Taking your at-home skin microbiome swab test is the first step towards the best skin routine for your health. But it is when your test arrives in our lab that it is our scientists’ turn to shine!
So far, you know that, at Skin Trust Club, we use DNA Sequencing technologies, AI, and Bioinformatics to help you better understand your microbiome composition and find a skin routine that is perfect for your needs.
Once we receive your test, you can expect your results within 30 days – delivered in an easy-to-understand report right on your phone via our mobile app. But what happens during that time?
We would love to say that magic takes place, but the truth is that it is all science! So let’s break down the timeline – so that you can be in control of your skin health from start to end!
Extracting the DNA from the swab
When your swab hits our labs, you will notice the change in status on the Skin Trust Club app to “Analysis”: we have started the process! The first thing our scientists do is extract the DNA from the swab.
To do so, the swab is treated with a special chemical compound that separates the Genetic Material (DNA) from the rest of the microbiome. Then, our scientists will add a detergent to purify the DNA material. The last step is to measure the quality and amount of DNA extracted – so that we can be sure that there is plenty of material to run our tests. This step usually takes around three days.
DNA amplification offers clearer results
Once we have our bacterial DNA sample, we apply a DNA Amplification process. This step allows our scientists to ensure that the sample is suitable to provide significant results during the DNA Sequencing step. By amplifying the DNA samples, we ensure that each bacteria in the sample will deliver a signal strong enough to be identified and assessed.
For this step, we use a machine called Thermocycler, which facilitates the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The device is programmed to raise and lower the samples’ temperature, thus promoting temperature-sensitive reactions.
Once amplified, the DNA is purified again so that it is ready for the next step. Our scientists are usually ready to move onto the next step within two days.
DNA Barcoding: keeping an eye on the sample
DNA Barcoding is a second DNA Amplification step during which a genetic index (or Barcode) is introduced in each purified DNA sample.
Thanks to this Barcode, our scientists can track the sample and make it immediately identifiable throughout the tests they will run on it. Then, before moving onto the DNA sequencing, the samples are purified once again. This step usually takes around two days.
We analyse the sample through DNA sequencing
DNA Sequencing is what it all comes down to! DNA Sequencing is a complex process that allows our scientists to learn more about your bacteria DNA’s nucleic acid sequence.
Each DNA comprises four major building blocks: guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine. The way these are arranged makes all the difference – and DNA Sequencing allows scientists to see these arrangements.
At Skin Trust Club, we use a sequencing cartridge loaded with pooled samples to achieve the highest sequencing quality and accurate bacteria identification. The cartridge completes 600 cycles and takes 56 hours to deliver the results we are after. Our scientists will be ready to move on analysing the data collected within eight days.
Understanding the data
Once the sequencing step is complete, the results are delivered to our scientists as many gigabytes of raw data. Once this data is transferred to our servers, we use Bioinformatics and proprietary AI analysis models to identify meaningful patterns and understand your skin microbiome in detail.
Thanks to this step, we can classify your skin type, understand the ecosystem composition, and deliver concise results regarding the best skincare to follow. Since this step is entirely automated, it won’t take more than 1-2 days.
Reports undergo a final quality check
The last step is creating a report that is not only easy to understand and accurate but also engaging and suitable for your lifestyle. Although reports are often automatically generated, they undergo a strict, case-by-case analysis by our microbiology specialists.
Once these reports are approved, they are sent directly to your mobile app.
Receive the results on the Skin Trust Club App
Once your report is ready, you will receive not only exclusive insights into your skin microbiome but also easy-to-follow skincare suggestions created for your exact unique skin type. At Skin Trust Club, we know how important your skin health is, and we strive to keep you aware and in control throughout every step. So, if you have any other questions after sending your sample off to our labs, just ask! We are ready to support you in every way along your journey towards healthier skin.