Brand profile

Imagene Labs part II: Encouraging market education on DNA-based skin care

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

DNA-based skin care

Related tags Skin care Dna

With the wellness name seeking to evolve skin care solutions using advanced scientific profiling, we asked Jia Yi Har, VP and General Manager of Imagene Labs, the importance of educating consumers in APAC and new-age DNA skin care results.

When asked what the brand’s biggest hurdle relating to marketing their genetic wellness products is, Har observed that it is “market education – as most people are still not familiar with DNA testing, but the awareness has been growing in the past year”.

Imagene Labs has designed its reports to be user friendly and easy to understand to both practitioners and end consumers. Reports are also translated into Chinese, Thai and Indonesian, which, it states, has helped tremendously with business partner and end user uptake. More languages are in the pipeline, in conjunction with their market expansion into the rest of Asia Pacific and beyond.

“Also, having deep scientific backing through our own in-house genetics lab, bioinformatics, product development and wellness capabilities helps build credibility and trust among wellness partners and end consumers,”​ Har interestingly points out.

Beyond the questionnaire

The brand’s OriSkin test examines ten dimensions and 26 genes relating to skin health and ageing including collagen breakdown, dryness, antioxidant deficiency, detoxification impairment, skin glycation, pigmented spots, youthfulness, photoageing, dermal sensitivity and sensitivity to sun.

Analysing 10 traits with 26 genes in skin, 15 traits with 110 genes in fitness and 30 traits with 135 genes for nutrition, Har emphasised that Imagene Labs is presently the “only consumer genetics company that has the know-how to customise skin care and nutrition using consumers’ individual DNA profile in this region”.

Har noted that most customisation in the market is derived from questionnaires, which can be subjective. While some use skin scanners, these are limited to only addressing concerns that are already manifesting on the skin.

As Imagene Labs aims to change consumer behaviour, the brand recognises that people are now "beginning to realise they should use what their body needs, not what the most current marketing hype is all about",​ Har iterated.

APAC opportunities

While DNA-based customised skin care is new in APAC, in general, consumers are “very excited about having their very own serum blends”.

“Singapore and Hong Kong markets have educated and tech-savvy consumers who need little convincing to embrace wellness solutions personalised through DNA insights, but there are discerning consumer segments within developing markets in APAC that are very willing to try new technologies as well,” ​Har went on to say.

In response to whether APAC consumers are calling out for bespoke personal care products and services, Har enthused “absolutely”​ and stated that DNA-personalised wellness is the future and looks towards genetics playing a much larger role in our daily lives.

When asked what advice Imagene Labs would you have for other entrepreneurs looking to enter the cosmetics sector, Har added that it is imperative to “know the consumers, solve real pain points with a product and/or service that is better than what is offered on the market”.

Looking ahead

“In the next five years, we expect DNA-based customisation to be prevalent in the wellness market, for skin care, diet, fitness training and nutritional supplements,”​ Har concluded.

Imagene Labs, which won the Frost & Sullivan 2017 Southeast Asia Personalised Wellness & Nutritional Genomics Entrepreneurial Company of the Year award, will be at this year’s in-cosmetics Asia event in Bangkok, Thailand, between 31st October - 2nd November 2017. For more information, visit​.

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