IS DNA Testing the Future of Skincare?
Anticipating the future of skin care is one way a company like OROGOLD can stay ahead of people. Generally, this involves being aware of potentially vital ingredients currently being researched or worked with that might be the next big thing. Sometimes this involves looking at trends. One big push in medicine is moving towards medicine specialized based upon DNA testing. The future this promises is one of truly individualized medicine that will allow medical professionals to pinpoint genetic health risks and help people customize their lifestyles to combat these risk. Interestingly, there is some talk in the skin care world of the potential applications this might have in the skin care industry as well. With this in mind, we’ll take a look at DNA testing and what possibilities it may have to offer.
As Customized As It Gets
DNA testing, as you’d expect, involves taking samples of an individual’s DNA and utilizing a lab to get a clear look at the various markers in their DNA. This is all thanks to the international Human Genome Project that was completed in 2003. As one of the largest collaborative scientific undertakings in history, the Human Genome project created a map of the standard layout of human DNA and, in turn, open the gateway to an entirely new generation of research. The map allows scientists to do tests and watch for changes in expression in genetic markers or see where variations in each of these markers impact health or reactions to drugs. All of this research is what even allows DNA testing to exist in any form. Each new study refines this map and allows scientists and medical professionals to see what genes affect what. This is an ongoing process and will remain so for the foreseeable future given the complex nature of genetic expression.
The Possible Benefits
Your genes are just as capable of telling professionals about the possibilities of your skin as they are about the diseases you might be susceptible to over the course of your lifetime. The markers for specific expressions of skin types and diseases are being studied alongside other markers. Where this holds some of the greatest promise is in the understanding of how to combat the individual signs of aging. A look at your DNA could eventually provide an idea of how long your skin can keep producing enough collagen to maintain its youthful appearance, any natural susceptibility to sun damage, and even how effective your skin is at repairing itself. These are all things that DNA testing can potentially provide in the future. However, OROGOLD feels we must stress that last part of that statement. DNA testing in skin care is even newer than it is in medical fields.
A Clearer Map
The main issue when it comes to using DNA testing in any field is that the area remains relatively new as an application of science. We do have the more or less complete human genome, yes, but many traits are complex, multi-gene expressions and researchers keep discovering more. This makes it hard to narrow down a particular gene to the “oily skin gene” or the “premature aging gene”. Progress is being made every day as researchers try to refine our understanding of the human genome. The picture of what genes do what is only going to get clearer, but at the moment it is a bit problematic to utilize the technology to say anything specific apart from in rare cases where a particular subject has been studied intensely. For the time being, DNA testing is likely to remain mainly useful for relatively broad questions such as who your ancestors were and for screening for highly specific genetic conditions.
There are many promising avenues for the future of skin care and DNA testing is one of them. We must be patient when it comes to utilizing such a technology though due to the need for techniques to be refined and a greater knowledge base. OROGOLD does look forward to the day that the opportunity to provide the luxury of perfectly selected products to our clients, but it is not today. For now, we recommend talking to an esthetician or dermatologist about your skin’s needs and listening to their advice.