Did you know DNA influences your skin health?

Skin health and genetics - Loving the skin you are in

From “skin white as snow” to “liver-spotted hands,” your skin defines how the world sees you. It sets that first impression. Skin is also our first line of defence against nature, which means scars, age spots and wrinkles really are reminders of battles fought and won.

Wouldn’t it be fitting then, if we could offer our skin special attention, to preserve its allure? From choosing the best products, to diets and habits, the secret to personalized skin care is in your genes.

The ‘Skin’ Genes

Skin is unique from person to person, because many of its qualities like texture and appearance are influenced by genetic variations. Studies have linked hundreds of gene variants to different aspects of the skin.

The Age of Your Skin

Take photo-aging for example, a quality that is of most interest to many of us in the Western world. Photo-aging refers to the premature aging of the skin from being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light.

We are exposed to harmful UV rays every time we go outside, as the natural protection offered to us by the ozone layer is slowly wearing off. Activities like tanning and sunbathing will increases this exposure even further.

The MMP1 gene is one of the many genetic variants that influences photo-aging. Matrix metalloproteinase-1, the enzyme encoded by MMP1 gene, is switched on in the presence of UV light, and plays a role in collagen breakdown.

Some of us carry a MMP1 variant that makes extra enzyme, increasing collagen break down. Since collagen provides support to the skin, a person with this version of MMP1 is at higher risk of developing wrinkles.

Hydration And Texture

Silky, radiant skin calls for vitamins and minerals. Dry skin, discoloration and conditions like acne and eczema are common signs of vitamin deficiency, especially vitamin A.

Most of the vitamin A in the body is made from beta-carotene, a nutrient found in fruits and vegetables that are orange-red in colour like carrots and pumpkin. The beta-carotene oxygenase 1 enzyme is responsible for converting beta-carotene into active vitamin A.

Women with certain versions of BCO1 are are not as efficient at making this conversion and are more prone to rough, dry skin. The fix fortunately is quite simple. You need to increase your intake of vitamin A, either by changing your diet or by taking a multivitamin.

Be Blemish Free 

Finally to aesthetics. What about cellulite? Those pesky deposits of fat that make the skin look like an orange peel. People with variants of two genes, ACE and HIF1A are more likely to develop cellulite.

Another gene, elastin (ELN), is implicated in stretch marks. This variant may explain why your pregnant belly was covered in stretch marks when your best friend’s wasn’t. You will be happy to know that scientists are actively working on finding ways to help us fight these genetic predispositions.

Personalize Your Skin Care Routine

With a skin care industry worth over 120 billion dollars, it is not surprising that there is a suggested remedy to every one of our skin issues.

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VitaNiacin, CoQ10 or hyaluronic acid, to defy aging. Bio-oil, cocoa butter or vitamin E, to battle stretch marks. And for cellulite, maybe a formula with glycolic acid, retinol, caffeine or sunflower.

With endless possibilities, the choice can become overwhelming. Perhaps it is time to let genes lead the way and discover a skin care routine that fits your skin just right. Give your skin the attention it deserves with the DNA Skin Health Test.

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