Imagine having a blue-print of your skin that tells you exactly what products will work specifically for you? Well a simple Aussie invention using a swab test to identify your skin's DNA in order to create customisable skincare routines/laser treatments programs for your skin is being hailed as the latest holy grail in scientifically combatting premature ageing and predicting genetic skin dispositions. The test has been so effective that it has now received global attention on the top US program, The Doctors which aired in the US on Monday 8th, October and to air in Australia on Ten on later this year.
SkinDNA™ is an at-home DNA-based laboratory test which takes the power of our DNA's unique blueprint to identify the skin's genetic propensity to five key ageing pathways: Collagen breakdown; Photo aging; Wrinkling; Oxidation; and the skin's ability to tolerate Environmental pollutants.
Co-creator, Stefan Mazy says: "SkinDNA is revolutionising the way we take care of our skin, this is the future of an industry and the key to combating skin aging before the signs even appear. All this information found inside us buried in our unique DNA blueprint".
Using a non-intrusive swabbing of the inner cheek, the SkinDNA™ sample is analysed with our proprietary DNA DermXT™ micro-chip technology developed by a worldwide collaboration of scientists. The client's sample data is used to create a personalised guide that allows them to advance beyond the 'one-size-fits-all' suggestions - using the right skincare products targeted to their own genetic blueprint. This custom tailored preventative skincare and health program allows the client to achieve the optimum levels of skin protection and long-term health.
Today heralds a new era in personalised skin care with the launch of SkinDNA™ - the world's first comprehensive genetic skin profile test is now available in Australia, USA, Brazil, China, Canada and United Kingdom. According to Advanced Dermatology's Dr Sarah Freilich, "SkinDNA is one of the most exciting, eyebrow-raising developments out there in the skin health and skincare arenas".
SKINSHIFT represents an unprecedented approach to skincare. Until now, skincare products have only addressed skin issues in a general way. Dr. Harper uses an innovative DNA analysis, first to identify your skin's genetic strengths and weaknesses, then to customize your skincare program based on your genetic predispositions. Although you can't change your genetics, science now has proven you can dramatically change how your genes affect your skin. With SKINSHIFT, science, not guesswork, provides customers with a clear choice as to which skincare products and supplements are just right for the patients skin.
The research collaboration, coordinated by scientists at Sydney based Advanced Dermatology, profiled the action of 6,347 genes. "The research has studied more genes with regard to skin ageing than all previous research efforts combined" says Robert Gulbahce, Director of Clinical Operations at Advanced Dermatology. The team found for example, that more than 1 in 3 people had a deficiency in a specific gene which regulates collagen production increasing the propensity to early onset wrinkling; and that 2 in 5 people where at an increased risk of sun damage by having a deficiency in the key genes which regulate sun protection.
"There are many implications of these findings", says Dr Sarah Freilich. "Through this kind of research, we can understand the skin's molecular mechanisms, and can develop customisable skincare and laser treatment routines that downplay an individual's genetic deficiencies. Ultimately this information - when used in conjunction with the SkinDNA™ unbiased product recommendations - can slow down what is many peoples biggest fear - premature skin aging!
Question: What is SkinDNA?
Stefan Mazy: SkinDNA is a DNA based laboratory test which examines sixteen genetic markers that have been associated with skin ageing and this is done from a simple swab.
Question: How does SkinDNA work?
Stefan Mazy: The purpose of the DNA test is to allow customers to know what to use, for their skin based on what their DNA results tell them. Every one of us is unique and different and even though there are good skin care brands, they're not designed for everybody. The purpose of the test is to inform customers of their strengths and weaknesses and from that we can let them know the ingredients to be using for their skin. We provide our customers with the tool and the knowledge to shop for their skincare products based on what is right, for them, without trial and error or guess work.
We use science to let you know what to use for your skin.
Question: How did it feel to feature on the show, The Doctors?
Stefan Mazy: Featuring on The Doctors was a major highlight! We were approached by The Doctors TV show and they wanted to bring us onto the show to talk about the role SkinDNA plays in the aesthetic industry.
They used our product and the results were spot on for their case study that had pigmentation issues and suffered from sun sensitivity; our case study had tried everything on the market and her skin was getting worse and our results showed that she was incredibly sensitive to certain perfume products and some chemicals. We were able to put the case study onto the right ingredients that work for her to calm down the skin and address the pigmentation issues whilst controlling them from reappearing in the future.
Question: Do you produce products also?
Stefan Mazy: SkinDNA is an unbiased tool; we do not push any particular products as we are simply an educational tool to allow customers to use the right skincare for their skin. I have been in the industry for many years and I know that all the skincare products are on the market already, which is why we developed this tool to allow customers to still use their favourite brands but to know exactly what product, from the range, is going to be the most effective, for them and provide the best long term results.
Question: Could you talk us through a consultation for SkinDNA?
Stefan Mazy: The SkinDNA test can be purchased online at www.skin-dna.com the test kit is posted to the customer and they take a salvia swab (following the instructions) from the inside of their cheek and then use the tools provided to send the sample back to us. The swab takes ten seconds and is non-painful.
Once we receive the sample we have our lab run through several processes to extract and test the exact locations. From there we put together a detailed report which breaks down each of the genes that we tested as well as their genetic strengths and weaknesses. We compare the results to the population average which is a very good market to know where you sit compared to everybody else.
We then have a prescription page which is the holy-grail in the process as it identifies the ingredients that the customers should use on their skin and they can take that page to their skin clinic, Myer, David Jones, Mecca or other stores and show the consultant the ingredients that have been recommended for them.
We have started to collate results that show that approximately one in three people are deficient in collagen breakdown which means one in three people are going to be more prone to having laxity issues than other people.
Question: What inspired the creation of SkinDNA?
Stefan Mazy: I have been in this industry from a very young age and throughout my life I have been surrounded by doctors in the medical and aesthetic world who would teach me about the science of this industry. For me, it has never been about beauty but I love knowing how things work and throughout the past few years my job has been to interact with customers to inform them on what is right for their skin and tell them the science behind why certain products work as well as supplements and other topical ingredients.
Throughout my career the one underlying factor was that customers would tell me daily that they had used all these products but there skin was still incredibly dry or sensitive or otherwise and they didn't know what to do. This passion led me on the journey to find out what else was out there which in turn started a research project in 2006. We conducted a lot of research to find any links or correlations that may play a role in skin ageing and three years on we had enough data to have our program validated and supported which allowed us to turn it into a consumer DNA test.
SkinDNA is a very scientific test and we've been fortunate enough to work with customers throughout the development of the product to make it perfect. Every single customer we have worked with has had a positive result as they have noticed an improvement; those who are younger have noticed an improvement in the preventative sense.
We are working worldwide with the product including shows in America and working in Hong Kong as well as recently receiving an innovation award in Hong Kong. The reason SkinDNA is doing so well is purely because of the fact that we are not pushing products and have taken a completely different approach.
My philosophy is about learning, it has never been about money. I enjoy empowering a customer to know what to put on their skin and giving them the control to know what ingredients to use. I want to educate and help people worldwide through a simple DNA test.
Question: What is the cost?
Stefan Mazy: The cost of the kit is $299 which covers everything and the results take between 7 - 10 days to be returned.
Interview by Brooke Hunter