Regardless of whether you opt for DNA skin assessment testing or a full skin analysis by a skin care professional, there could be benefits to using skin cleansers that are designed for you. Perhaps the biggest claim genetically customized skin care manufacturers make is that their products can take the guesswork out of knowing which type of product will bring out the best in your skin.
Some companies also say their goal in comprehensive skin assessment is to design skin cleansers that will help compensate for your skin's natural progression in aging and tissue breakdown [source: GeneLink]. For example, if you are prone to age spots from genetics or from years of exposure to the sun, your skin cleanser might be customized to include agents that will help reduce the appearance of age spots. If you have a history of eczema, your cleanser might include witch hazel if previous use has shown it to be an effective course of treatment [source: Mayo Clinic].
The concept of a company designing the perfect skin care package tailored to your specific needs, however, might sound too good to be true. But is it? Some experts have their concerns. Many question the credibility of such claims, doubt whether the products actually work, and assert that there is little difference between customized products and those you could pick out for yourself at the drugstore [source: Corderi]. CNN also reports that geneticists and dermatologists have called the products "snake oil" and "misleading" [source: CNN]. Dermatologists and cosmetics manufacturers can't necessarily turn the knowledge that you have a particular genetic marker into a cure or treatment for a specific skin condition. And, of course, there is always the possibility that what you end up with could still irritate your skin, in spite of the customized formula.
If you're not up for going through scientific testing, you can also search the shelves for cleansers with or without specific ingredients if you know your skin type and history. Gentle cleansers typically are best for dry skin. If your skin is the sensitive type and breaks out easily, look for cleansers that are fragrance-free. Avoid ingredients such as color dyes or preservatives in your skin care products if they've been known to irritate you [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Treat adult acne with gentle cleansers, and avoid products with abrasives that might irritate your skin [source: Libov].
The more information you have about your skin, the better choices you can make about your skin care products. Up next is even more information about skin cleansers and how they work with different types of skin.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Cosmeceutical Facts & Your Skin." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/general_cosmeceutical.html
- Corderi, Victoria. "Decoding the 'magic' of skin care." Dateline NBC. Oct. 17, 2004. (Accessed 9/17/09)http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6255436/ns/dateline_nbc/
- CNN. "DNA skin cream: New science or scam?" 12/20/2002 (Accessed 9/18/2009) http://archives.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/12/19/dna.skin.cream/
- GeneLink "GeneLink Subsidiary GeneWize Launches Revolutionary LifeMap Me DNA Customized Skin Serum." (Accessed 8/22/09)http://www.genelinkbio.com/news_articles/08_12_09.shtml
- GeneLink. "GeneLink and Arch Personal Care Products Present 'Genetic Skin Care' Products at International Cosmetic Expo." Feb. 20, 2004. (Accessed 9/17/09)http://www.genelinkbio.com/news_articles/2_20_04.html
- Libov, Charlotte. "Adult Acne: Why You Get It, How to Fight It." WebMD. Aug. 21, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/adult-acne-why-you-get-it-how-fight-it
- Mayo Clinic. "Atopic Dermatitis (eczema)." Aug. 22, 2009. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eczema/DS00986/DSECTION=alternative%2Dmedicine
- Mayo Clinic. "Wrinkles: Causes." Jan. 27, 2009. (Accessed 8/22/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wrinkles/DS00890/DSECTION=causes
- WebMD. "Contact Dermatitis." Aug. 10, 2005. (Accessed 8/22/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/contact-dermatitis
- WebMD. "Skin Conditions: Understanding Skin Care Products." March 1, 2007. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/skin-care-products