Traditionally used for determining paternity, tracking family history and solving crimes, DNA testing is becoming increasingly popular in prescribing the perfect tailored skincare routine.

The cosmetics industry knows that skin products that make one person’s complexion glow or clear up their acne will not yield the same results for someone else. This is because the genetic makeup of everyone’s skin is totally individual.

It is thanks to this trial and error approach that global cosmetic sales are set to reach US$ 675 billion by 2020. In the UK, sales topped £4 billion for the first-time last year. The hope is that by using customised plans based on individual DNA tests, consumers can save time and money on trying products that aren’t right for them.

A swab of the inside of the cheek is all that a therapist needs to obtain a DNA sample. This sample is then analysed to identify specific genetic skin strengths and weaknesses. The laboratory specifically looks at sections of DNA called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These SNPs cover areas such as collagen formation, sun protection, antioxidant protection, glycation protection and inflammation control. Based on the results, a targeted skincare treatment plan can be prescribed to address the specific genetic needs. For example, antioxidants would be added to a skincare regime if it was shown to be lacking in these.

“Skin DNA testing reveals the skin ‘blueprint’ we were given by our parents. A skin DNA test spotlights our individual skin strengths and weaknesses and what we should focus on to achieve healthy, glowing skin for life”, says Richard Parker, founder and Director of Rationale. The Australian skincare brand has this year launched a two-phase skin genetic test called DNArray.

As well as improving your current skin, the test results aim to safeguard your skin against future deterioration. Information is provided on what should be focused on, short and long term, to restore and maintain skin in top condition.

“DNA skin analysis takes the guesswork and painful mistakes out of finding the perfect skincare programme. It’s specific to each individual and it is completely accurate”, says Parker.