Sydney Morning Herald – 2016
Technology is offering tailor-made solutions for managing our skin, and its ageing process, better than ever before, writes Katrina Lawrence
With the spring 2015 haute couture collections kicking off today in Paris, the made-to-measure chich is in the spotlight. Ready-to-wear brands Burberry and Prada personalise some offerings, with monogramming and customisation services. But it’s in the skincare industry where personalisation is picking up a serious buzz.
The human genome was mapped back in 2003, but the implications for how we manage our skin’s aging process are becoming clearer, as more research is undertaken into the various skin genes. “The possibilities are limitless,” says Stefan Mazy, founder of SkinDNA, an Australian skin genetic testing service. “The personal genomics industry is still in infant stage because it’s not just about taking a test, it’s about understanding the information behind what the markers are all about.”
SkinDNA involves a cheek swab for a saliva sample, along with a questionnaire covering lifestyle factors. From here, the SkinDNA laboratory looks at 16 markers – or DNA sequences – within five categories; firmness, glycation, sun damage, free radical damage and sensitivity. A skin therapist utilises this report to design a treatment program focussing on the categories in which a patient is medium or high risk, and the most suitable active ingredients. “We’re always adding new markers to the test to understand more about the skin,” Mazy says. An expanding database also means SkinDNA is able to conduct correlate studies and accumulate more data, and a greater understanding of the skin’s ageing.
“It took the guesswork out for our O Cosmedic salons,” says Marie Enna-Cocciolone, CEO of Inskin Cosmedics, distributor of SkinDNA and several cosmeceutical brands.
“We now know which products and dosage are required to preserve skin.”
Facialists who in conjunction with a SkinDNA report have a clearer idea of where younger clients’ skin is heading, for mature clients, it allows therapists to focus on the most effective treatments.
“Some people think sugar they eat is contributing to their skin concerns, but then find their glycation levels are low,” Enna-Cocciolone says.
“However, if the high-risk is in collagen breakdown, you’d prescribe a program focussed on collagen synthesis.”
A personalised guide to skin ageing also allows the consumer to shop smarter. “We’re overwhelmed with so much choice that we can make poor decisions,” says Mazy. “With DNA testing, we can recommend ingredients to the products that will be best for them.”
For Singapore brand Skin Inc, available at Sephora Sydney, personalised skincare comes in the form of My Daily Dose, a set of three encapsulated serums that are custom-mixed at home in a dedicated bottle; the trio of active ingredients is prescribed based on a questionnaire, and are ideally taken every three months.
“In life, we customise a lot,” says Sabrina Tan, founder and CEO of Skin Inc.
“Every morning we choose a different outfit and make-up palette. But what changes the most? The skin. So it’s important to customise skincare. This is not a trend. It’s a fact.”