Branches dealing with beauty, and above all skin, are saturated with products of all kinds, they magically make our skin more beautiful. More and more new products in this category give us the feeling that we can stop the skin aging process. Anti-wrinkle creams, preparations for acne, costly masks to remedy this. Skin care accounts for about 36% of the global cosmetics market (according to the US Census and National Consumer Survey). However, cosmetics will be useless if they do not comply with our genetic code.
Concerns dealing with skin care are saturated with products that make ideal skin seem to be available. We strive for a perfectly smooth and youthful skin – it has become a standard. But genetics play a leading role in the appearance and health of the skin.
The human body contains from 20,000 to 25,000 different genes that make up DNA, and these genes determine everything that affects us, including the way our skin behaves. Genetics is largely responsible for our skin type (eg whether it is dry, normal or oily), many skin diseases, and to some extent even the already mentioned wrinkles.
When genes work as they should, they regulate the production of skin cells, telling the body to make new ones when the old ones die. When the gene is not working properly, it can give the body bad signals, and this can cause the cells to grow too fast. This leads to skin problems such as acne or limited skin’s ability to repair and rebuild after injuries. Cosmetics that are not dedicated to our skin have a similar effect. At first glance, the cream is ideal – antiallergic, without preservatives, corresponding to the needs of our skin – but it does not work as it should. The answer lies in the genes. The needs of our skin are not always so obvious and visible to the naked eye.
Instead of guessing what our skin needs, you can do genetic tests that will give a clear answer to the needs of the body and skin.
Research has identified gene mutations that are changes in the normal structure and function of the gene, in many skin conditions, from eczema to melanoma. Even acne, a researcher found in 1960, has a hereditary component. Acne is more common and can be more difficult to treat when it has hereditary background. Today, there are many ways to get rid of acne, but treatments are often not effective because they are not compatible with our body.
Even if you have won a genetic lottery, environmental factors also directly change the appearance of the skin and the effects of genes, which ultimately affect your overall health and appearance.
When it comes to aging, there are two important factors. First of all, the genes with which we are born are the main stimulus affecting age. The second are genes that are activated by the environment. It can affect our body – but also on what you are exposed to and what you do.
A 2009 study, in which almost 200 sets of identical twins were compared, showed that damage, pollution and the sun can add years to the face. For example, UV radiation is responsible for 80% of visible signs of facial aging, such as deep fine wrinkles, changes in pigmentation or sunspots. Interestingly, the researchers from the 2009 study found that stressful life events can also cause aging. Divorced women in the study were estimated to be a few years older than the real age, probably because of stress. It seems that inflammatory events, such as acne and psoriasis, have also been associated with stress in the past.
Also, the expression of some genes is affected. Research has shown that certain proteins found in healthy skin have been found both in the skin of young and older women, while the latter looked younger than age.
Women who looked younger than their age had increased activity in genes related to DNA repair, cell replication, oxidative stress reaction and protein metabolism. Higher expression of genes associated with the mitochondrial structure, metabolism and epidermis was also noticed. It is a structure – in which all elements can affect the appearance of the skin.
Genetic research helps us to fully understand the needs of the skin, and this affects its good condition and healthy appearance. Genetic predisposition plus a properly selected preparation provide a young skin look for a long time.
Things like sunscreen to prevent signs of aging; balms that help the skin look younger; and local retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids, promoting cell turnover and combating acne and signs of aging – this is only half the battle. The rest depends on our DNA.
Genetic research is no longer just futuristic services aimed only at serious diseases. Our genetic code is our past and future. If you want to get to know yourself better, you need to get to know your DNA. You take a chance?