What are genetically customized skin care products?
One of the currently popular fads in high end boutique skin care products is the development of genetically customized formulations. These formulations are said to be constructed specifically for individual purchasers skin and health needs working with their genetic composition to offer superior benefits. How exactly is this customization accomplished?
The purchaser is instructed to swab their buccal mucosa with a flat wooden spatula several times and place the scrapings into a jar filled with a transport media. Both the specimen and a questionnaire are sent to the company for analysis. This type of genetically customized skin care has recently come under scrutiny from the US FTC who is concerned that these companies are misleading consumers via fraudulent claims. Indeed, it is possible that the manufacturer is using the questionnaire information regarding dry vs. oily skin, sun exposure, skin color, etc. to select skin care products and not the genetic information obtained from the buccal swab. Thus, the value of genetically customized skin care products remains questionable.