Skin DNA Testing Reviews for Younom

£68.62 Converted from €79.00

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
4 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
4 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary

I really enjoyed taking the Younom test to learn about my skin health, and the products were an excellent addition to the service. I thought that the report struck a good balance between scientific details and practical recommendations.

I particularly liked that the benefits of the recommended products were explained in the results. I felt informed about exactly how they would benefit my overall skin health but would have been even more interested to know which specific ingredients affected which traits.

The products themselves were easy to use, felt effective and I really appreciated the personalisation of my face cream. All in all, this test was a lot of fun and would make a great personal treat or gift for a special occasion.

Full Review

Younom is a company that creates personalised skincare products, based on your DNA. Although genetics is a core part of their company, there is also a focus on the design and quality, something reflected in the honourable mention they received from the web design institution ‘Awwwards’.

Led by a belief that there’s no ‘one-size fits all’ product for maintaining skin health and longevity, Younom have developed a test that analyses your DNA to match you with creams and supplements, based on the results.

Product Expectations

Looking at the website, I learnt more about the various aspects of skin health Younom would examine and the products they offered. I read that they would focus on four main skin traits, ‘Photoaging’, ‘Hydration’, ‘Elasticity’ and ‘Antioxidants’. I was able to click each trait to read more about what it meant, which genes and which products were associated with it.

There were several professional-looking images of the DNA kit and products that accompanied it. A video explained how to take the test, but I could also read through the process in the ‘learn more’ section about the DNA test kit. I read that I would have to order at least one skin cream with my kit. This made sense, as the point of the test was to personalise my skincare, but this did mean that the cost of testing was a bit more than it first appeared.

It explained that the cream would contain no parabens, silicones, mineral oils, alcohol or artificial oils and would include three highly active serums. The benefits of each of these serums were explained and there were even instructions on how to use the face cream to get the best possible results. One thing I couldn’t work out was whether all three serums were included in all of the creams, or whether they were added depended on my genetic results.

In terms of taking the DNA test itself, there was an explanatory video that showed how to use the cheek swab sample that showed the process to be straightforward, quick and painless.

I was unable to find a specific privacy policy on the website, but there was information in the terms and conditions about what would happen to my sample after the test had been carried out. I was pleased to read that neither my sample or my genetic data would be passed on to any third parties and would only be used by Younom for 'internal statistical research'.

Ordering Experience

I was able to purchase the test directly from the Younom website. Before paying for the test, I had to decide whether I wanted to sign up to a subscription or go for the ‘Classic’ service. Since I hadn’t had any experience of Younom’s products previously, I went for the Classic one-time order, as I knew I could sign up to the subscription service later if I wanted to. I could then choose whether I wanted to include any extra products in my order. In addition to the standard test and face cream, I opted for two bottles of supplements.

In order to complete the purchase, I had to sign up to an account, which was quick and only involved entering my email address, creating a password and agreeing to the terms and conditions I’d read earlier. I then entered my shipping address and was able to proceed to the payment page. At this point, I again had to indicate that I agreed to the terms and conditions and was able to pay using my credit card. I received an email confirming my purchase once it had been processed.

The Results

The results were delivered via email a few weeks later. I was a bit confused about when my products would arrive, as the message didn’t mention them and there was nothing about them in my account either. However, I looked back at the website, which stated that they would be delivered about five days later than my report.

The results themselves were split into the four areas that were assessed, ‘Hydration’, ‘Elasticity’ ‘Antioxidant Protection’ and ‘Photoaging’.

Results Section: Hydration

The first skin trait covered in the report was hydration. It started with a title page, which included an introduction into what was involved in skin hydration. This explained that it was affected by the ability of the surface layers to absorb moisture into the deeper layers of the skin, using molecules called aquaporins. I learnt that a gene called AQP3 is responsible for producing these aquaporins and that a 2002 study had linked certain variants of this gene to the ability of skin to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, this study wasn’t referenced or hyperlinked so I wasn’t easily able to read it for myself.

The next page went into more detail about hydration and provided me with my personal result (shown below).

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My Hydration result.

My Hydration result.

I was pleased, but slightly surprised, to read that I wasn’t genetically predisposed to poor skin hydration. I actually get quite dry skin, especially during the winter, so it was interesting to find out that this was probably influenced more by environmental than genetic factors. This was confirmed when I read the explanation that accompanied the result. It described several factors, such as climate and allergies, that could result in skin hydration problems, even for those with no genetic predisposition.

Most of the recommendations were logical, but I was a bit confused by the one that suggested I try to ‘maintain the genetic mechanisms responsible’ for my skin hydration. The rest of the information provided details about how the Younom cream and supplements could help in maintaining skin hydration.

Results Section: Elasticity

Next, the report went over my Elasticity results. This again started with a title page and introduction that explained a bit about the factors that affect skin elasticity. I was interested to learn that it was mainly to do with the renewal of collagen and skin cells. This result was based on four genes, IL6, MMP1, MMP3 and MMP9, all of which were related to this renewal process. Two studies that had established links between genetics and elasticity were also mentioned.

The Detailed Report section on the next page revealed that, according to my DNA, my skin’s ability to limit inflammation processes and collagen destruction were not just reduced but ‘drastically reduced’ (shown below).

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My Elasticity result.

My Elasticity result.

I’m only in my 20s so haven’t noticed this yet, but I’m guessing I will do in the future. I was slightly reassured when I read that, as was the case for hydration, environmental factors also play a significant role in elasticity of skin. The first factor mentioned was smoking, which has luckily never been a habit of mine. Living in England, it’s also pretty easy to avoid constant sun exposure, another of the recommendations.

I was pleased that I had ordered the ‘ELASTICITY’ and ‘SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS’ supplements with my test, as these were recommended for this result.

Results Section: Antioxidant Protection

The next section of the report covered aspects related to Antioxidant Protection. The name of this section was less self-explanatory than the previous ones, so I was interested to read the introduction on the title page. The result was based on the analysis of five genes, which were all listed underneath the title (shown below).

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The top of my Antioxidant Protection title page.

The top of my Antioxidant Protection title page.

From the introduction on this page, it seemed that the section was mainly based on the skin’s ability to cope with toxins and pollutants. It felt as though the impact of this trait on my skin was more serious than the previous two, so I was pleased to find out that, according to my DNA, my skin is quite good at protecting itself.

Again, it was made clear that environmental factors also had a role to play in this trait and many of the recommendations given previously were also provided for this result. However, a few factors, for example consumption of fats and carbohydrates, were specific to this result.

For those wanting to improve the antioxidant protection of their skin, there was an ingredient called ‘ANTIOXIDANT POWER ACTIVE’ that could help to do this in the face cream. I wasn’t quite sure whether the ingredients that had been mentioned in each section were in all of the creams or whether they were only added for those with a genetic weakness in that area of skin health. Seeing as these all seemed beneficial, I wasn’t too worried either way, but it would have been interesting to know.

In terms of supplements, the SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS pack was again suggested. I liked that it explained which parts of these supplements were responsible for the beneficial effect (a multivitamin complex, zinc, copper and wheat extracts), but I wasn’t sure whether these were all equally beneficial for all traits or whether certain ingredients affected some more than others.

Results Section: Photoaging

The final result was about photoaging, which, as I learnt from the introduction, is skin damage caused by sun exposure. As I previously mentioned, I live in the UK, so too much sun isn’t too much of a problem for me, but I was still pleased to learn that I’m not genetically prone to photoaging.

This result was based on one gene, MCR1, which is involved in protecting the skin from damaging effects of UV radiation. I was quite surprised by this result as it mentioned that part of this process is the production of melanin. I’m very pale so hadn’t expected this to be the case, but I understand that the science is probably quite complicated and that one gene doesn’t tell the whole story.

Results Section: Detailed Gene Description

Going through the results, I had been a little disappointed by the lack of information about the genes themselves, so was happy to find that the final section of the report provided lots of genetic details about them.

In addition to the information about the genes themselves, this section included further explanation about the molecules they were associated with, making the results easier to understand. For example, I had been a bit confused about what aquaporins were when reading my Hydration result. This section explained that they are pore-like water channels that react to certain conditions, such as acidic pH, to regulate the amount of moisture in the deep layers of our skin. This made it clearer to understand the connection between AQP3 and the levels of skin hydration

Results Section: Skin Care Products

About a week after receiving my report, my products were delivered. They came in a box labelled with the Younom logo and each product was contained in its own simple but elegant box (shown below).

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My skincare products in their boxes.

My skincare products in their boxes.

The packages showed where the products were made – the supplements were from Germany and the face cream was from Switzerland. The bottles out of their boxes are shown below.

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The bottles of face cream and supplements.

The bottles of face cream and supplements.

When I opened the face cream box, as well as the bottle, there was a personalised note that read, ‘Dear Ellen, we made this cream specially for you’, which I thought was a lovely touch. The cream itself smelt amazing, and reminded me of summer. Having used it for two weeks I definitely think my face feels softer, more hydrated and looks more radiant.

I received the SKIN HAIR AND NAILS and ELASTICITY supplements. There were 60 capsules in each pot, and I was advised to take one of each, twice a day. Having taken them for two weeks, I’ve not noticed a dramatic difference in my skin elasticity (but as I mentioned, I still have young skin so maybe it’s helping to maintain rather than improve elasticity), but my hair looks shinier and I have noticed that my nails feel stronger too, despite the cold weather.

Summary

I really enjoyed taking the Younom test to learn about my skin health, and the products were an excellent addition to the service. I thought that the report struck a good balance between scientific details and practical recommendations.

I particularly liked that the benefits of the recommended products were explained in the results. I felt informed about exactly how they would benefit my overall skin health but would have been even more interested to know which specific ingredients affected which traits.

The products themselves were easy to use, felt effective and I really appreciated the personalisation of my face cream. All in all, this test was a lot of fun and would make a great personal treat or gift for a special occasion.

Please note that we were invited to take this test free of charge.

See a description of this DNA test from Younom >