‘I got my skin DNA tested and it was completely eye opening’

It’s 2021 and it seems you can get a DNA test for everything now.

I personally am the OG of DNA testing, having had the coeliac gene test at a very young age. That set me on a good path, so when presented the opportunity to get another one – this time to figure out what the heck was going on with my skin – I jumped at the opportunity.

SkinDNA is the world’s leading skin DNA test for the prevention of skin ageing, and has recently launched a new test available for people to buy directly. You don’t have to go through a doctor or dermatologist, which is great in these Covid-times where we’re separated from our beloved technicians.

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While you may not have heard of it yet, SkinDNA has been in the big leagues with major brands for a while now, and has helped formulate for the likes of Vanessa Hudgens & Madison Beer’s Know Beauty, Rationale and O Cosmedics.

Speaking with Stefan Mazy, the founder of SkinDNA, he says their test is the only one to combine both lifestyle factors and DNA insights to be “99.96 percent accurate”.

“SkinDNA presents you with the most accurate information based on what your DNA tells us. Instead of waiting for the visible signs of aging to appear, a SkinDNA test provides a crystal ball into your future, enabling us to slow and even prevent the signs of aging,” he said.

So – what was my experience with it?

Taking the test:

I have to admit when I heard ‘DNA testing’ I didn’t realise it would be as easy as a swab-and-go scenario. You simply take a quick online survey and a kit is posted out to you where you can swab the inside of your cheek and then send it directly to the lab.

The results:

Within a few days you’re sent a personalised SkinDNA report, which breaks down all your skin-metrics in easy to understand terms. This includes:

  • Collagen Breakdown: identify if the production of collagen is in balance, or if the breakdown of collagen is more rapid which can result in the appearance of premature sagging of the skin.
  • Wrinkling/Glycation: identify how much glycated collagen fibers there are (which can become rigid, less elastic and have reduced regenerative ability which can lead to damage such as laxity, cracking and thinning skin).
  • Sun Damage & Pigmentation: identify genetic predispositions that play an important role in determining how well your skin can naturally cope under the strains of the sun.
  • Free Radical Damage: test 2 main types of Antioxidants produced by your body as well as other genetic markers responsible for protecting your skin against Free Radicals.
  • Skin Sensitivity: whether the body is likely to over-react to stimulus, producing inflammation.

Accuracy:

I have to admit the test was scarily accurate, but the best part was it didn’t just fill me in on what I already know, but increased my understanding of my body’s wants/needs and how I can better look after it.

My results showed that I wasn’t high risk for any of the testing areas, however, it did show a few ‘medium risks’ that I should watch out for and begin preventative treatments.

My best metric was fow Collagen Breakdown, which was ‘above average’ and ‘low risk’. Interestingly they also give you a percentage of people with the same skin DNA as you for each area. 9% of people have the same Collagen Breakdown stats as me!

The standout insights from the test for me were in the categories of sun damage, free radical damage and skin sensitivity areas.

Sun Damage:

Despite having reasonably pale skin, I have been often heard to proclaim that I am ‘immune to the sun’. Obviously this is an exaggeration and I know it isn’t true, but it seems that I can sit in the sunshine for hours on end and not get burnt or tanned – nothing happens.

While my DNA showed I was deficient in melanin production (hence the freckles across my nose), deficient photo defense to UVB rays and normal defence for UVA – the more interesting factor was SkinDNA’s assessment of my lifestyle factors.

Speaking to Mazy, he said that there is some research to suggest that continued exposure to sun throughout your life can sometimes have this effect (where it’s harder to burn or tan). My youth by the beach is largely to blame for this, and this is where the DNA/lifestyle examination that SkinDNA provides can help to figure out some puzzling anecdotal evidence you learn over time about your skin.

Free Radical Defense:

I learnt a lot about my skin during this consult, particularly why I randomly get inflammation on my skin, especially when I’m in the city a lot and around a lot of pollution, as I showed an impaired response in this area.

“Quinones are highly active molecules that stem from Pollutants such as UV radiation, car exhaust fumes, carbon and cigarette smoke. Once absorbed into the skin if not efficiently broken down can begin to oxidize and cause damage within the skin’s wall.”

Is this going to be a great excuse not to go back to the office post-lockdown? Stay tuned!

Skin sensitivity:

Unsurprisingly, my skin showed it was deficient on the xenobiotic detox test, suggesting that I have trouble breaking down alcohol, gluten and certain other compounds. My confirmed coeliac disease definitely backs that one up.

I also showed sensitivity to perfumes – which is probably why I get a little irritation around my neck. I never put two and two together until now.

Overview:

While I’d say it is a luxury to be able to get your skin DNA tested – especially as it costs around $299 – I do think it was an eye opening experience and I feel much more at one with my body.

Considering that countless trips to the dermatologist could wrack up a lot more than that, I think it could be a worthwhile investment particularly if you’re struggling with inflammation and acne, or have family members whose skin aged quite young.

The Skin DNA report gives you the tools to begin to take preventative measures in areas where your body might need the extra help, by recommending topical ingredients, internal supplements and professional treatments that could assist with improving your skin.

For example, sun damage was one of my medium risk ones so I have picked up a recommended C + Ferulic acid serum to provide support from UVA + UVB damage and reduce some of my skin’s pigmentation.

If you’re not sure where to look for your actives, the man behind Skin DNA, Stefan Mazy – who is a total skincare wiz – has just launched his own skincare brand BIOMIMIC, using his knowledge after analysing over 2 million Skin DNA profiles to create the range of products.

Cruelty free, paraben free, and Australian made, BIOMIMIC is designed to work in conjunction with a SkinDNA® test to help you take easy action. Find out more here.

Any products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale. Learn more.

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