Can genotypic data change the face of skin care?

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Can genotypic data change the face of skin care?

Related tags Skin Gene Olay

Olay’s latest research on consumer genetics has uncovered data that will help the skin care company develop next-generation products aimed at making skin appear ageless.  

Dr. Alexa Kimball, Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, and a team of researchers have been working on the Olay Multi-Decade and Ethnicity (MDE) study since 2012. And this month at the annual World Congress of Dermatology, the company is presenting findings on how gene expression, which changes over the course of life, affects the appearance skin.

Results based
The company is emphasizing its findings about the genetic expressions of people it calls “exceptional skin agers.” ​With an understanding of why some people’s skin doesn’t readily show common signs of aging, Olay hopes to formulate skin care “products to better delay the onset of visible skin aging by offering more personalized solutions,” ​says Dawn French, vice president of global beauty care research and development at P&G.

Color line
The Olay study separates women into conventional ethnic groups and focuses, to begin with, on typical beauty consumers. “The initial findings of this MDE study include data from Caucasian and African research participants,” ​according to a media release announcing the findings.

And the following data, which the company shared in its statement is derived from a subset of Caucasian women. “There are distinct gene expression tipping points that occur in each decade as we age:decline in antioxidant response (20s); decline in skin bioenergy (30s); increase in cellular senescence (40s); decline in skin barrier function (50s), acceleration of all the above (60s).”

Moving forward, researchers will go over data on other women: “Olay is continuing to collect and analyze samples from Asian and Hispanic women in their 20s to 70s to broaden the application of the study's findings.”

Scientific innovation
“Successful cosmetic companies of the future will drive sales by…innovating at the extreme ends of scientific possibility,” ​reports Cosmetics Design​.

By getting into 3D bioprinting​ and now consumer genetics, P&G (Olay’s parent company) is doing just that. Innovation is coming quickly to the industry now, and the competition is gearing up.

L’Oréal and Organovo are at work on bioprinted skin​ for cosmetics testing too. And luxury skin care brands, like GeneU, are tailoring products to the unique genetics and environmental challenges of each consumer​.

Consumer genome
The Olay MDE study relies, in part, on genetic data that consumers have given to 23andMe.The two companies have teamed up to “further understand the genes linked to skin aging and their biological variability across different ethnicities,” ​explains the media release.

“23andMe is thrilled to see Olay applying genetics to beauty and skincare,” ​says Emily Drabant Conley, PhD, a research scientist and director of business development for the personal genetics company. “This collaboration has the potential to demonstrate the value of genetics to millions of people through their everyday skin care routine.”

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