Having recently launched in Singapore as the region’s first genomic lab to offer complete genetics-based wellness solutions, we speak with the General Manager of Imagene Labs, Har Jia Yi to better understand how it works.
Leveraging on proprietary research in DNA testing and an intimate understanding of Asian genetics, the newly launched Imagene Labs offers customised skincare, nutrition and fitness solutions based on the individual’s genetic profile. Their products are formulated for the individual based on their unique genetic make-up, and is aimed at optimising the body’s response to attaining overall and long-term health and wellness from the inside out.
To better understand how these tests and products work to benefit health-conscious consumers, we interview Har Jia Yi (JY), the General Manager of Imagene Labs, to shed some light on the concept of marrying genetics with overall wellness.
AA: Hi Jia Yi, can you tell us a little bit more about Imagene Labs and how the concept of using genetics to unlock one’s wellness potential came about?
JY: Imagene Labs is the first company in Asia to offer customised wellness products based on DNA screening. We empower consumers to understand their genetic profile using non-invasive DNA testing via saliva samples. We then formulate skin care and supplement products based on consumers’ unique DNA profiles, so that they can take advantage of the most suitable ingredients to help them look, feel and live their best.
There are a lot of myths and contradictory advice going around the market, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to wellness. A product or superfood that may work for one person may not work for another. Therefore, consumers today are increasingly demanding for customised wellness products and services to help them achieve their desired health goals, and Imagene Labs aims to fulfill this market demand.
Based on well-established genetic studies, our team of genetic experts screen for specific genes that influence fitness, skin and nutrition metabolism. We then offer actionable recommendations so consumers can make adjustments to their lifestyle, diet, exercise and beauty regimes to improve their health. The results are also used to create the optimal blend of skin care and supplement products for each individual, so consumers can get truly bespoke solutions that work just for them.
AA: What are some of the tests available at AskOri.com, and how do we know which test is most suitable for our needs?
JY: We currently offer three tests – oriSKIN, oriFIT, oriVIT – that are specifically designed to screen genetic markers that affect our skin, fitness and nutrition needs.
oriSKIN tests for key traits that affect our skin’s condition, such as skin elasticity, predisposition to premature wrinkling, pigmentation, and sensitivity. oriVIT looks for risks in nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivity and how well your body processes key nutrients. oriFIT screens for key markers that influence fitness, including how easily your muscles repair themselves, injury risks or whether your body is naturally more inclined to aerobic exercise.
Depending on their wellness goals, individuals can choose from any of these tests or a combination of two or all three tests. From their test results and recommendations, they are able to DIY or work with their fitness and beauty consultants to tweak their fitness, nutrition and skin care regimes to achieve optimal health.
AA: What is the difference between the oriFIT test and the oriFIT+ test?
JY: oriFIT and oriFIT+ test for the same 15 fitness traits. The difference between the two is that the oriFIT+ package comes with an additional 30-day supply of customised health supplements, while oriFIT is just the standalone genetic test.
AA: How quickly can we obtain the test results, and what would the results mean to the individual who has done the oriVIT test for instance?
JY: Consumers can purchase the test kit on askori.com at their leisure. The test kit will be delivered to them within three working days. Once they have collected their saliva samples and scheduled their sample pickup, they will get their genetic report online two to three weeks after the sample arrives in our labs. Upon receiving their reports, they can continue to order the recommended products on AskOri.com. As the products have to be customised in our labs, they will take around two weeks to be delivered.
Each individual’s oriVIT report contains information such as whether he or she has any genetic predispositions to vitamin and minerals deficiencies, whether they benefit from a certain diet, (low-carb, low-fat or Mediterranean diets) or whether they have sensitivities to certain food. We will also provide tailored diet, lifestyle and supplementation recommendations based on the results that individuals can adopt in order to optimise their health and wellness.
AA: What about oriSKIN? What is the range of bespoke products available for the individual who has taken the test?
JY: Imagene Labs offers custom-blend Facial Serums developed based on the results of an individual’s oriSKIN report. The customised facial serums are formulated using high performance, natural botanical premium ingredients specially selected to address the individual’s key skin concerns.
We also have the Imagene Labs Onsen Series – a collection of skincare products created in Beppu, the hot spring capital of Japan and is targeted at individuals with sensitive skin. The key active is a microalgae extract that is found to soothe inflammation and irritation, boost collagen, and restore skin to its original, healthy condition. The Onsen Series consist of four products: Revealing Gel Facial Cleanser, Rebalancing Water Facial Toner, Renewal Jelly Facial Moisturizer, and Reflecting Lotion UV Shield.
AA: How safe to use are the products such as supplements and skin products offered at Imagene Labs? Are there any precautions users should be aware of?
JY: Product quality, efficacy and safety is our top priority and all our products have passed required efficacy and safety tests. Most of our skincare products are made from high performance, well-researched active ingredients from natural plant sources and do not contain any skin irritants. We only use ingredients from reputable suppliers and work with manufacturers with the highest compliance standards.