Do genes play a role in how our skin looks?
Genes are parts of our DNA that contain instructions to build molecules. Many of these are to build proteins, to ensure that our body works. It has been estimated that humans have between 20,000 to 25,000 genes which determine your traits. Each gene carries its own set of instructions and determines things like skin, hair and eye colour, and height. Your genes are inherited by your parents, you get half from your mum and half from your dad.
Genetics determine your skin type, so whether you have dry, oily, combination, normal or sensitive skin. If you want to identify what skin type you have, click here. To an extent, how your skin will age, the elasticity of your skin, under-eye circles, whether you have freckles, and even if you get stretch marks are caused by your genes.
Genes do play a role and can be a predisposition to certain skin conditions including eczema, melanoma (a type of skin cancer), and even acne, as size and activity of the oil glands (which are involved in the development of acne) are passed down from our parents.
It’s not all about what our parents gave us
We know that genetics do play a role in how your skin looks and behaves, however it is not the only thing, and other external factors can influence and impact your skin.
Even if you have great genes that have been passed down by your parents, common signs or skin ageing are intensified by lifestyle choices, which means that you still need to take care of your skin. One of the most common causes of premature skin ageing and damage is sun exposure (as well as increasing your risk of skin cancer) so it is important to wear SPF. Other factors can also impact your skin including, smoking, poor diet, not drinking enough water, lack of exercise, excess alcohol, environmental exposures, not managing stress and lack of sleep.
As mentioned before, although there is a genetic predisposition for certain characteristics of our skin, we can also influence how our skin looks. If you know that you have dry skin, oily, combination, sensitive or normal skin you can choose products that work for you. To prevent skin ageing and maintain good skin health, it is important to:
- use sunscreen
- wash your face
- get into a good skincare routine, moisturise, include AHAs and retinols to promote cell turnover and reduce acne
- manage stress
- get enough sleep
- stay active
- eat a healthy balanced diet
- stay hydrated!
Even if there is no family history of skin cancer, risk of developing melanoma can increase if an individual has excessive sun exposure, doesn’t use SPF, or if they are fair skinned and have excess sun exposure. This shows that it’s not just solely genetics which influence skin conditions, but environmental factors.
For skin conditions, although some may not have a cure, there are treatment options available that can help you manage them. For treatment of skin conditions, it is best to speak to your GP or a dermatologist, as they can give personalised advice tailored to you.
About Lucy Bee
Lucy Bee is a lifestyle brand selling food, skincare and soap products all completely free from palm oil and with minimal use of plastic. Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, organic, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and empowering people to make informed choices and select quality, natural products for their food and their skin.
Any information provided by us is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. We always recommend referring your health queries to a qualified medical practitioner.