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We live in a time when skincare is constantly becoming smarter and working harder. Gone are the days when you slapped on some miracle potion and hoped it would do something about those wrinkles. Today we’re looking for potent, scientifically proven ingredients in the correct formulations that can whip our skin cells back into action.

I was recently introduced to a fascinating and exciting new innovation from Optiphi and DNALYSIS. These two companies have teamed up to create a Skin DNA Test which will allow you to customise your skincare regime based on your specific genes.

The test is incredibly simple.

You’ll get a cotton swab that you wiggle around your mouth for about a minute. Those skin cells will then be analysed to compile your report.

DNA Skin analyses variations on 18 genes associated with collagen formation, protection from sun and UV exposure, inflammation, and protection from oxidative stress. These will all determine skin health and ageing.

A couple of weeks later you’ll receive a comprehensive document explaining your specific skin results as well as a couple of skincare product recommendations you might want to try.

Why should you care about DNA?

For me the greatest benefit of this test is knowing exactly where I should be spending time and money. Is it pigmentation, elasticity or inflammation? So instead of that shot-in-the-dark skincare approach where I’d spend money on all-rounder anti-aging products, I can invest in really specific targeted treatments that are going work where I need it most.

Analyising your DNA is also different from getting a topical analysis done by a skin therapist, where they’re essentially looking at the way skin presents at that stage. Just because skin is sensitised, dehydrated, congested or pigmented at one point does not mean this is your inherent skin quality or risk factors. There are so many elements that can influence your skin, from hormones to stress and environment. But by looking at the DNA you’re seeing how your genes present, and I’d say those results are a lot more revealing.

Naturally, your environment will determine how these risk factors present themselves. For instance I might not be genetically at risk for oxidative stress and damage, but if I lived in a heavily polluted city my skin would still be affected. Similarly, if I spend all my time outdoors I need to pay extra attention to sun and UV protection, even if it weren’t a priority in my gene results.

So what were my results?

My results indicated that I should pay attention to my skin’s firmness and elasticity, inflammation and to the risk of sun damage. Now I know that I should incorporate antioxidants, retinol and actives that can keep irritation and inflammation under control.

I found the report fairly simple to read and understand – they’ve gone through a lot of trouble to make the information as palatable as possible. If, however, you still feel a bit confused after reading it, you can book a session with a skin consultant to take you through the results.

There is also the option to meet with a dietician who can use your DNA Skin analysis to provide information on the best diet for you.

What does it cost?

The price ranges between R2500 to R4300 depending on the DNA test option you select. These tests are available at participating Optiphi Skin Centres.

Interested? You can email for more details.


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.

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