You know that girl in high school? The one who never had a blemish, always had perfect skin (even during gym class)? Was her flawless face the result of a meticulous skincare routine, or did she somehow wind up with lucky genes?
Okay, let me back up: It’s St. Patrick’s Day! And with all this luck in the air, I kind of got to thinking: How much does the ‘luck of the draw’ of our genetic makeup have to do with the health of our skin?
In a nutshell: a LOT – but not everything. Here’s what’s up.
Genes & DNA
All of us have a unique set of DNA that lives in around 20,000 different genes within our bodies. Crazy, right? Certain genes are responsible for renewing our skin cells, but things can get hairy (pardon the pun) when there’s a genetic mutation. This is the cause of a lot of skin disorders, like skin cancer and albinism. There are also genetic mutations like psoriasis that directly confuse your immune system, leading it to become inflamed instead of protective after encountering certain triggers.
By the same token, our genes affect how our bodies treat bacteria, so the propensity for developing acne is actually largely genetic. This fact may not make it easier to get over how jealous you were of that girl in school with perfect skin, but it does explain a lot.
There isn’t one ‘skin gene’ that controls every predetermined thing about our skin’s unique qualities. We do, however, have many genes that decide the skin type and color we are born with (and pretty much every other aspect of our physical appearance, for that matter).
What If My Genes are Less Than Ideal?
But even if your genetic programming means your skin is dry, acne-prone or susceptible to more serious problems like skin cancer, you can majorly affect your skin’s health with your habits. For example, eating well, exercising and using soap-free, pH 5.5 skincare solutions like the Sebamed Olive Face & Body Wash are all actions you can take to fight an unfavorable genetic disposition.