Do you know someone who is well into their 60s and looks like they haven’t aged since their 30s? In an age where social media and beauty influencers are so prevalent, we’re exposed to more and more examples of how taking care of our skin can help us as we age. Taking steps to care for our skin, such as wearing sunscreen, moisturizing, and watching the chemicals in the products we use, can help improve its appearance.
However, our skin health is not entirely tied to our skincare routine. While some cultures have mastered the art of skincare, such as the French and Korean cultures, part of our overall skin traits are tied to our genetics. Factors such as skin aging, elasticity, appearance, and sensitivity to UV rays are some of those that are linked to your genes.
Let’s find out more about how your DNA affects our skin’s overall health, especially as we age.
How Do Gender and Culture Affect my Skin Health?
Studies have shown that many different factors affect how well someone ages. There are even differences between how skin ages when it comes to men and women. These gender differences affect how well someone’s skin ages with time. According to The International Dermal Institute, “Researchers believe that the higher collagen density accounts for why women appear to age faster than men of the same age. When considering intrinsic (genetically-programmed) aging of the skin, it has been said that women are about 15 years older than men of the same age.”
Other factors play a role in your overall skin health as well, including your cultural makeup. A study published in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology states, “Caucasians have an earlier onset and greater skin wrinkling and sagging signs than other skin types.”
In the same study, it was also found that culture played a role in where wrinkles were on the face. The study states, “In a study, Chinese women had significantly more severe wrinkles in the area around the eyes compared with Japanese women, while Thai women had significantly more severe wrinkles in the lower halves of their faces compared with Chinese women.”
UV Sensitivity and Skin Health
Other hereditary factors can affect your overall skin health. One of these factors is UV sensitivity, which is how sensitive a person is to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. A study published in The American Journal of Human Genetics found that pigmentation, which is highly hereditary, is a significant factor when it comes to determining how someone will age after exposure to UV rays.
The study states, “The main determinants of sensitivity are melanin pigmentation and less-well-characterized differences in skin inflammation and repair processes.” More fair skin has been linked to higher rates of skin cancer and skin conditions, while those with darker skin tend to have lower levels of vitamin D.
This is essential information that helps us understand how different groups of people can benefit from skincare products. If you have fair skin, there is a good chance you can benefit from a moisturizing cream after you are in the sun as you are more prone to your skin burning or showing signs of photodermatitis.
Regardless of what skin color an individual has, wearing sunscreen is incredibly important if you are in the sun and can not only help keep you healthy and lower your chances of skin cancer but can also keep your skin looking more youthful as you age.
What are Genetic Skin Disorders?
Studies have shown that certain skin disorders may be passed down through generations. One of these skin disorders is eczema, which according to the Cleveland Clinic, is defined as “is a general term for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed, red, dry, and itchy. In some cases, a rash might develop in one area or over the entire body.”
Other inherited skin differences can affect how you age and what your overall skin health is like including albinism, epidermolysis bullosa, Ichthyosis, and neurofibromatosis.
Is Skin Elasticity Tied to My Genes?
Did you know that your skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin is genetic? It’s true! While it’s not the only factor that determines how your skin will age as you get older, it is one of the primary considerations when it comes to intrinsic aging.
Your skin is affected by extrinsic aging and intrinsic aging. The first, extrinsic aging, which is associated with lifestyle choices and your environment. Examples of this kind of aging include that caused by ultraviolet radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution.
The other kind, intrinsic aging, is caused by factors such as genetics and free radicals. Examples of how your genes affect your skin as you age include effects from a gene mutation, changes in cellular metabolism, and your overall hormone environment.
My Skin is Dry–Can it be Tied to my Genes?
Yes, skin dryness can be caused by multiple factors, including living in a dry environment like the desert, frequently washing your hands throughout the day, or not drinking enough water. Dry skin can also be the result of swimming in a chlorinated pool. Many times, dry skin can also be caused by genetics. This is especially true for those with Ichthyosis, a family of genetic skin disorders characterized by dry, thickened, scaly skin.
Skin Care DNA Test
Are you looking to understand more about your DNA and how it will affect your overall skin health over time? Want to learn what kind of products may help you in the long run with skin challenges like acne and wrinkles? Our Skin Care DNA Test can help decode your genetic capacity to remain hydrated and elastic, as well as see how sun sensitivity can affect your skin health.
All you have to do is purchase your testing kit and wait for it in the mail. Once it arrives, register your kit and follow the easy-to-use instructions to provide us with your saliva sample at home and then mail it back to us! Your sample will be sent to our certified lab to be analyzed, and your genetic profile will be created. When your results are ready, you’ll receive an email and can immediately start exploring how your genes affect your skin health. It’s that simple.