The Skin Sequencing Method®

How to Choose the Right Skincare for Your Clients Based on Genetics


Have you ever had a client that for some reason, just doesn’t respond to the products and treatments you offer, even though they were supposed to be right for their skin type?

Though this scenario might not happen all the time, it certainly does happen; and it is both confusing and upsetting for both the client and the aesthetician when it does happen. The simple reason why this happens is that for whatever reason, the skincare products chosen for that client were not the right ingredients for that particular client’s unique skin.

If the product does not contain the right ingredients for the person using it, its efficacy will be extremely limited at best, and problematic at worst.

Bio-individuality is the concept that one person’s food (or skincare ingredient, in this case) is another person’s poison through ancient healing systems such as East Asian Medicine and Ayurveda.

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What if you could definitively determine what ingredients a person needs, using both cutting-edge science, and traditional wisdom?


This is where the Skin Sequencing® Method comes in.

The Skin Sequencing® Method is a proprietary method developed and tested by Rachael Pontillo, in a 2-year, informal study called the Skin Sequencing® Project, in conjunction with Toolbox Genomics. The Skin Sequencing® Method utilizes both science and traditional herbal wisdom to systematically narrow down ingredient choices using ancestry and nutrigenomics. This will help skin care professionals make the most targeted ingredient selections possible for individual clients.

This study was conducted on a small group of students and graduates of the Create Your Skincare Pro professional skincare formulation course; 60% of whom are licensed aestheticians. Participants ranged in age, ethnicity, skin type/condition, health history, and other demographic factors. Their only common thread is that they were all skincare formulators, who learned skincare formulation from the Create Your Skincare Pro online training.

After completing an intake form, and undergoing both nutrigenomic (via Toolbox Genomics) and ancestry DNA testing (via Toolbox Genomics, AncestryDNA, or 23andMe), each participant was given a list of custom skincare formulations for a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. The participants were instructed to create the products, use those products exclusively for three months, and complete periodic questionnaires to report their progress. Eleven of the participants completed the project and submitted their required surveys.

Initial findings identified that two of the participants experienced adverse reactions to specific ingredients. Fortunately, their nutrigenomic test results explained why–those participants both had genetic variants that inhibited their body’s ability to absorb and utilize those specific ingredients.

These participants’ formulations were re-formulated minus the problematic ingredients. The participants created the new formulations. After one month of use, reported no adverse reactions, AND overall improvement in the overall appearance of their skin.

At the end of three months of consistent use of the “Skin Sequenced” products, all participants reported an improvement in the appearance and condition of their skin over whatever previous products they had been using prior to participating in The Skin Sequencing® Project.

Why does the Skin Sequencing® Method work?

The Skin Sequencing® Method works because it is based on bio-individuality. Bio-individuality is the concept that one person’s food (or skincare ingredient, in this case) is another person’s poison through ancient healing systems such as East Asian Medicine and Ayurveda. Modern interpretations such as the Metabolic Typing Diet and the Blood Type Diet, also carry this theory true–we see it through all these dietary theories that aim to “type” people.

Bio-individuality is based on both genetics (ancestry, ethnicity, nutrigenomics–a person’s genetic predispositions towards certain foods, nutrients, deficiencies, and disorders) and epigenetics (lifestyle factors independent of ancestry/passed down genetic predispositions such as diet, exercise, stress, water quality, pollution, medication, exposure to toxicants, etc).

The fact that both modern science and ancient wisdom support the idea that humans achieve the best possible health outcomes by following an individualized, ancestral diet also supports that humans achieve the best possible SKIN outcomes with an individualized, ancestral topical skincare regimen.

In Conclusion

By utilizing the Skin Sequencing® Method, aestheticians and other skin care professionals will have the ability to understand exactly what nutrients a person is genetically pre-disposed to need, as well as what the best source of those nutrients are based on their ancestry.

The Skin Sequencing® Method can be used by those who offer premium, custom formulation services to their clients. It can also be used by aestheticians who are not skincare formulators to identify which products contain the ingredients the client either needs OR might react to (and therefore should avoid) due to allergies or genetic variants. This way, aestheticians and other skin care professionals can help even the most reactive clients, as well as the clients that have seemingly tried everything, but nothing works.