You have your mum’s coloured eyes and your dad’s hair. But I bet you didn’t realise just how much your family genetics plays a part in your skin – how it responds to treatments, skincare, food, and even the sun! 

Understanding your genetic history can help you maintain happy, healthy skin. For example, if anyone in your family had red hair – your parents, grandparents, even aunties or uncles – you are still likely to carry the MC1R gene, which means you are five times more likely to get melanoma. It also means your skin has a shorter burn time in the sun. Meaning even if you do turn brown, your skin is burning at a much quicker rate, causing more damage.

Having the MC1R gene also means your skin struggles to retain good quality oil. When we talk about skin, we always want to have a healthy amount of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) within our body, as this helps to protect our skin and give it natural lubrication. 

Redheads naturally struggle to maintain EFA’s within their body and skin cells, so they will always need to have some sort of fish oil tablets as well as using a good quality oil in their at-home routine.

If your ancestry is Asian, Hispanic or Aboriginal you are at a much higher risk of getting scarring and post-inflammatory pigmentation. This is important to know, as some treatments use heat to produce change and this leaves these skin types at a really high risk of creating post inflammatory pigmentation or worse, hypopigmentation (pigment is removed altogether, leaving white patches). These skin types are also much more likely to scar, including keloid scarring.  On the plus side, they hold EFAs well within the skin, so are less likely to be dry or have skin issues like rosacea and dermatitis.

Understanding your family heritage can really help keep your skin healthy and identify what treatments and skincare will suit you, and what could potentially cause you more damage than good.

If you are unsure, I would always recommend getting advice from a skin therapist.


Abbey Blanke is the owner of Serenity Skin Spa. BUNDABERG: Shop 43, 16 Maryborough Street. HERVEY BAY: Shop 105, 6 Central Avenue. Visit www.serenityskinspa.com.au