Is Good Skin Genetic?


Do genetics determine how your skin will age?

I thought so. Look at your mother and you'll see your future. Right?

Turns out that good skin is not as simple as good genetics.

Skincare brand Olay has debunked this assumption with a genome study looking at the relationship between DNA and skin ageing. Scientists from Harvard Medical Schooland a leading genetics company joined forces to analyse the genetics of woman that age exceptionally well.

My inner beauty nerd has geeked out on this DNA data and how such insights can be translated into products and better skin for me. 


Stay with me...because there's glow at the end of the lesson.

What Is A Exceptional Skin Ager?


An exceptional skin ager is someone who looks up to ten years younger than their actual age.

Basically, Benjamin Button.

But a girl. Belinda Button.

Women that break the rules of traditional ageing.

The study analysed the daily habits and genetic profiles of over 150,000 exceptional skin agers in an effort to discover what makes them different to the rest of us?

The scientists discovered that there are just twogenetic variations of DNA in exceptional skin agers but most importantly the study proved that close to two- thirds of regular women (non exceptional skin agers) also hold those variations. 

So what does this mean for you and me? 

Put simply: women can have those exceptional gene expressions but throw away their molecular advantage with poor lifestyle choices. These gene variations give you a head start but don't guarantee the outcome.

Good genes do not equal good skin. It's actually habits, sun exposure and hydration that contribute to your chances of becoming an 'exceptional ager'.

So what you put on your skin and how you protect it is key. Majorly.

This is magic information for a skincare company. Ingredients matter.

Armed with these findings, Olay has staged the biggest reformulation in the brands history, upgrading the formulas with ingredients that back the science across ALL three anti-ageing ranges: Regenerist, Luminous andTotal Effects 

You Had Me At Luminous.

Just like in my wardrobe, my beauty shelf contains products from luxury to pharmacy. 

High sits next low.  Chanel next to ASOS next to Gucci next to Vaseline.

It's an important part of my job to cover the market in terms of price points and look for the hardest working, best value buys.

Last summer, I tried Olay Regenerist with good results.

This time, I'm going for glow with Olay Regenerist Luminous Collection.

The range is engineered around the similarities between the way natural pearls and our skin reflect and absorb light.

Olay Regenerist Luminous uses a Pearl Optics Complex(which is a prettier way of saying skin brightening agent) which targets surface dullness, loss of radiance and hyper-pigmentation. 

I'm using Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream and  Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser.

Ten days in and the claims are on track.

Hydration boost was instant (first day) and things are starting to shift in texture and glow toward the end of this second week.

I really like the cleanser - a little goes a long way - and the smell and weight (very light and easily absorbed) of the Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream.

My sister - who has pigmentation from pregnancy - is trying the Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Treatment Essence(she's at Day 20) and has noticed an improvement in pigmentation around her eyes and an increase in radiance.

Which is actually all you want when you're up with a baby three times a night. And also chocolate. And sleep.

A TIP:  I pack pharmacy skincare when I travel because I've broken many expensive lotions and potions in transit over the years. With summer holidays on our horizon, this is good time to take the new OLAYf ormulations for a spin. 

The Buys.

Good To Know: Always read the back of the pack people. Learn about what you're putting on your skin. Olay Regenerist Luminousproducts containthese five super ingredients that work on texture at the surface and cell turnover within the dermis.

♥ Carnosine is a powerful antioxidant di-peptide that helps protect cells and reduces dullness.

♥ OliveM boosts anti-oxidants to fight free radicals

♥ Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) boosts cellular turnover and work to maintain skin moisture

♥ N-Acetyl Glucosamine has skin brightening properties which help to reduce the appearance of dark spots (particularly when paired with Niacinamid)

♥ Glycerin is a powerful humectant with intense moisturisation properties

Photography by Emmy Etié