Skin cells are now being used to make bespoke beauty products

Zoe Dubs

We live in a world where beauty products are getting smarter, more compatible and better for our bodies, but using our DNA is definitely at the frontier of something new in skincare.

We’ve mastered the understanding of our skin type and the ingredients we react to but customised skincare is fast becoming the next big product trend.

What better way to tailor treatments to your body than using your own DNA cells? Yep, you heard that right – our own DNA. Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve any sort of painful medical extraction process, just a simple mouth swab.

How does DNA skincare work?

With some skincare products costing hundreds of pounds, sometimes you need certainty before you invest. The premise of this revolutionary skincare service is that it’s tailored to your DNA profile which means that the products recommended are designed to work specifically for you. Customers just provide a DNA sample and the laboratory will analyse the genes linked to skin traits.

We tried the YOUNOM DNA testing kit, which takes a look at 11 genetic markers responsible for things like photo-ageing, hydration, elasticity and antioxidant protection. Based on the results of the analysis, YOUNOM will recommend a customised skincare routine for you. Sounds simple enough.

In order to get a sample of our buccal epithelium (read: skin cells in our mouth), we received a clinical looking mouth swab in the post. We had to use this swab to wipe the inside of our cheeks, one of the easiest places to harvest skin cells. It didn’t hurt at all, it was essentially like rubbing a toothbrush inside our mouths. It’s very easy to do, but we recommend to remove all lipstick before you do it!

A week later, we received an email to let us know that our personalised DNA report was ready. This report contains lots of interesting information that describes the coded data in our 11 genetic markers and recommendations for our specific genotype.

Along with the report came a customised multi-active face cream and two types of biologically active supplements – because good skin needs to happen from the inside too.

Following a skin cell analysis, a customised box arrives in the post [Photo: Instagram/YouNomBeauty]
Following a skin cell analysis, a customised box arrives in the post [Photo: Instagram/YouNomBeauty]

Brace yourself: Here’s the science bit

The cream itself consists of 3 highly active serums, each of which has its own unique properties for your skin.

Firstly, the Youth Tetrapeptide serum prevents the collapse of elastin, stimulates the production of Type I collagen in the skin and restores skin firmness and elasticity.

A Biomarine molecular complex is included for the long-lasting hydration of skin cells. The unique formula is developed on the basis of exopolysaccharides – natural substances produced by some species of marine bacteria in order to protect them from drying out at low tide. No doubt you’ve heard a lot about the moisturising effect of hyaluronic acid? Well this stuff is even more powerful for hydration.

Finally, it also contains a unique Antioxidant Power Active serum has the ability to increase the photoprotective properties of the skin and enhance its antioxidant protection.

Free from parabens, silicones and other nasties, the cream also contains coenzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, almond oil and other essential ingredients that you would expect in a skincare product. The key difference is that the amount of each ingredient is determined by the results of your DNA analysis, so that you have an optimal formula for you. A match made in skincare heaven? We’ll keep you updated but so far, it’s been a really interesting experience.

A face cream customised to your DNA profile [Photo: Instagram/YouNom Beauty]
A face cream customised to your DNA profile [Photo: Instagram/YouNom Beauty]

As we become more knowledgeable about our skin and what goes into our skincare products, it’s not a surprise that we start to gain an interest in the science side as well. Personally, we were fascinated to learn about how certain genes impact our skincare choice although there were some which were already common knowledge – like the important of protection your skin from photo-ageing (read: WEAR SPF).

With beauty science becoming more accessible to us non-scientists, we’re predicting that DNA tailored skincare is only the first step towards the skincare of the future. Forget about buying products in line with our skin type, in 10 years time we could be buying high-street skincare in line with our genetic profile, who knows?

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