Direct-to-consumer DNA testing isn’t anything new to me, and it's actually a fad I've come to embrace (I mean, I've even sent in a saliva sample to learn more about my dog). So when I heard I could take a "Beauty DNA" test (courtesy of Orig3n, a brand with multiple DNA tests to help you find what's unique about you) to learn more about my genetic skin profile, I was totally on board.
I Took a Beauty DNA Test to Customize My Skincare Routine and Here's What I Found Out
What Is It And How Does It Work?
Like me, your initial thoughts are probably “what the heck is a Beauty DNA kit?” On the Orig3n website, it’s defined as a gene profile that helps to explain how your skin and hair may look, feel and react to various conditions. But I wasn’t convinced that I needed a test to tell me that I have oily skin. My inability to keep foundation on my nose for an entire day was enough validation.
What was really enticing to me was the fact that based on my genetic makeup, the test was able to provide tips and product recommendations best fit for my needs so that I could update my beauty routine. It was like my beauty fairy godmother was waiting to deliver a perfectly tailored skincare routine to my doorstep. I knew I had to try it.
So, how does it all work? First, I ordered a kit online and got it shipped directly to my home. Once I received my kit, I begin by taking a DNA sample. However, rather than trying to gather an uncomfortable amount of spit into a tiny tube, I simply had to swab the inside of my cheeks for about 30 seconds on each side. Next, before I sent off my sample, I had to register my kit online (you can also register by downloading the Orig3n LifeProfile app). I then sent back my sample in the prepaid envelope and voilà! After about 2 to 4 weeks, I woke up to an email informing me that the results were in. Overall, it's a very simple (albeit a little slow) process.
What Were The Results?
Now, the fun part. The results are divided into four separate categories: “skin aging,” “skin elasticity,” “appearance and skin health” and “UV sensitivity.” Each category shows you sub-categories of the genes responsible for those skin properties, how you compare amongst the rest of the population and tips that can help slow down any unwanted visible effects on your skin. Within those categories, your genes are categorized as adapt, normal or gifted. Adapt means your skin could use a little help, while gifted means your genes are very talented at something.
When you first click into your results, it looks like a bunch of science mumbo-jumbo and...it is. But the company does a good job of making the information easy to understand. The first sub-category I clicked into was the sugar-induced aging. Here, you can find out how effectively your skin repairs itself by testing for genes that help regulate skin thinning, wrinkling and protection from damage.
My results revealed I was normal (glad I had to take a test to find that out...) along with 30 percent of the population who have the same genetic variant. It said that if I consume too many sugary foods, the excess sugar sticks to my skin’s collagen and elastin fibers (those things that make your skin look plump and useful), causing them to become weak, which could lead to wrinkles, sagging and a dull complexion. See ya, pint of ice cream while watching Netflix...
What I loved most about this test is that after I read my results in each category, I wasn't left hanging. For instance, along with 80 percent of the population, my genes show that I'm more likely to have cellulite. The test then offers up various solutions like using retinol serums, omega-3 supplements, and even coffee scrubs to slow the advancement of cellulite. In every category, suggestions range from topical products like hyaluronic acid and vitamin-enriched creams to food and seasoning recommendations, like healthy grains and ginger to help combat wrinkles and aging.
And while I already knew that my monobrow (aka unibrow) genes were gifted (thanks, Grandpa), I definitely learned some new and interesting things about myself. For example, I’m part of 8 percent of the population that gets gray hair very early. I am gifted in skin renewal, so I have the upper hand in maintaining youthful skin. I'm also less sensitive to sun-induced aging (though still not an excuse to skip SPF, obvi).
Overall, the test was more validating than enlightening, though I did discover a few necessary skincare purchases I will be making in the coming months. Totally worth the $99, if you ask me. Will I be adding retinoid-containing and anti-glycation serums to my vanity? You bet. I’m also going to try to add more antioxidant-rich foods to my diet, too. It can’t hurt to try.
BRB, grabbing an Acai bowl with berries for lunch. My skin and I deserve it.