin’s elasticity. DNA skin tests can tell you how susceptible you are to UV rays based on your genetics. 

Bruising: With time, our blood vessels become frail and can easily be damaged, which leads to easier bleeding and a longer healing time. 

DNA Testing in Skin Care

DNA testing is the process of looking into the human genetic code to gain insights into different aspects of our health and well-being. In the context of skincare, DNA testing can provide valuable information about the patient’s skin and its genetic predispositions, such as its ability to retain moisture, produce collagen, and handle environmental stressors. 

By understanding the skin’s unique genetic makeup through DNA testing, you can make more informed decisions about the patient’s skincare routine, including the selection of appropriate products and treatments. This personalized approach allows  you to address specific skin concerns even before they start appearing. 

You can perform a comprehensive skin DNA test kit for your patients on sites like Muhdo and you’ll typically get the laboratory results back in four to six weeks. Let’s take a look at the main aspects of the test results and what you should know about them. 

Laboratory Tests – What To Look For

While there may be some differences between companies, your standard test will cover the following six areas:

  1. Wrinkles and fine lines
  2. Pigmentation and UV protection
  3. Collagen quality
  4. Skin sensitivity
  5. Skin elasticity
  6. Skin antioxidants

Wrinkles: The sun, loss of elastin, and certain lifestyle habits can contribute to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. However, another significant factor to consider is the process of glycation. This process is closely tied to our glucose intake and the rate at which our bodies eliminate glucose by-products known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). 

AGE by-products have the potential to impede the flexibility of elastin and collagen, leading to significant impacts on our skin. DNA skin analysis aims to identify specific genes that may influence or impair the glycation process.

Pigmentation and sun protection: While a decrease in melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) occurs in everyone due to aging, some individuals are more susceptible to it than others. In both cases, the genetic solar protection factor plays a crucial role. It determines an individual’s resistance to UV light, which explains why some people can tan more easily than others. What seems like a good thing at one point turns out to be a disadvantage later in life. 

Collagen quality: Collagen is one of the most important proteins when it comes to the youthful appearance and elasticity of our skin and joints. As our body’s ability to regenerate collagen decreases, wrinkles and fine lines start appearing. A skin DNA test looks for any imbalances in genes responsible for synthesizing and maintaining collagen production in your body. 

Skin Sensitivity: The test checks for how prone you are to inflammatory reactions and if you are genetically predisposed to skin sensitivity. Certain genetic variations can contribute to heightened reactions, such as redness, itching, or irritation when exposed to certain environmental triggers or skincare products, which can lead to skin aging faster instead of staying younger. 

Skin Elasticity: Once we reach our 40s, enzymes known as MMPs (Matrix Metalloproteinases) start wreaking havoc by degrading the extracellular matrix (ECM), including collagens, elastins, gelatin, matrix glycoproteins, and proteoglycans. This degradation can severely affect our skin’s ability to retain its shape and elasticity.

Since they are regulated by hormones, cytokines, and growth factors, the DNA skin test checks for specific genetic variations that may influence the activity and regulation of these enzymes. 

Skin antioxidants: Pollution, cigarette smoke, the sun, and others also cause serious problems with our skin’s health. To combat them, our body produces antioxidants to combat free radical damage

Free radicals are unstable molecules that attempt to bond with other molecules to achieve stability, and their presence can lead to oxidative stress and damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. While creams and a healthy diet can help, the most important factor is, of course, our natural genetic predisposition. The test checks how capable we are of fighting free radicals on our own.  

Conclusion

The days of blindly taking skin care products and relying on generic categories to determine the best products for our skin are over. The advent of DNA skin testing has revolutionized the way we approach skincare routines. No longer will we have to rely on trial and error or guesswork when it comes to achieving radiant and healthy skin.

With DNA tests, doctors can unlock valuable insights into their patients’ genetic skin predispositions and select products and treatments that are truly effective. It’s a transformative step towards a future where skincare is optimized and results are truly personalized. Embracing DNA skin care is a significant leap forward in achieving everyone’s desired skin goals with precision and confidence.

FAQ

How long does DNA last on a cheek swab?

If the cheek swab containing DNA is stored in an envelope and kept in a cool, dry place, it can remain viable for up to six months.

Do DNA repair creams work?

Yes. In the majority of subjects (72%), DNA repair creams provided a noticeable improvement. 

What is DNA-based skincare?

DNA-based skincare takes into account the patient’s skin DNA results to formulate a personalized skincare regimen tailored to their unique genetic makeup and specific skin concerns.

Reference:

  1. Characteristics of the Aging Skin; Miranda A. Farage, Kenneth W. Miller, Peter Elsner, and Howard I. Maibach; Feb 2013
  2. Solar Elastosis in Its Papular Form: Uncommon, Mistakable; Jun Khee Heng, Derrick Chen Wee Aw, and Kong Bing Tan; APR 2014
  3. The role of glycation in the pathogenesis of aging and its prevention through herbal products and physical exercise; Chan-Sik Kim, Sok Park, and Junghyun Kim; Sep 2017
  4. Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): Biochemistry, Signaling, Analytical Methods, and Epigenetic Effects; Anna Perrone, Antonio Giovino, Jubina Benny, and Federico Martinelli; Mar 2020
  5. The Roles of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Inhibitors in Human Diseases; Griselda A. Cabral-Pacheco, Idalia Garza-Veloz, Claudia Castruita-De la Rosa, Jesús M. Ramirez-Acuña, Braulio A. Perez-Romero, Jesús F. Guerrero-Rodriguez, Nadia Martinez-Avila, and Margarita L. Martinez-Fierro; Dec 2020
  6. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs): chemical-biological functions and (Q)SARs; Rajeshwar P Verma and Corwin Hansch; Jan 2007
  7. Free radicals, antioxidants, and functional foods: Impact on human health; V. Lobo, A. Patil, A. Phatak, and N. Chandra; Dec 2010
  8. Six critical questions for DNA repair enzymes in skincare products: a review in dialog; Daniel B. Yarosh, Amanda Rosenthal, and Ronald Moy; Aug 2019
  9. Personalized skincare: from molecular basis to clinical and commercial applications; Ewa Markiewicz and Olusola Clement Idowu; APR 2018

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