Visits to the skin-care counter may be a lot more intimate in the future. The saleswoman could ask you to open wide and get a quick swab of saliva. She’ll then run the swab through a machine and recommend the serum or lotion that best matches not just your basic skin type but your genetic signature.
“We already know from studying genetics that certain people respond to certain ingredients—and not to others,” says Olay principal scientist Frauke Neuser. Not everyone, for example, is programmed to respond to retinol in the same way. What does this mean for five-to-ten-years-from-now you? “We’ll know not only the way your skin will age in the future but also what your skin does and doesn’t respond to right now,” says Neuser. “We’ll be able to tell that while someone isn’t going to wrinkle much, they’ll have loads of age spots. And we’ll know what ingredients your skin genetically responds to that will specifically address that problem.” So let’s all open wide and say, ‘Ahhhh.’