Can a DNA test prevent your skin from premature aging?
I’ve just stumbled onto a brand called Geneu that promises just that. Apparently, they’ve created a microchip to “assess human genetic variation in skin ageing”. The tiny little thing is so smart, it can even prescribe you a treatment, tailored to your own skin’s needs of course, to help you defy your genetic destiny.
It all sounds very sci-fi, doesn’t it? But it is the beginning of the future of skincare. It’s just too soon to invest in it. Here’s why:
Well, this stuff is definitely in our future. Personalised skincare is the next skincare frontier. But it’ll take a while to get there. Geneu is a little too early to the party. Here’s why:
How Skin Ageing Works
Ageing is inevitable, but the speed at which it happens isn’t. You can slow it down. But, it ain’t easy.
Skin aging is a complicated process that involves lots of factors. It will be too long (and unnecessary) to explain it all here. For now, all you need to know is that, as you get older, skin loses collagen and elastin, the two proteins that can keep skin firm and elastin. That’s wrinkles’ cue to make an appearance. Sagging tags along, too.
Collagen naturally depletes with age. But, there are lots and lots of things that help your skin lose more and more of it:
- Diet poor in antioxidants-rich veggies and high in aging sugar
- Drinking alcohol and soda beverages
- Sun exposure
You have a lot of control over most of these things. For example, you can wear your sunscreen everyday and snack on nuts rather than biscuits.
But, you have no control over your genes. But, if we understand how our genes control the levels of collagen in our skin, then scientists can figure out a way to make them slow down the aging process.
But, this is NOT what Geneu does. And thank goodness for that. Messing with genes is a very risky business. Do it wrong, and it could lead to mutations, cancer… All kinds of horrible diseases.
So, What Does Geneu Do?
First of all, Geneu takes a sample of your DNA. But don’t worry. This doesn’t hurt. There are no needles, scalpels or other instruments of torture involved. Using a cotton bud, the people at Geneu simply collect a swab of your inside cheek. Phew!
This swab is analyzed by their “DNA BeautyLab on a microchip”, which tells you how high or low your levels of natural antioxidants and collagen breakdown are.
(The man behind this technology is Professor Christofer Toumazou at London’s Imperial College, the guy who invented an artificial pancreas and hearing implants for deaf people, so there’s actually a chance this microchip is more than a gimmick.)
30 minutes later, the results are in. Geneu peeps create a personalized serum with the exact concentrations of active ingredients your skin needs to boost its natural antioxidant protection and collagen levels.
So, what miracle active ingredients are in the serum? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the list of ingredients anywhere. Their website only mentions it contains hyaluronic acid and a plant-based active complex (probably antioxidants with collagen-boosting properties).
How Much Does Geneu Costs?
Geneu isn’t cheap. The test, which can only be done in their salon in Bond Street, London, and two week’s supply of serum costs a whopping £600! You can buy refills online at geneu.com– that’ll set you back £300 a month. You can also get a Geneu Annual Subscription, which includes 52 weeks’ worth of serum plus a complementary re-test, for £3300.
Is Geneu Worth It?
As much as I like the idea of personalized skincare, Geneu isn’t so innovative to justify the splurge. Sure, it tells you what the levels of antioxidants and collagen in your skin are, but you could still get a pretty good idea of that by looking into a mirror.
Plus, the ingredients in the serum don’t sound that revolutionary, either. There are plenty of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid serums out there and they cost way less.
The Bottom Line
The future of skincare is in bespoke, personalized products. One day, I’m sure, technology will allow us to figure out with even more precision what condition our skin is in and what problems we are predisposed to so we can create treatments tailored to our own personal needs. We’ll also be able to modify genes to slow down premature aging safely. But that day is still far away.
Would you give Geneu a try?