Last week thanks to technological advances and DNA, scientists gained new details about the 10,000-year-old skeleton “Cheddar Man”. According to a recent blog entry by Sara Gibbens (2018) on National Geographic, from his genetics scientist learned he had bright blue eyes, curly hair and dark skin. His DNA also revealed he was genetically similar to individuals from the Mesolithic era found in Spain, Hungary, and Luxemborg and he was likely among the last group of hunters-gatherers that migrated to Europe at the end of the last Ice Age. DNA is a scientific wonder. Our genes, which are made up of DNA affect every aspect of us as human beings, even down to our skin. If there’s one thing that lasts weeks facial reconstruction of “Cheddar Man” can teach your clients its that your skin type and origin matter.
DNA is inherited by our families so an individual with a family history of acne, freckles, skin cancer, or dry skin may also have a chance of having those issues. Sara Siddons for How Stuff Works (2009) reminds us,while their is no specific skin gene, your genetics as well as environmental factors influence your skin type and skin color. Certain genetic skin disorders such as albinism, epidermolysis (a condition where the skin is fragile and susceptible to blisters), and neurofibromatosis (a condition that causes tumors under the skin and darker pigmented spots on the skin) are all mostly caused by inherited factors.
Understanding your clients genetic variations may impact the procedural choices you make during treatments. For example, you may opt for a chemical peel over laser treatments with information obtained regarding the ethnicity and origin of your client. As you seek ways to personalize your clients experience, providing resources for them to explore their DNA to better inform your treatments with them might be of particular interest. Ancestry DNA and 23andMe both provide ancestry DNA testing and assessments to help individuals learn more about their health and ancestry.
With the swab of the mouth products and treatments are being formulated to meet the needs of everyday consumers. London based company GENEU uses DNA and lifestyle testing to compose a unique skin profile for interested consumers. After both assessments are complete individuals are invited in for a consultation with a scientific advisor, who then prescribes and recommends coordinating GENEU serums with the exact concentration of ingredients your skin needs.
How can you give your clients a taste of DNA centered treatments? After all, genetics, DNA , and science are often synonymous with EXPENSIVE. Here are three budget friendly ideas you could use to introduce your clients to the power of DNA, ancestry and genetics. 1.) Write a blog post on the topic and share on your website or business newsletter. 2) Invite a local expert to share on the topic Hint: A graduate student might make a good guest. Invite him/her to speak, have kits available for guest to perform genetic testing, and then share your professional insights on the topic to. 3.) Lastly, simply add a few questions regarding origin and genetic influences to your guest questionnaire. This will at least prompt some guests to begin thinking about the correlation. Since as professionals we know these factors influence the skin and treatment selection, start introducing the topic to your clients today.
Gibbens, S (2018,Febraury,7)Britain’s dark-Skinned, Blue-Eyed ancestor Explained [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/ancient-face-cheddar-man-reconstructed-dna-spd/
Siddons, S (2009, August, 20) “Which genetic factors affect skin?” [Blog post]. Retrieved from: HowStuffWorks.com. <https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/health-factors/genetic-factors-affect-skin.htm>