The skin care industry is built on addressing changes and conditions in our skin. And while the SeeMe Complex™ can help to target skin problems related to estrogen depletion, there are some things that may just be written in the stars. Everything from stretch marks and varicose veins to discoloration and skin sagging are related to our genetic makeup. This explains why some people start seeing wrinkles, acne, and skin discoloration in their 20s while others may not experience skin troubles until later in life. It also explains that while some go through a pregnancy unscathed, others get stretch marks.
A study by Procter & Gamble scientists entitled the Multi-Decade & Ethnicity study, pinpointed eight major ways that skin ages. Each of these is controlled by its own group of genes. In fact, there are around 200 genes that affect how the skin defends against free radicals, which can age skin.
The study interviewed more than 300 women, ranging in age from 20 to 74, taking pictures and biopsy samples that could be analyzed for genetic differences in their skin cells. "The human genome project has made it possible for us to analyze aging right down to the hundreds of genetic changes that happen in our skin as we get older," says Dr. Jay Tiesman, a principal scientist at P&G Beauty, Procter & Gamble's cosmetics division. One interesting takeaway? Approximately 25 percent of the world’s population is “adept” in collagen breakdown – meaning their skin is less elastic and more predisposed to thinning skin and wrinkles as they age.
But what can genetic knowledge do for skin care? Seattle’s PRO Club Spa uses genetic testing to tailor the skin care regimens of their clientele. With a simple cheek swab, a skin care professional can determine the most important factors and recommend treatments and products to help slow the aging process. They can even take things one step further by interpreting your genetic makeup to create customized facials, peels, and topical products that specifically target your genetic indicators.
But let’s be honest with ourselves. Not everyone will go to the lengths of completing genetic testing to tailor their skin care routine. For most of us, we choose our products and hope that with quality ingredients and proper formulas, we’ll enjoy the expected results. While some of your skin woes or wonders may be attributed to mom (or grandma!), practicing a healthy lifestyle (which includes proper skin care) is a great step in the right direction, no matter your genetic makeup.