EpigenCare, a US-based personalised skincare startup, has won Johnson & Johnson’s 2018 Digital Beauty Quickfire Challenge with a home testing kit that empowers consumers to make better skincare choices
The challenge, held at Johnson & Johnson JLABS technology centre in San Francisco, was set up to identify, recognise and support the most innovative and future-forward digital beauty solutions.
EpigenCare’s personalised epigenetics test assesses the current state of a user’s skin and then uses the collected data to recommend optimal skincare product options.
EpigenCare CEO and co-founder William Lee says the test, which is due to be released on the market later this year, analyses epigenetic markers (DNA methylation levels) associated with skin quality indicators such as ageing, elasticity, moisture and pigmentation by “non-invasively collecting DNA from the skin”.
He explains that epigenetics (the study of biological mechanisms that can activate or deactivate a gene’s function over time) is a more reliable method for skin analysis than genetic testing.
“Since a person has the same genes throughout his or her entire life, only epigenetic (rather than genetic) profiling can accurately reflect the dynamic and current state of one’s skin.”
Speaking after the company’s Quickfire Challenge win, Lee said it was an honour “to be recognised as an innovative organisation”.
“We intend to use this victory to continue our momentum in realising a truly personalised skincare solution.
“We are committed to bringing cutting-edge science in helping consumers identify skincare products that are best suited for their skin.”
In addition to a US$50,000 grant, the Quickfire Challenge win will give EpigenCare access to a network of experts and one-year’s residency at JLABS incubator as well as admission to a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Experience Center (CxC).