A genetic perspective of personalized skin care


EMD Performance Materials an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany


Are your skin care requirements as unique as your fingerprints?  If so, what type of testing would be appropriate to design personalized skin and hair care products.  The post human genome era resulted in the development of new tools and techniques available to better understand the differences and similarities among all skin types with respect to skin care.  Numerous papers identifying physical and biological markers focused on skin barrier repair, metabolism, wound healing, inflammation, skin coloration and aging for diverse skin types are increasingly being published.


Genetic profiling started in the field of forensic analysis.  If a crime was committed in the absence of witnesses, gene profiling may be used to determine skin tone, eye and hair color of the criminal.   Personal genetics testing companies including 23andME and Ancestry.com have popularized personal genomics testing.  

The cost to conduct genomic testing has decreased considerably, and sampling for testing is non-evasive.  Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most important and basic form of variation in the human genome.  SNPs are currently being used to study biological pathways with the ultimate goal to predict susceptibility to disease and to develop optimized personalized medical treatment. These techniques have potential to be used for development of personalized skin care products.