Olay and 23andMe release skin aging data

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

personal care brand Olay and 23andMe release skin aging data
The P&G skin care brand is hinting at personalized, DNA-based beauty products and, in the meantime, sharing stats from a study on how skin ages. Good news for Olay: it’s not all predetermined by genetics; lifestyle and personal care choices play a big role.

2017 has only just begun, but big beauty brands are already leveraging the cultural curiosity surrounding DNA. Cosmetics Design predicted in a recent CD Buzz video​ that “the market for skin care made with the data and components of consumers’ own blood and DNA will increase in [2017].”

What’s happening so far is that big beauty is giving advancing DNA science a nod, while emphasizing the unique value of skin care and cosmetics. L’Oréal launched a multi-channel ad campaign earlier this month that plainly evokes consumer genomics adds​, like those from 23andMe.

Beauty products and marketing informed by DNA science, as this publication forecast, “will find more traction across market segments.”​ And that’s precisely what Olay is banking on with its partnership.

Pace of age

After embarking on the Olay Multi-Decade and Ethnicity study in 2012, the brand shared data​ in the summer of 2015 showing that people Olay referred to as ‘exceptional skin agers’  shared common gene expressions as they grow older. P&G used the data from those individuals as a sort of bench mark.

At the time, Olay explained that the findings would likely be used to formulate skin care “products to better delay the onset of visible skin aging by offering more personalized solutions,” ​as Dawn French, vice president of global beauty care research and development at P&G, told the press.  

That’s been done. “Specifically, several new or reformulated Olay Regenerist, Luminous and Total Effects products, containing Carob Seed Extract, carnosine or increased amounts of antioxidants respectively, have been shown to deliver visible results and youthful looking skin,” ​boasts the Olay press release about the new 23andMe research data. The reformulated products are hitting store shelves just this month.

What the data shows ​ 

The new research data confirms that lifestyle and skin care choices can change the way age alters the appearance of a person’s skin. Olay, in partnership with consumer genetics company 23andMe, conducted a study of 155,000 women.

The data shows that 78% of women who commonly use sunscreen were more likely to be ‘exceptional skin agers.’ Alternately, women who always or often have dry skin were 30% less likely to be ‘exceptional skin agers,’ and those who sun bathe often are 35% less likely to be such.

Having a positive attitude toward themselves meant women were 35% more likely to be characterized as ‘exceptional skin agers.’ “Additional positive predictors included: activity and energy levels, living in an urban area, regular exercise, eight or more hours of sleep a night, multi-vitamin usage and high self-rated health,” ​according to Olay.

Looking ahead

More date from the Olay-23andMe collaboration will be presented this March at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting, being held in Orlando Florida.

In the meantime, Frauke Neuser, principal scientist with Olay Skin Care at P&G, is optimistic: “These findings are incredibly exciting because they show that women can actively take beauty into their own hands,” ​she tells the press.

“In this study, having skin that looks exceptionally young – ageless – was not down to luck; genetics plays some role, but factors within women's control have larger effects. Future genomics and genetics research might enable us to provide increasingly personalized services and product solutions for women around the world,” ​says Dr Neuser.

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