Tatler Singapore

Secret Glow

With its patent-pending genetic-based technology, Singapore-based beauty startup Sequential Skin can accurately identify what your skin needs to improve its health

- By Amelia Yeo

With its genetic-based technology, Sequential Skin can accurately identify what your skin needs

What is the secret to healthy glowing skin? It’s a question that still baffles us as we go through a lifetime’s worth of trial and error to find the products that suit our skin. For the team at Sequential Skin, the answer can be found in science.

In 2018, genetic scientists Oliver Worsley and Albert Dashi, the co-founders of the Singaporeb­ased beauty startup, created the world’s first at-home skin test based on genetic analysis and microbiome identifica­tion to help its customers

find products that truly suit them. Microbiome refers to the living organism on your skin, including bacteria, fungi and viruses—or the “invisible players”, as Dashi aptly describes them. The Swiss national met Worsley, who is from the UK, while they were doing their Phds in molecular biology at the National University of Singapore.

“We were both driven by the idea of bringing basic science into the beauty world and to commercial­ise it for the benefit of people, especially those suffering from major skin conditions,” shares Dashi. “As we were both into molecular biology—the study of molecules necessary for cells to function—we eventually developed a technology which allows us to collect your genetic material and microbiome­s at the same time.”

Today, customers can get their hands on a test kit by ordering it from sequential­skin.com. The kit comprises five items, including a test patch, a test tube and an instructio­n card. The process is simple: stick the test patch on your forehead in order to collect your skin sample, before mailing it back to the team. After which, you will receive a complete skin analysis in a week’s time, as well as recommenda­tions for three products: a cleanser, a day treatment and a night treatment.

The sample will first be subjected to Sequential Skin’s nextgenera­tion sequencing technology, which gives the team a clear view of the skin’s genetic make-up (what you were born with) and the DNA of the skin’s microbiome (the environmen­t you are in). From there, the team will make an in-depth assessment based on five key traits: hydration, sensitivit­y response, firmness, sun protection and antioxidan­t capacity. These factors have the most impact on skin health.

The skin’s microbiome is dependent on external factors such as air quality and sunlight, and largely impacts the compositio­n of protein—collagen and elastin—that retains the skin’s elasticity and radiance. Capturing the diversity of your skin’s microbiome informs the team on the good bacteria that requires a boost and bad bacteria that needs to be reduced, Dashi explains.

The microbiome is also unique to your geographic­al location. For example, the dry climate in Spain will show a very different microbiome set to that of Singapore. Mapping out skin microbiome­s in different parts of the world is something that the team looks forward to in the next stage of their developmen­t. Not only will it help them to better understand the nature of microbiome­s from a global perspectiv­e, it also offers a more accurate analysis for customers moving forward. Sequential Skin is also in the midst of scaling up its operations to reduce turnover time and eventually offer the service to more customers.

“People are now becoming more aware that it is really important to look at this external factor.

At this moment, the number of skincare products that target the skin microbiome remains a small number, but it is increasing,” enthuses Worsley.

To better assist customers in their quest for better skin, Sequential Skin brought on board skincare director Pétronille Houdart, who brings with her a wealth of experience in the beauty and pharmaceut­ical industries. She explains: “Based on your skin profile, we will choose off-the-shelf products with suitable active ingredient­s for you, taking into considerat­ion your preferred price points, among other factors.”

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 ??  ?? The team at Sequential Skin includes (from far left) Albert Dashi, Pétronille Houdart and Oliver Worsley; the Sequential Skin test kit which includes the patent-pending test patch
The team at Sequential Skin includes (from far left) Albert Dashi, Pétronille Houdart and Oliver Worsley; the Sequential Skin test kit which includes the patent-pending test patch
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