The future is here, and it’s telling us everything we should know about our skin. Our editor, Aléz Odendaal, dishes the dirt on her DNA test from Optiphi.
We’re all amateur detectives here at BSA, and I’d bet you all are, too. Whether we’re on the trail of next hottest ingredient, or we’re trying to solve a skincare crime scene (a.k.a. acne, fine lines, dullness), we’re always busy doing mental gymnastics trying to put the clues together. But what if you could take the guesswork out of skincare? What if you could take a test that magically told you what your skin needed and why? Well, no magic needed, babe. Science has your back.
Optiphi (science-first skincare experts) gave me the chance to peek into my DNA and see what it forebodes for my skin’s future. The DNA tests are available in two options: A) DNA Skin: Delivers results focusing on your genetic risk factors specific to skin, and include personalised recommendations of Optiphi skin products and treatment plans. B) DNA Skin Plus: Delivers results focusing on your genetic risk factors specific to skin, nutrition and lifestyle to ultimately improve your skin holistically. In other words, option B is a more -comprehensive version of option A.
I went with option A, and my results came as an emailed report two weeks after a simple swab test. The report details a list of areas that are a concern to you, and divides these into ‘low-‘, ‘medium-‘ or ‘high-‘ priority. My low-priority areas were ‘sun sensitivity and pigmentation’, ‘protection from oxidative stress’, and ‘detoxification and skin sensitivity’. Of more concern was ‘firmness and elasticity,’ ‘sun damage protection and repair,’ and ‘inflammation’. I didn’t have any high-priority areas on my report. Optiphi also sent on skincare recommendations tailored to my test. How cute?
Now, I knew that getting my hands on these results would be good, but I was genuinely taken aback by the potential that lay in my results. Armed with these, I could jump a few steps ahead of any upcoming skincare issues, rather than trying to fix them after they’ve happened. This also means that if I chose to speak to a dermatologist about my skin in the future, I could take my results with me to the consultation, where they can help my chosen professional make a more informed choice. You can obviously also talk your results through with an Optiphi-trained therapist, which is strongly recommended. So many choices! So much potential!
I still had a few questions after the report came in, so an Optiphi expert was on hand to answer my questions. See them below, along with any details on how to get your own DNA test ASAP.
The DNA test is all about internal factors. Do I still need to be worried about external factors when something isn’t a priority for me on my report? For example, if I don’t have a problem with oxidative stress, but live in a polluted city, do I need to make more of an effort in this area than I would if I lived in a small countryside town?
Ageing is characterised by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic ageing is genetic/chronological and extrinsic ageing is influenced by environment or lifestyle factors. Therefore, the current condition of our skin comprises both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Previously we had no accurate way to assess or rather predict individual intrinsic ageing factors until now. To best care for your skin, you will need to address both intrinsic and extrinsic factors based on the current condition of your skin which is where a consultation with your therapist really comes in handy. So to answer your question, yes you will still need to use products which fight free radicals and have anti-pollution properties based on your environment.
For example, one of my main priorities is inflammation, making me prone to ageing (inflame-ageing). If I didn’t have the insight into my intrinsic factors, I would have used anti-ageing products to address the wrinkling etc but not the cause of the ageing, which is inflammation. Having access to this knowledge allows us to effectively design the best personalised skincare regime taking into considerations all aspects.
Would the DNA results ever change?
Your DNA results will never change. It is your unique genetic fingerprint which you are born with and won’t change over time.
What does it mean when I don’t have any ‘high’ priority concerns?
Having a medium priority means that you still have a genetic predisposition for a concern (e.g. loosing firmness and elasticity in the skin), but that your environmental and life style factors can still play a very big role in the final appearance of your skin. So, wearing a good sunscreen and targeted moisturiser will address these concerns.
Having a high priority for firmness and elasticity for example means that your genetic predisposition for developing wrinkles is much higher, especially after exposure to the sun. This makes it imperative to wear a good sunscreen with high UV protection. People who have a high priority in this area and don’t use the correct skincare will most likely experience accelerated ageing.
How much would a reader miss out on if they only took the test and didn’t chat it through with a professional after?
It is imperative to base your skincare regime on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Therefore, consulting with a skincare professional is essential as they will be able to guide you in defining your individual skincare regime based on your genetic predispositions as well as the current state of your skin.
Written by Aléz Odendaal. The recommended retail price of the DNA tests above depends on which kind of test you take (A or B). Prices range from R 2500 – R4300. The tests are available from participating stockists. Find your local Optiphi stockist here. For more information email Optiphi on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.