Imagine walking up to the cosmetics counter in your local department store and taking a DNA test so that your skin care products can be formulated to your exact genetic markers. A few days later, a package arrives in the mail filled with an entire line of cleansers, moisturizers and cosmetics that are designed for you and only you. The cleanser is carefully tailored to target your skin's oil production levels; it's also formulated not to irritate your sensitive skin that breaks out in a flaming red rash if certain botanicals even come near it. That same bottle of cleanser has a hint of kojic acid to combat pesky age spots, which tend to pop up in your family [source: WebMD].
The theory behind genetically customized skin cleansers is rooted in the fact that not everyone's skin has the same genetic makeup and, therefore, the same needs. If you have very oily skin that tends to break out, your skin care needs are different than those of someone who has very dry skin that's prone to itching and flaking. There's a reason why that cleanser your college roommate used did wonders for her and only made your skin sting like you had spent a week in the desert.
That's the idea behind genetically customized cleansers. A specialist at a store swipes your inner cheek with a cotton swab. The cotton swab goes to a lab for analysis, and the lab uses the information gathered from your skin cells and DNA markers to formulate a cleanser for you.
Though it might sound futuristic, a few companies are already forging ahead into the field of customized skin care cleansers, moisturizers and other cosmetics products. If you're ready to find out whether this technology can shape your skin care routine, or if you'd just like to explore the basic principles of choosing the appropriate products without all the fancy testing, read on.