‘I got a DNA laboratory test to decipher my skin, here’s what happened’

Now that the ravages of winter weather are fading and summer’s heat hasn’t fully kicked in, it’s the perfect time to kick your skin into shape. During Skin Gym Week on bodyandsoul.com.au, we’re sharing the tips and tools improve your skin health- from face-friendly meal plans to the most effective professional treatments, to the best and buzziest products, it’s everything you need to get the best skin of your life – from the inside-out.

What started off as tracking our fitness, sleep and periods has morphed into an obsession into learning about ourselves in a far deeper, scientific way. Gone are the days of just getting a blood test because your GP told you to – now we’re offering up our veins in the name of biohacking and better wellness. From stool tests for gut health, urine tests for measuring ketones and pH levels and tests that can tell you when you’ll die, our quest to a more quantified self extends way past getting in those 10,000 daily steps. In fact, it’s now made its way to the beauty industry, which could revolutionise the way we look after our skin and select our skincare.

Australian cosmeceutical company Synergie Skin have launched a DNA skin analysis test that’s been hailed as ground-breaking. So, for someone like me, who thought they knew a lot about their skin and also is fixated with tracking apps and body tests I had to give this a go.

The Synergie Skin SkinGeneius ($199, at Synergie Skin) works by examining 16 genetic markers associated with skin wellness and ageing so you can figure out how your skin is going to age before wrinkles and pigmentation even appear. It’s prevention at its finest. The saliva test only takes 10 seconds and is super simple, you just use the special wand to take a swab from the inside of your mouth before carefully placing it inside the clear collection pouch that’s included and then send it off for analysis by an Australian-based certified genetic testing laboratory.

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By understanding the genetic makeup of your skin you can find out which areas you need to pay special attention to, based on personalised hereditary evidence. Things like collagen, wrinkling, sun damage, inflammation and skin sensitivity risks.

In less than two weeks I get my results back and I’m actually pretty surprised. I take really good care of my skin (it’s literally my job), or so I thought. The test is rated by low, medium or high risk and is determined by a score – the higher the number the better the outcome, with each category outlining the physical signs associated. When it came to my skin firmness and collagen I’m shocked. I scored a 28/100, AKA ‘high risk’. The vital signs associated are sagging skin, loss of volume and firmness, slower healing time and visible, deep lines. Luckily, the test provides topical ingredient recommendations and professional treatments to try. I am also taking a collagen supplement as I type this.

Next up is wrinkling and sugar, showing the body’s ability to break down glucose where excess can cause lines and ageing. Thankfully I score 100/100 for this one, giving me an ‘ideal’ rating. But if told me that without evidence to back it up I wouldn’t have believed you.

The other rating I found surprising was the skin tone and brightness, which I rated as a ‘medium risk’. When looking at my parents and grandparents they look like they have great skin – not much pigmentation and bright complexions – in fact my dad has no freckles at all. However, I learnt that I have overly active melanocytes (the stuff responsible for increasing pigmentation and melasma) and a risk of developing dullness. I currently don’t really use any topicals to treat or prevent these skin dilemmas so I’m adding a retinol, lactic acid and niacinamide to cart.

  • Asap SUPER B Complex, $74.10, at Adore Beauty
  • Skin Doctors Potent Vit. A Ampules, $59.99, at Priceline
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, $160, at Mecca

These days we’re so in tune to our skin and willing to spend massive parts of our paychecks on products we think will work – but this tests shows you may be buying the wrong ingredients. If you’re into numbers and your genetic data, or you’re worried your investing too much time into the wrong treatment this handy tool is pretty affordable and a great way to understand your skin better.