Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is DnaNudge?
A. DnaNudge is a retail based, on-the-spot genetic testing service, which provides product recommendations suited to your DNA to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Q. How does the DnaNudge service work?
A. You order online on our website or purchase in-store. Do your cheek swab at home or in-store, which we load into a DnaCartridge to extract your DNA. The cartridge is put into one of our NudgeBoxes where we run the DNA test. We send you your results via the DnaNudge App. You can then connect your DnaBean which allows you to shop with your DNA. You can scan the barcode of products with your DnaBean (wear it as a wristband to make it an Active Nudge!) or the App to see whether it is recommended for you or not, nudging you towards the better products for you.
Q. How large is your food database?
A. Our Nutrition database has over 500,000 products. We update all our databases regularly, so the number of products is growing all the time.
Q. Where can I use my DnaBean and DnaNudge App?
A. You can scan products in most major UK supermarkets including Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury, Tesco, Co-op, Morrisons and Asda. Our UK-based nutrition database currently contains over half a million products, including a large number of international brands; however, you will be unable to scan products local to other countries outside the UK. But we are working every day to expand the number of products available to scan in the UK and Worldwide.
Q. When was DnaNudge launched?
A. DnaNudge was launched commercially in November 2019 with the launch of our flagship store in London's Covent Garden. This was followed in December 2019 with pop-up counters in John Lewis and Waitrose and in June 2020 with the launch of our online NudgeStore.
Nutrition Test and Inactivity
Q. Which genes do you analyse for the Nutrition test?
A. Our Nutrition DNA test panel identifies several SNPs within genes which are associated with the propensity to develop chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, cholesterol, and hypertension, and associated with caffeine metabolism. Some companies test for more than this, but we aim for quality, not quantity. More does not mean better; we only include genes which have high quality evidence behind them.
Q. Is DnaNudge a diet?
A. DnaNudge is not a diet. We won’t restrict your eating behaviours and you’ll still be able to eat the foods that you enjoy. We will nudge your food choices and shopping behaviours to healthier alternatives tailored to you based on your DNA.
Q. Does DnaNudge take into account my lifestyle?
A. We do consider your lifestyle. Your Active Nudge (DnaBean + DnaBand) will measure your steps and sitting time and will take this into account when making product recommendations and showing your Green DNA Bar on the App.
Q. What does the DnaNudge Nutrition test cover?
A. Our Nutrition test looks at your genetic predispositions for nutrition-related health conditions and relates those predispositions back to different elements of the diet. Specifically, the test covers your predisposition for obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. For example, high salt intake is associated with hypertension and high cholesterol, and high sugar intake is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. On your DNA Report, the colours of the tiles titled ‘Salt’ and ‘Sugar’ represent your risk of the respective conditions associated with those nutrients.
Q. Do you offer medical, dietetic, or health care advice?
A. No, we do not offer medical, dietetic, or healthcare advice; our service is for information only and is not an alternative to medical advice. You should consult your GP or a health professional before making any changes to your diet or personal care regimen. If you do have a medical condition, we recommend you seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Q. Will I lose weight using the app?
A. It depends. The DnaNudge App and Active Nudge are not designed for weight loss and are not medical devices. Any healthy lifestyle changes you make from using the DnaNudge service may lead to weight loss. However, this is not the main goal of DnaNudge, as weight is not the sole health indicator or predictor of a healthy lifestyle.
Q. Do you recommend caffeine for women during pregnancy?
A. We do not recommend specific intakes of caffeine for pregnant women. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that your caffeine intake follows that of the NHS guidelines of no more than 200mg caffeine per day.
Q. What exactly is the Nutrition DNA Report?
A. Each tile of the DNA Report shows a trait which is based on multiple genes associated with an increased risk of common health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. We link these genes to different nutrients to help offer you better and more personalised dietary recommendations.
Q. What is the DNA Bar?
A. The DNA Bar is not the same as the Green DNA Bar. The DNA Bar is found at the top of the DNA Report tab on the DnaNudge App. This bar represents all the products we have in our database and whether they are recommended for you or not. The green section represents those products which are recommended for you, based on your DNA, and the red section of the bar represents those products which are not recommended. This is determined by your DNA Report and will not change, unless we add more products to our database.
Q. Can I change my DNA and therefore my DNA Report?
A. Your genetics, and therefore your DNA Report, are fixed, as your DNA is unique to you and does not change throughout your life. Your risk of the different nutrition-related health conditions across your report will remain the same (i.e. if you have a high risk for the Sugar trait, this will remain the same). However, by making small changes to your food choices and product purchases, this can make a meaningful difference to your health and overall risk of developing nutrition-related health conditions over time.
Q. If I have red tiles does this mean I will develop a health condition like obesity?
A. Not at all. Our DNA test simply looks at SNPs which are more common amongst people who have certain conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or obesity. Lifestyle factors, such as what you eat, your sleeping patterns and how you choose to exercise, interact with other factors, such as your age and your genes, influencing your health. Simply put, your DNA is part of a whole collection of interacting factors that make you who you are and determine your risk of developing diseases.
Q. Why is my Fat high but Saturated Fat low?
A. We have analysed SNPs which affect many metabolic diseases, including cardiovascular conditions and obesity. We have linked the different nutrients to different conditions. For cardiovascular health, the type of fat is important, meaning that replacing saturated fat with other types of fat (including poly- and mono-unsaturated fats) is important. From this, we have linked saturated fat to these conditions. Another condition we assess is obesity, which is a complex condition, and research has shown that calorie deficiency is important for maintaining a healthy weight. The most economical way to reduce calories is to reduce total fat, as it is the most energy dense macronutrient (more than protein and carbohydrates combined). Therefore, we have linked fat intake to obesity. This means that your tiles for these nutrients can vary as they are linked differently to the health conditions we assess.
Q. My Salt is low so can I eat lots of salty foods?
A. No. If your salt is low, it does not mean you can eat lots of salty foods. The recommended intake for salt for adults in the UK is 6g per day. Currently, studies have shown that we eat far more than that. High intakes of salt have been linked to hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. A lot of the salt we eat is hidden in processed food. Even though you may have a low or very low salt tile, DnaNudge nudges you towards lower salt options.
Q. My obesity risk is high, but I am skinny; is this correct?
A. DnaNudge is a not a diagnostic tool or medical device. We have assessed areas in your genes which research suggests may lead to obesity. There are several factors, including various lifestyle and dietary factors, which are important for obesity. Eating healthy food and exercising regularly are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight regardless of your genetic pre-dispositions.
Q. My DNA Report is all green; does that mean that I don’t have to worry?
A. Green report tiles do not mean ‘you don’t need to worry’. Our algorithm will still nudge you to make better choices when you scan an item. Making such changes will still have a beneficial impact on your health and risk of developing the nutrition-related health conditions we assess. The DnaNudge App assumes you're thinking about buying or eating the product and gives you a point-of-decision prompt as to whether the item is suited to your DNA or if there are better alternatives for you.
Q. Why does my App have a Nutritional Section instead of a DNA Report?
A. DnaNudge users between 11-15 years old receive an educational report around nutrition rather than a report which communicates health risks to different macronutrients. As a company, we put the interests of our users first, therefore we are not sharing genetic risk information with younger users, as it could potentially have unpredictable effects on their eating behaviours.
Q. What are the differences between an adult and child DNA Report?
A. DnaNudge users between 11 and 15 years old receive an educational nutritional report, as long as a parent or guardian has provided consent. We understand the importance of this developmental stage in an adolescent’s life, so we do not share genetic trait risk information with anyone under the age of 16. Anyone under the age of 16 receives an adapted report. You have full access to all other service features including scanning and searching for products, NudgeMatch and NudgeShare. The DnaNudge App and Active Nudge will take into account your age. As you grow, the recommendations will adjust not only to your genetic risk, but also to the different developmental stages you go through until adulthood. Once you turn 16 years old, your App will automatically display your personal DNA Report results. Other age-related restrictions will also apply until you turn 18 years old. For example, when you scan alcoholic beverages or stimulants like caffeine.
Q. In the DNA Report, what does ‘How do I compare to others?’ mean?
A. By selecting any of the tiles on your DNA Report you can see a percentage value is displayed. This represents the percentage of other users who have taken the test and have a similar result to you for that specific genetic trait, allowing you to see how common your results are compared to those of others.
Q. Why have I been recommended a product that is higher in an ‘X’ ingredient than another product which is not recommended for me?
A. You may find, for example, that you are not recommended a specific product due the sugar or salt content being too high, however a different product with a higher sugar or salt content may be recommended for you. This is because we categorise each of the products in our database by the type of food. For example, we have categories for cereals, nuts, chocolate, condiments and olives, to name just a few of the hundreds of categories we have. We compare products and make recommendations within a single category. We are nudging you towards the healthier products for you within that specific category. This means we will still recommend you products such as chocolate or crisps, but, with the DnaNudge App, you can choose which is the best chocolate bar or packet of nuts for you.
Q. Why did I get a green thumbs-up when I scanned an unhealthy food item?
A. The goal of the DnaNudge App isn’t to restrict certain foods from your diet, so you can use the app to scan all types of foods, including foods which you should only eat occasionally. There is a lot of evidence that shows small changes can add up to having a big impact on your health. This is because our philosophy is based on the idea that we are free to choose what we eat, but we should have the option to be nudged towards an alternative that is healthier for us, whenever possible.
Q. What are the alternative product recommendations and nutritional information?
A. When you view a product in the DnaNudge App, you can see more details about the nutritional information and alternative recommendations for that specific product. In the ‘Alternatives’ tab, a list of alternative recommendations for similar products within the same food category will be displayed. In the 'Nutritional Information' tab, you can see a breakdown of each component of a product which would typically be found on its nutritional label, including fat, sugar, and salt. Next to each component will be a green thumbs-up or a red thumbs-down, indicating which of the components make the product recommended for you or not.
Q. What are the ‘Find a match’ products in the ‘Alternatives’ section?
A. When you scan or search for a product, the DnaNudge App produces a list of similar products from the same category that are recommended for you. The ‘Find a match’ heading indicates the list of products belonging to the same category within our database.
Q. How are my product recommendations generated?
A. Our team of scientists, geneticists, dietitians, and deep-learning software engineers created an algorithm which uses your DNA to create customised product recommendations. The algorithm takes into consideration your genes, the type of product you are scanning, and the nutritional content of food and drink products. Based on these factors, the products are then either recommended for you or not, and alternative product recommendations are generated using our simple, colour-based thumbs-up/thumbs-down system.
Q. My alternative product recommendations seem strange; why is that?
A. When you first start using your DnaNudge App to scan products, the list of alternative product recommendations may contain products which you haven’t heard of before or wouldn’t consider buying. Over time and after a few shopping trips, the App's algorithms will adjust to your preferences and will recommend matches that are closer to what you like.
Q. Why doesn’t the DnaNudge app recommend me baby products?
A. Food and drink products that have been specifically designed for infants will not be recommended, since infants have different nutritional needs to children and adults, and therefore these products tend to be high in calories.
Q. Can the DnaNudge app tell me why products aren’t recommended for me?
A. Yes! When viewing a food or drink product, click on the 'Nutritional Information' section. There will be one or more red thumbs-down displayed next to the components of the product. The red thumbs-down indicates that there is too much of those nutrients within the product for it to be recommended to you, based on your genetic report.
Q. How do I find out about the nutritional information of a product?
A. Scan or search for a product, or click on one from your ‘My Scans’ history to open it. Click 'Nutritional Information' to see the nutritional value of the product.
Q. Why do you display nutritional information per 100g?
A. The nutritional information is based upon 100g/100mL of a product to help both you and our algorithms compare products quickly and easily.
Q. Where do you get information for products and ingredients from?
A. We obtain product ingredients and nutritional information directly from manufacturers, independent packaged food and cosmetic product databases. We cannot guarantee the information is 100% accurate, so if you do spot something unusual, please use the 'Email Support' option to let us know.
DnaNudge is not affiliated with any supermarkets, retailers or brands, and your product recommendations are not influenced by any potential affiliations with third parties.
Q. What is the ‘Ingredients I usually avoid’ function?
A. You can select ingredients that you do not wish to consume, for example, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, gluten, or palm oil. When you scan a product containing an ingredient you have selected as one you wish to avoid, you will be notified should the product contain one or more of the ingredients you would usually avoid. This list can be found as part of the initial DnaBean setup and can also be found in the ‘More’ tab within the app. When you add a new ingredient to this list, you must sync your DnaBean to your DnaNudge App to load it with the most up-to-date information.
We do not recommend individuals suffering from allergies to rely on this feature, given that we cannot guarantee that the product information we receive from manufacturers and other third-party product datasets is 100% accurate.
We recommend that you always check the product label or contact the manufacturer directly, to ensure a product is suitable for you. If you do find any discrepancies, please let us know via the 'Email Support' function within the 'More' section in your App. We recommend that you always check product labels and ingredients to ensure they are suitable for you.
Q. Why has alcohol been selected as an ingredient I want to avoid?
A. Alcohol has been selected as an ingredient you want to avoid because you are under 18 years old. Legally, you are not allowed to buy alcohol. A young person's body cannot cope with alcohol in the same way an adult can. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to long term problems with brain function, memory, coordination, and motor skills (ability to move) as well as several chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. If this does not apply to you, please get in touch with our Customer Services team.
Q. Why has caffeine been selected as an ingredient I want to avoid?
A. Caffeine has been selected as an ingredient to avoid because you are under 18 years old. Caffeine can affect mood, concentration and your development. Although you can still scan products containing caffeine to get a product recommendation based on your genes, we also need to consider your age.
Q. What is DNA?
A. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a long, helix-shaped molecule which contains all genetic information required to create a living being. DNA is made from a chain of 'letters,' or smaller molecules called nucleotides. There are four different types of nucleotides: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), guanine (G). The specific combinations and arrangement of nucleotides in your DNA sequence is what makes you completely unique.
Q. What is a gene?
A. A gene is a small section of DNA which contains functional information about some characteristics, i.e. widow's peak or tongue rolling. Genes are the smallest units of heredity; each person has two versions or 'alleles' of every gene, one from their mother, one from their father.
Q. What is a genome?
A. The genome is the complete set of genes, and therefore the complete genetic 'information pack' that makes you who you are. There are 3 billion nucleotides in your genome, and we all differ by 0.1%. These differences are made up of SNPs.
Q. What is a SNP?
A. SNP (pronounced 'snip') stands for 'single nucleotide polymorphism'. A SNP is a single 'letter' (nucleotide) variation within the DNA code. Such a small change may not sound like much, but the DNA code is so precise that a little SNP can have big effects. SNPs occur normally within the DNA (there are approximately 10 million SNPs in the human genome) and are responsible for making us different from each other. Our test looks for SNPs that are strongly linked to certain chronic health conditions which can be prevented or delayed by lifestyle factors, such as diet.
Q. How many SNPs does DnaNudge test for?
A. The number of SNPs we test for is proprietary information. However, we can assure you that we test specific SNPs, which have been well-researched. We do not review a large number of SNPs or undertake whole genome sequencing, as testing a large number of SNPs does not necessarily mean this would provide beneficial information regarding your recommendations.
Q. How are genes related to health?
A. Genes help explain why certain conditions run in families. Genes affect our chances of developing several common health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, but genes alone do not cause these conditions. Many other factors, such as what we eat, how regularly we exercise, the environment we live in, how well we sleep, our level of stress and our age or gender also influence our chances of developing these conditions. You can inherit 'healthy' genes but develop poor health through an unhealthy lifestyle, or you can inherit susceptibility to a chronic condition but reduce your chances of developing it by leading a healthy lifestyle. By being more knowledgeable about your genes, you can make pro-active lifestyle changes, in order to lead a healthier life.
Q. How is my DNA sample analysed?
A. The entire sample analysis takes place in the NudgeBox on the DnaCartridge. The DnaCartridge first extracts your DNA from your cheek swab, preparing it to be processed by a very small microchip with a tiny piece of silicon. This process detects the presence or absence of certain SNPs. When you insert a cheek swab into the DnaCartridge, DNA is isolated and purified from cells in your saliva. The DNA is duplicated into millions of copies, so that there is enough for the analysis to take place. The DnaCartridge contains tiny wells loaded with 'template' strands of DNA with a specific pattern. If your DNA matches the template strand, it will bind to it to make duplicates of that bit of your DNA. This causes a chemical reaction, which is detected by the NudgeBox. If your DNA does not contain a specific variant that we look for, the reaction will not take place.
Q. What is the DnaCartridge?
A. The DnaCartridge is essentially an entire lab on a microchip. We insert your cheek swab into the DnaCartridge, and we put the cartridge into our NudgeBox to run the DNA test.
Q. How do I do the cheek swab?
A. The instructions for doing your cheek swab can be seen on the packaging of the swab itself. When the swab is in your mouth, ensure to rub the swab up and down on the inside of your cheek for 60 seconds. Rub both sides of the swab on your cheek and swap to the opposite side of your mouth after 30 seconds.
Q. Do your DNA tests analyse allergies or medical conditions?
A. All information provided through the service, including genetic test results and product recommendations, are meant for information purposes only. We also do not recommend that the 'Ingredients I Usually Avoid' feature be used by individuals with allergies as we cannot guarantee that the product information we receive from manufacturers and other third-party product datasets is 100% accurate. We recommend that you always check the product label to ensure the product is suitable for you. If you do find any discrepancies, please let us know.
Q. How do I know if a product contains ingredients I would usually avoid?
A. When you scan a product using the DnaBean which contains an ingredient you have ticked in the DnaNudge App as one that you would usually avoid, instead of displaying a steady green, red or amber light, the light will flash green or red, depending on whether the product is recommended to you (green) or not (red).
The DnaBean will, however, still display the same DNA-based recommendation, as the ingredients you usually avoid do not influence this recommendation. However, when the App makes alternative product recommendations, your selections in the ‘Ingredients You Usually Avoid’ section will be taken into account.
If you want more details as to which ingredients a product contains, you can check the product in the App and a notification will appear at the bottom of the screen telling you which ingredients the product contains.
Q. Why do I not see an ‘ingredients I usually avoid’ notification when I scan some items?
A. If you are scanning a food or drink product, single ingredient food and drinks products are not required under EU law to include an ingredients list. Our algorithm scans the ingredients list to alert you when a product contains something you avoid. This means a notification may not appear when you scan one of these items and have selected a certain ingredient to avoid as the manufacturer has not provided this information. Your alternative recommendations may sometimes contain ingredients you avoid, too. As always, ensure to read the packaging for the latest ingredients list.
Q. What if a product isn’t in our database?
A. While we do have over half a million products in our database, we haven't got every brand or supermarket yet. When you use the DnaBean to scan a product which is not in our database, it will display a steady blue light. We are working every day to expand the number of products in our database.
Q. What if the barcode of a product I scanned wasn’t recognised?
A. Sometimes it’s worth scanning the barcode again. The App will sometimes recognise the product after another scan, but if this doesn’t work, it means the product is not listed in our database. We apologise for this, our product database is growing day by day, so it’s always worth trying again in the future to see if we have added the product.
Q. When an item scans as green, does it mean I can eat as much of it as I want?
A. Green recommendations do not mean 'eat as much as you want'. When you scan an item, DnaNudge assumes you're thinking about buying or eating the product and gives you a point-of-decision prompt as to whether the item is suited to your DNA or if there are better alternatives for you.
Q. Do I have to buy exclusively ‘green’ products?
A. DnaNudge is a personalised shopping guide. You are free to choose how you use the guide and free to choose what you buy when you are shopping. However, it will nudge you towards ‘green’ products which are recommended based on your DNA.
Q. Why did a product scan as green when I scanned an unhealthy food item?
A. The goal of DnaNudge isn’t to exclude certain foods or food categories from your diet. You can use the DnaBean and DnaNudge App to scan all types of foods, including foods that you should only eat occasionally. There is a lot of evidence that shows small changes can add up to have a big impact on your health. The DnaNudge philosophy is based on the idea that we are free to choose what we eat, but we should have the option to be nudged towards a healthier alternative for us whenever possible
Q. When I scan alcohol why does it always show as green?
A. By law, alcohol is not required to have nutritional information on its label. Over 90% of alcohol products do not have any nutritional information. Without this information we cannot make an accurate recommendation for these products. You should always follow the government guidelines for alcohol consumption. Please note, the DnaNudge App does not recommend alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.
Q. My DnaBean scanned coffee as green, and yet my risk shows I have a slow metabolism for caffeine; why is it green not red?
A. We have looked at genes which have been shown to influence your metabolism of caffeine. You may be a fast or slow metaboliser; however, that does not mean you should avoid caffeine entirely. Our recommendations are based on macronutrients found on the nutrition table. The reason coffee is green is because the caffeine is not related to a product’s nutritional information. However, if you do wish to be alerted when a product contains caffeine, go to ‘Ingredients I Usually Avoid’ in the DnaNudge App and select ‘Caffeine’ as the ingredient you’d like to avoid. The App will then be able to offer you alternative, decaffeinated products in its recommendations.
Using Your DnaBand
Q. What is the Active Nudge?
A. The Active Nudge, made up of your choice of DnaBean and DnaBand, is a wearable device which stores your digital DNA to help you make healthier choices by personalising your shopping behaviours with your DNA, monitoring your lifestyle, and connecting and matching with friends.
Q. How do I choose the correct DnaBand size for me?
A. To choose the correct size of DnaBand, use our simple size guide. Our Small size fits wrists approximately 130-160mm and our Large size fits wrists approximately 150-180mm. If you are between sizes, choose a Small if you prefer a snug fit or Large if you prefer a looser fit.
Q. My wrist measurement is too large for a DnaBand. Can I still buy your product?
A. Yes, you can still buy the product. At the moment, our DnaBand comes in two sizes – Small or Large. We are looking to develop additional sizes in the near future. If none of the current sizes work for you, you can still use the DnaBean to scan items and track your activity levels.
Q. 4. What is the DnaBand made from?
A. Our DnaBand is made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU). This is a strong, highly elastic, abrasion-resistant material resistant to heat, oil, and grease.
Q. Is it waterproof? Can I use it in the swimming pool?
A. The plastic DnaBean is not recommended to be immersed in water for more than 30 minutes and at more than a 1-meter depth. We don’t recommend using your Active Nudge in salty water or inside a steam room or sauna room.
Swimming activity is not tracked for your Green DNA Bar. After exposure to the water, the DnaBean and DnaBand will need to be dried thoroughly.
Q. How do I set up my DnaBean?
A. Before you start the setup, ensure your phone’s Bluetooth is turned on and your DnaBean is on charge in the charging cradle. Go to the ‘Scan’ tab at the bottom of the DnaNudge App and select “Connect a DnaBand.” Follow the on-screen instructions for setting up your DnaBean. To establish the best possible connection, remove your phone case and place the DnaBean either on top of the screen of your phone, or right next to the top left corner of the device. During the setup and the initial sync, stay on the DnaNudge App and don’t allow your phone to go to sleep; to do this, simply tap the screen occasionally to keep the screen on. This will mean the data transfer is not interrupted. During the process, the light on the DnaBean may change colours - this is completely normal, so you don’t need to do anything if this happens.
Q. Do I need to pair my Android device to my DnaBean?
A. Pairing is not required to sync the DnaBean.
Q. How do I charge my DnaBean?
A. Plug the charger provided into a USB port. Remove the DnaBean from the DnaBand. Place the DnaBean into the charging cradle, ensuring that the metal pins at one end of the DnaBean match with those in the charging cradle. When the DnaBean is charging, the light will pulse yellow, and when charging is complete, the light will pulse green. When putting your DnaBean back into the DnaBand, ensure that the barcode-scanner is lined up with the slot in the DnaBand.
Q. Why do I need to input my sleep time when setting up the Green DNA Bar?
A. By setting your sleep time, your DnaBean will be able to save battery and provide a more accurate measure of your sitting time during waking hours.
Q. I have completed the first sync and there are some items that I have not scanned that are showing in the app?
A. The DnaBean has 7 pre-set scans already built in, these being Coca-Cola and Volvic water. These are on everyone’s DnaBean and are done as part of the testing phase of manufacturing to ensure the barcode scanner is operating correctly. It also provides an initial example for users as to what a scan will look like on the App. These can be deleted by swiping left on the product and selecting ‘delete’ in the ‘My Scans’ tab.
Q. How long is the battery life of the DnaBean?
A. The battery life depends on how often you use your DnaBean for scanning barcodes. When the Green DNA Bar feature is turned on, a sleep time of 8 hours is set, and you scan an average of 50 products per day. The DnaBean should last for around 4 days after a full charge. Switch the DnaBean off when you are not shopping to save power.
Q. How long does it take to charge the DnaBean?
A. A full charge, from empty, should take around 88 minutes.
Q. How do I turn my DnaBean on and off?
A. Press the button once to turn the DnaBean on. The LED will flash red, green, then blue. Press and hold the DnaBean button to turn the DnaBean off. The LED will flash red.
Q. How should I wear my Active Nudge?
A. The barcode-scanner in the DnaBean should be aligned with the slot in the DnaBand. The Active Nudge combo is typically worn around the wrist with the barcode-scanner facing out towards your hand. You can scan products with the DnaBean on the top or bottom of your wrist.
Q. How do I scan a product with my DnaBean?
A. Turn the DnaBean on. Then there are multiple options - find which one works best for you. Either press the button or rotate your wrist as shown in the video to enable the barcode-scanner. Move the scanner over the barcode of the product until it is successfully scanned.
Q. How do I scan a product using a button press?
A. Hold the product to be scanned in one hand with the barcode vertical. Hold the DnaBean in the other hand with the scanning window vertical. Press the button with your thumb to activate the scanner beam - you may need to move your hand to align and focus the scanning beam and barcode.
Q. How do I scan with a gesture (above the wrist)?
A. Aim the scanner at the barcode and rotate your hand 90 degrees towards you as if looking at a watch - the barcode scanner will activate. You can also simply hold the product with the barcode horizontally in line with your DnaBean. If necessary, move your wrist or the product a little to focus the scanner beam.
Q. How do I scan with a gesture (below the wrist)?
A. As an alternative method, twist the wristband around so that the barcode scanner is face-down under your wrist. If the DnaBean is worn on your right hand, hold the product in your left hand with the barcode vertical. Hold your right hand horizontal a few centimetres away from the barcode. Rotate your right hand through 90 degrees so that your palm faces towards you – the scanner beam located on the side of the DnaBean will project on to the barcode. You may need to move your hand to focus the scanner beam on the barcode.
Q. What happens when I scan a product with my DnaBean?
A. When a product has been scanned, a coloured light will be displayed on the DnaBean. A green light indicates that a product is recommended for you based on your DNA. A red light indicates that a product is not recommended for you based on your DNA. An amber light indicates a product is not currently recommended for you based on a lack of activity. A blue light indicates that a product is not currently in our database.
Q. When I scan a product and the light on the DnaBean flashes, what does it mean?
A. When the light on the DnaBean flashes green, red or amber, rather than being a steady light, this indicates that the product you scanned contains an ingredient you have ticked as one you would usually avoid in the DnaNudge App. The DnaBean will however still display the same DNA-based recommendation. However, when the App makes alternative product recommendations, your selections in the ‘Ingredients you usually avoid’ section will be taken into account. If you want more detail as to which ingredients a product contains you can check the product in the App and a notification will appear at the bottom of the screen telling you which specific ingredient the product contains.
Q. Can I use my DnaBean to scan products overseas?
Our nutrition database is currently UK-based, although it does contain a large number of international brands that can be found globally. We are constantly adding to our database and expanding our international capabilities to increase our global coverage.
Q. How often do I need to sync my DnaBean with my App?
A. As much as you’d like! Syncing your DnaBean will ensure you have the latest database and software updates, all your recent product scans, and your latest steps and sitting time data.
Q. How do I ensure that my DnaBean is always up to date?
A. To get the best out of your Active Nudge and DnaNudge App, we recommend syncing your DnaBean twice a day. This ensures you’ll always have the very latest database and software updates.
Q. How do I sync my DnaBean?
A. Make sure that your phone's Bluetooth is turned on. Press the button on your DnaBean once to turn it on. Head to the ‘Lifestyle’ tab on your DnaNudge App and press 'sync' whilst holding the phone and the DnaBean close together.
Q. How do I scan a product with my DnaNudge App? What do the coloured thumbs up and down mean after scanning?
Select 'Scan' at the bottom of the DnaNudge App screen. Line the barcode scanner up so that the product barcode is in the centre of the screen, as if you were taking a picture of it, and the App will automatically scan the barcode. Once the barcode has been successfully scanned, it will give more details about the product and your DNA-based recommendation.
If a product is recommended for you, it will display a green thumbs-up; if it is not currently recommended for you, it will show a red thumbs-down or an amber thumbs-down. The red thumbs-down indicates that this product is not recommended for you based on your DNA, whereas the amber thumbs-down indicates that the product is not recommended for you based on your current level of inactivity, but can be suitable again if you increase your activity levels.
Q. What if a product isn’t in our database?
A. While we do have over half a million products in our database, we haven't got every brand or supermarket yet. When you use the DnaBean to scan a product that is not in our database, it will display a steady blue light. We are working every day to expand the number of products in our database.
Q. My product’s barcode wasn’t recognised; what does this mean?
A. Sometimes it's worth scanning the barcode again. The App will sometimes recognise the product after another scan, but if this doesn't work, it means the product is not listed in our database. We apologise for this, our product database is growing day by day, so it's always worth trying again in the future to see if we have added the product.
Q. Why does the App request me to add the product information when I scan an item?
A. While we do have over half a million products in our database, not all brands or supermarkets are included yet. When you use the DnaNudge App to scan a product that is not in our database, a pop-up will be displayed providing you the option to add the product information. Once you have successfully submitted it, our team will review the product and add it to our database. Alternatively, you can contact our customer services at email@example.com and let them know you would like us to add the product to the database.
Q. How do I scan a product with no barcode and how do I search for a product in my DnaNudge App?
A. If a product has no barcode, or you don’t have the product at hand to scan, you can use the search function within the DnaNudge App to perform a product search in our database. In the App, simply go to the 'Scan' tab, and at the top of screen a search bar will appear. Type in the product or brand that you are looking for. If you are looking for a specific product, be as precise with your search terms as possible. To obtain the most accurate results, try entering the brand and product. Press 'Search' in the bottom right of the screen to display the results in full.
Q. How do I use DnaNudge to shop online?
A. If you are shopping online, you can search within the DnaNudge App for any product in our database. In the App, simply go to the 'Scan' tab - a search bar will be located at the top of the screen. Type in the product or brand that you are looking for. If you are looking for a specific product, be as precise with your search terms as possible. To obtain the most accurate results, try entering the brand and product. Press 'Search' in the bottom right of the screen to display the results in full.
Q. What happens if I scan products from a supermarket’s in-store café?
A. To get a personalised recommendation for products sold at a supermarket's café, simply search for the product via the search function in your DnaNudge app. Some products in the café may not always have barcodes; you will not be able to search or scan these products with your App or DnaBean.
Q. What is ‘My Scans’ and how does it work?
A. The 'My Scans' section of the DnaNudge App shows all your latest product barcode scans and whether those items are recommended to you or not. When you are buying a product by selecting it in the App or on the DnaBean, it will be added to your 'Items Bought' list. To see the most up-to-date list, make sure to regularly sync your DnaBean. You also have the option to remove a previously scanned product from your ‘My Scans’ list.
Q. How do I add a product to ‘My Scans’ history?
A. When you search for or scan a product, the DnaNudge App will ask you 'Are you buying this?'. Click 'yes' if you intend to buy the product, and it will be added to your ‘Items Bought’ history. Click 'no' if you do not intend to buy it. By clicking any of these options, the item will be automatically added into your scans list, so you can easily keep track of your product search history.
Q. How do I add a product to my ‘Items Bought’ list using my DnaNudge App?
A. To add a product to your 'Items Bought' list using your DnaNudge App, go to the ‘Scan’ tab and scan a product. Once the product has been successfully scanned, at the bottom of the screen an option will appear to select whether or not you bought the item. Choose ‘Yes’ and the item will be added to your ‘Items Bought’ list. To view the product in your ‘Items Bought’ list, go to the ‘My Scans’ tab and select the ‘Items Bought’ tab at the top of the screen.
Q. How do I remove a product from ‘My Scans’ history?
A. Go to your ‘My Scans’ tab, where all the items you have scanned and bought are listed. Select a product, swipe left on it, and then select ‘delete’.
Q. How does the Active Nudge measure sedentary behaviour?
A. Your DnaBean is fitted with an accelerometer which is designed to measure when you are not moving and when you are active. To get the most accurate and up to date information it is best to wear the Active Nudge during the day and sync it to your DnaNudge App whenever you want to see how long you have been sitting for. Whilst the DnaBean is switched off, if you swiftly move your arm up and down, the light will display a steady green light if you are meeting your steps per sitting time goal, or a steady amber light if you have been sedentary for too long today and need to be more active to change it to green.
Q. Is the DnaBean only used for when I am out shopping?
A. The DnaBean isn’t just for shopping; your sitting time can also affect your recommendations. If the DnaBean detects that you have been sitting too long, some products will have an amber recommendation. To get these recommendations back to green, break up sitting time throughout the day with periods of physical activity.
Q. What counts as sitting time and what does not?
A. The DnaBean accumulates the time of sitting throughout the day. This includes very light activity, such as typing on a computer. If you just sit for 5 minutes, this will not immediately be displayed in the sitting time count on the App, but it will be tracked and will display an updated sitting time when an additional half an hour of sitting time is accumulated. Like other wristbands, it uses wrist position and movement to estimate sitting. Any activity with your wrist in a horizontal position and resting will be counted as sitting. Some false positive activities may be counted as sitting, for example standing but the hands are put on a desk. The DnaBean will not record sitting time if is charging, if it’s not being worn (i.e. placed on a table), or if it is worn the incorrect way (i.e. scanner towards your body and not your hand). Additionally, if you are sitting with your Active Nudge on and are making strong arm movements, this can be interpreted as steps which would affect your sitting time.
Q. I have been exercising today; why does my DnaBean and Green DNA Bar show amber, not green?
A. If you sit for too long throughout the day, your Green DNA Bar becomes amber, as do some of your products, warning you that they are not recommended for you anymore. The Green DNA Bar allows you to set goals to be less sedentary throughout your day. Breaking up sitting time plays a key role in your health, so don’t be surprised if some recommendations for treat products turn from green to amber even if you’ve been exercising enough to meet the physical activity guidelines. Our algorithm measures prolonged sitting, which is its own independent factor for poor health. You can switch this function on or off in your DnaNudge App settings.
Q. Why does my step count vary from other activity devices? (ie. FitBit)
A. This is a common phenomenon when comparing activity trackers due to the different algorithms they use. Even two different Fitbit models, for example, will likely report different steps.
Q. I wore my Active Nudge while exercising, but it didn’t register it; why is this?
A. Your DnaBean is fitted with an accelerometer. It is designed to measure and distinguish when you are sedentary and when you are taking steps. It is not an ‘activity monitor’, which typically uses heart rate as an indicator of activity level. If you wear your Active Nudge on your arm while cycling, it will also not record this, but if you put it in/on your shoe the movement will be registered.
Q. When connecting my new DnaBean to the App, it freezes once it reaches 25% of the set up; what should I do?
A. Check your phone’s memory/storage and if there is not a lot left, clear some space, and optimise your storage, then try to connect again. Please also make sure you have accepted permissions for our App to use your location, storage and camera. If you require further assistance setting up, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can assist you further.
Q. My Android 10 device is having a connection issue; what should I do?
A. On mobile devices using Android 10, there is a known issue with the devices being able to connect to the DnaBean. This is caused by an issue within the Android system and is seen across other wearable devices. Fortunately, by following the below instructions, there is a quick fix to this issue to get you set up with the DnaNudge Service.
- If using the DnaNudge App for the first time, please open the DnaNudge App, select the ‘Get Started’ option, complete the steps to register for the App, and verify your email.
- If you have already registered with the DnaNudge App, then please uninstall and reinstall the App from the Play Store and sign into your account.
- The DnaNudge App will request access to your device’s location, please deny permission for location.
- Next, the DnaNudge App will request that you grant it access to your photos and media, please allow permission for this access.
- Navigate out of the DnaNudge App to the home screen of your device by pressing the bottom centre home button.
- Go to your device’s ‘Settings', then 'Location', then 'App permission'.
- Scroll down to the section on apps that have been denied location permission, select DnaNudge and allow location access permission.
- Return to the DnaNudge App.
- Select ‘Connect a DnaBand’ and continue enjoying the DnaNudge Service!
Q. Why is my DnaBean not charging?
A. Please ensure that there is no dust or dirt in the places where the charger and the DnaBean connect. Make sure the DnaBean charger is properly connected to a USB port. If you continue experiencing issues, get in touch with our Customer Services team.
Q. How do I restart my DnaBean?
A. Press and hold the button on the DnaBean for 10 seconds and the light will change from flashing red to flashing red, green, and blue.
Q. Why does my DnaBean quickly flash blue when turned on just before it flashes red-green-blue?
A. This is to alert you that your Green DNA Bar is not currently turned on and therefore will not track your steps, siting, or sleep time. To turn this on go to ‘More’ on the bottom right of the DnaNudge App, (your phone’s Bluetooth and DnaBean need to be turned on) then select ‘DnaBand’ followed by ‘Settings’, and ‘Green DNA Bar’. Ensure the toggle button is turned on and that you have set your sleep time and daily sitting time, then select ‘save’. If you require additional support, please get in touch with our Customer Services team.
Q. My DnaBean keeps turning off while I am shopping; why is that?
A. The DnaBean has a sleep time built in, which, by default, is set to 2 minutes. To change this setting please go to ‘More’ in the bottom right of the DnaNudge App, select ‘DnaBand’ (with your phone’s Bluetooth and DnaBean turned on) then press settings, and select ‘Time to Band Sleep mode’. Adjust the time using the scroll wheel and save to sync this setting with the DnaBean. If you continue experiencing issues, please get in touch with our Customer Services team.
Q. Why won’t my DnaBean sync?
A. Make sure your DnaBean is charged and switched on, and your phone's Bluetooth is turned on. If you continue experiencing issues, please get in touch with our Customer Services team.
Q. I’ve been syncing my DnaBean but it shows no activity/steps; why is this?
A. Check the settings of your DnaBean by selecting ‘More’ on the bottom right of the DnaNudge App, select ‘DnaBand’ (with your phone’s Bluetooth and DnaBean turned on), then press settings and select ‘Green DNA Bar’. Scroll down and adjust your sleep and wake times, as well as your daily sitting time, as preferred, and save to sync this setting with the DnaBean. The DnaBean resets at midnight every day. If you sync after midnight and during sleep time, it will show steps and sitting as zero. During your sleep time, the DnaBean will not record any steps or sitting time. Ensure your DnaBean has sufficient charge and is worn throughout the day to gain the most out of it. If you continue experiencing issues, please get in touch with our Customer Services team.
Q. Why is my DnaBean not lighting up to show the status of the Green DNA Bar when I move up and down?
A. Your DnaBean will only light up to show the status of the Green DNA Bar if it is in sleep/off mode but not if it’s in scan/on mode. To set your DnaBean to sleep/off mode, press and hold the button; the light will flash red to indicate it is now in sleep/off mode. Then attempt to see the status of your Green DNA Bar via the DnaBean again. If this doesn’t work, check the settings of your DnaBean by selecting ‘More’ on the bottom right of the DnaNudge app, selecting ‘DnaBand’ (with your phone’s Bluetooth and DnaBean turned on), then press settings and select ‘Green DNA Bar’. Ensure the toggle button under the heading ‘Green DNA Bar Settings’ is turned on and that you have set your sleep time and daily sitting time, then press save. If you are within your sleeping time, the DnaBean will not light up as this is counted as non-use time.
Q. My DnaBean is always flashing amber; what does this mean and what I should do?
A. If your DnaBean is constantly flashing amber, this means your Green DNA Bar has turned fully amber, indicating you have spent too long sitting during the day and have reached your inactivity limit. To stop the flashing, simply hold down the button on the DnaBean for a few seconds. If this happens regularly, you should consider adjusting your daily sitting time settings in the DnaNudge App.
Q. How do I download the DnaNudge App using an iPhone?
A. To download our app, simply go the App Store and search for 'DnaNudge'. Once on the DnaNudge App page, you can download the App for free.
Q. How do I download the DnaNudge App using an Android phone?
A. To download our App, simply go the Google Play Store and search for 'DnaNudge'. Once on the DnaNudge App page, you can download the App for free.
Q. Why does the DnaNudge App ask for my location?
A. We request access to your location so we can develop our service, including showing you relevant product alternatives that are located near you and that are suited to you. Google changed its permission requirements beginning with Android OS 6.0. As a result, the location permission is necessary to sync your DnaBean with your Android device.
Q. I’ve ordered online. What happens whilst I’m waiting for my registration code?
A. Once your test has been completed and your results are ready, we will send you a registration code via text message. You should receive this code within five days of sending your swab and forms back to us. Until you receive your code, you will only be able to view the 'Sign Up’ screen and will not be able to access any functions of the App or DnaBean.
Q. I’ve purchased in store. What happens whilst I’m waiting for my registration code?
A. Once your test has been completed and your results are ready, we will send you a registration code via text message, you should receive this code within ninety minutes of your test being started at the store. Until you receive your code, you will only be able to view the 'Sign Up’ screen and will not be able to access any functions of the App or DnaBean.
Q. I’ve received my registration code. What happens next?
A. When you receive your registration code for the DnaNudge App via text message, you can register for the App and create an account. You will also be sent an email confirmation code, which you are required to enter to complete the registration process. Both the registration code and email confirmation code are case sensitive and should contain no spaces before or after the code.
Q. My registration code is not working. What should I do?
A. Our registration codes are both case and number sensitive. If your registration code contains an ‘O’ this may be either a capital O or a 0 (Zero). If you see ‘I’ this could either be a lowercase L or an upper-case i. We recommend you copy the code directly from the email and then paste this into the App, making sure there are no extra spaces at the beginning or end when doing so. If you continue experiencing issues, please reach out to our Customer Services team.
Q. How do I view my test results?
A. Once you have registered, simply read through the on-screen instructions and information screens. Once completed, the DnaNudge App will take you straight to your DNA Report, where you can see your results.
Q. What is the Green DNA Bar?
A. The Green DNA Bar is found in the Lifestyle tab of the DnaNudge App. It is not the same as the DNA Bar on the DNA Report tab. The Green DNA Bar represents the green section of the DNA Bar and will dynamically change based on your level of inactivity. If you are meeting your daily steps per sitting time goal, which you entered during the DnaBean setup process, the bar will be completely green and all the products that are recommended for you based on your DNA Report with scan as green. When you are not meeting this goal, by being too sedentary, the bar will progressively change colour to become more amber. When you scan some products that are usually recommended for you based on your DNA Report, they will display an amber light indicating that the product is not currently recommended for you based on your level of inactivity. By being more active, you can change the colour back to green and those products will be recommended for you again. You can switch this function on or off in your App settings, under the Green DNA Bar.
Q. Where can I view a summary of my sitting time?
A. You can quickly check this on the lifestyle page of the DnaNudge app. The Green DNA Bar summarises your sedentary level by showing how far away you are from your sitting time limits. You can find your steps and sitting time at the bottom right of the bar. If you sit for more than half an hour at any one time, this will start contributing to your recorded sitting time, and your Green DNA Bar will start to turn amber. When the DnaBean is turned off, moving the wristband up and down will trigger it to show the current Green DNA Bar colour. If there is any amber in the Green DNA Bar, it will trigger the light on your DnaBean to become amber. When the entire Bar has become amber, the light will flash amber to notify you.
Q. Is the sitting time recorded by the Green DNA Bar cumulative throughout the day or tracked as separate sitting periods?
A. The numbers are accumulated throughout the day. The steps will not compensate the sitting time until it has reached the steps you have chosen to compensate for half an hour of sitting time.
Q. Can sitting for a prolonged time effect my personalised food recommendations?
A. If you are too sedentary during the day your Green DNA Bar will start to show as amber in colour. Products will then start to show as amber when scanned, indicating that they are not currently recommended for you due to a lack of activity. By being more active across the course of the rest of the day, your Green DNA Bar will start to turn green again and eventually products that were originally amber will start to scan as green again, meaning they are now suitable for you to consume.
NudgeMatch & NudgeShare
Q. What is NudgeMatch and how do I use it?
A. NudgeMatch allows you to connect to other DnaNudge Users and see how similar your genetics are. To use NudgeMatch, simply turn on your DnaBean and tap it until the light goes purple. The other DnaNudge user you are going to match with should do the same. Bring the two DnaBeans together and align the lights. When you match, the light will change colour to one of four modes.
A steady red light indicates a less than 30% DNA trait match, a steady amber light indicates a 30-70% DNA trait match, a steady green light indicates a match over 70%, and a flashing green light stands for a 100% DNA trait match.
Once you have matched with another user, sync your DnaBean and your DnaNudge App, then go to the ‘Lifestyle’ tab on the app to see the exact percentage match. To turn off, tap your DnaBean again until the purple light disappears.
You can view your previous matches in the lifestyle feed on the DnaNudge App once you have synced the DnaBean.
Q. What is NudgeShare?
A. NudgeShare allows you to connect with your family and friends and shop for them using DnaNudge. It combines your DnaNudge shopping profile with another DnaNudge user to make group-based product recommendations.
When you scan a product in NudgeShare mode, it will scan for all users linked to your shopping profile and you can view which user-specific products aren’t recommended and why.
When you share your shopping profile with another user your DNA information is not shared with them, it remains private and only visible to you.
Q. How can I set up NudgeShare on my DnaNudge app?
A. To add one of your friends or family to your NudgeShare, simply go to the ‘Lifestyle’ tab, and in the top right, select the ‘Add User’ image. To connect, one user must select 'Share Profile' which will display a QR code. The other user must select 'Add Profile,' which will display a QR code scanner, and use the scanner to scan their QR code. This will automatically share user shopping profiles. Follow the instructions on screen and once the sharing is complete, both users must sync their DnaBeans with their own DnaNudge App. You can temporarily select and deselect users for shopping trips or individual products that you have scanned by tapping on their user profile icon. When they are deselected, their profile will be greyed out. You can permanently remove a user by going to the ‘More’ tab and selecting NudgeShare, select the user you want to remove and then select 'remove friend'. When you make any changes to NudgeShare in your DnaNudge App, you must sync your DnaBean for the information to be transferred.
Q. How can I use NudgeShare on my DnaBean?
A. You can turn NudgeShare on and off on your DnaBean to find foods that are best for the users, or foods that are suited to you. To activate NudgeShare, turn the DnaBean on and tap it until the light turns purple before you scan a product’s barcode. When you scan a product in this mode it will give a recommendation based on all the users in your NudgeShare group. Tap the DnaBean again to turn off the purple light when you have finished scanning to disable NudgeShare mode and return to individual-shopping mode. NudgeShare mode will also time out after about 2 minutes, and the purple light will automatically turn off.
Q. Are there any minimum age requirements for using NudgeShare?
A. DnaNudge's services, including the Nutrition DNA test, App and Active Nudge are for ages 11+. All product recommendations are intended as a guide only. If you use NudgeShare whilst shopping for children, please keep in mind that it is your responsibility as a parent/guardian to decide what food and drinks to buy for them.
Under certain conditions, you will see that some user's icons appear faded. This is because the DnaNudge App is using an 'age-rule' and has not included the user when deciding about a product. For example, for users under the age of 18, alcohol, coffee, tea & protein supplements are not recommended and therefore their user profile will be greyed out when scanning in NudgeShare mode, meaning they will be excluded from any group recommendations.
Q. What exactly is the Skincare DNA test?
A. The DnaNudge Skincare genetic test analyses genes associated with skin health, such as genes which influence your skin's pigmentation, susceptibility to irritation and ageing. Understanding your genetic report will help you make more informed product choices when it comes to your skin health. Our algorithm will consider the results from your genetic report to make product recommendations for you.
Q. How are genes related to skin health?
A. Genes help explain why certain conditions run in families. Genes affect our chances of developing several common skin health problems such as eczema, premature aging, and even skin cancer. Genes alone however do not cause these conditions. Many other factors, such as how we take care of our skin, how regularly we exercise, the environment we live in, how well we sleep, our level of stress, and our age or gender also influence our chances of developing these conditions. You can inherit ‘healthy genes but develop poor health through an unhealthy lifestyle, or you can inherit susceptibility to a chronic condition but reduce your chances of developing it by leading a healthy lifestyle. Being knowledgeable about your genes lets you take control by making pro-active lifestyle changes by selecting products which target your genetic vulnerabilities and lead you to a healthier lifestyle.
Our tests look for SNPs that are strongly linked to certain skin health concerns. Our technology extracts this information from your DNA to help you prevent or delay these concerns, by adjusting certain lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, and personal care recommendations.
Q. What does the DnaNudge Skincare test cover?
A. Our Skincare Test looks at your genetic predisposition for skin related health conditions and relates those predispositions to properties of ingredients in cosmetic products. Our DnaNudge Skincare test assesses your susceptibility to skin pigmentation, ageing and irritation.
Q. How large is your Skincare database?
A. Our Skincare database has over 30,000 products and is updated regularly so the number of products is growing all the time.
Q. Is DnaNudge a skin consultation service?
A. DnaNudge is not a skin consultation service. We provide product recommendations based on individual product formulations and their ability to target your skin concerns outlined in your genetic report. Building your skin care routine is all up to you. With so many new products always launching in the market, we simply aim to improve your shopping decisions by nudging you to select suitable products tailored to you based on your DNA.
Q. Where can I use my DnaBean and DnaNudge App?
A. You can scan products in retailer stores such as Boots, Superdrug, and John Lewis. Our UK-based skincare database currently contains over 30,000 products; however, you will be unable to scan products local to other countries outside the UK. But we are working every day to expand the number of products available to scan in the UK and Worldwide.
Q. Which genes do you analyse for the Skincare Package?
A. Our Skin DNA test panel identifies several SNPs within genes that are associated with the skin ageing, skin irritation and its ability to defend itself from free radicals caused by exposure to environmental stressors. Some companies test for more than this, but we aim for quality not quantity. More does not mean better, we only include genes that have high quality evidence behind them.
Q. My Skincare DNA Report does not seem to reflect my actual skin; is this correct?
A. DnaNudge is a not a diagnostic tool or medical device. We have assessed areas in your genes which research suggests may lead to ageing. There are several factors, including various lifestyle and environmental factors that influence skin ageing. Protecting your skin with a moisturiser followed by a sunblock, as well as controlling sun exposure and exposure to pollutants (i.e. smoking), is the best way to provide the best protection to your skin regardless of your genetic pre-disposition.
Over time these pre-dispositions are likely to take a toll on the skin. Your skin at 20 won’t be the same as your skin at 40 and early prevention is key. This way, the skin can stay healthiest, and the visible signs of ageing can be slowed down.
Q. My skincare DNA Report is all red; does that mean I will develop a particular skin condition?
A. Not at all. Our DNA test simply looks at SNPs that are related to skin ageing. Lifestyle factors such as the amount of sun exposure, whether you smoke or live in a polluted environment, what you eat, your sleep patterns and how you choose to exercise, interact with other factors, such as your age and your genes, to influence your health. Simply put, your DNA is part of a whole collection of interacting factors that make you who you are and determine your risk of developing diseases.
Q. My skincare DNA report is all green; does that mean I do not need to worry about my skin?
A. Green tiles are not an indication that you should not be concerned with taking care of your skin. Even if all tiles within your DNA Report are all green, you will still find products that scan red for you. You are still ageing, just at a slower rate, and as you’re still exposed to environmental factors such as free radicals it’s best to stay vigilant. When you scan an item, our algorithm will nudge you to make skincare choices based on your genetics even if you have great genes. Protecting your skin with suitable skin care products will always have a beneficial impact on its overall health. Even people with the best genes will never be 100% protected from skin damage. The DnaNudge app gives you a point-of-decision prompt as to whether the item is suited to your DNA or if there are better alternatives for you.
Q. If I am at a low risk for developing fine lines and deep wrinkles, does this mean I do not need to use anti-ageing products?
A. Not necessarily. If your risk of developing wrinkles and fine lines is low, it does not mean you should refrain from scanning products with anti-ageing claims. Ageing is a natural process that will affect everyone, some sooner than later. Environmental factors can also speed up the natural ageing process. The earlier you protect your skin, the better. A low risk does not mean you have no risk of developing wrinkles; therefore, we recommended to our customers to protect their skin with anti-ageing products. DnaNudge will always nudge you towards choosing skincare products which will provide you the most protection following the genetic concerns laid out in your genetic report.
Q. Why is my risk for developing deep wrinkles red but my risk for fine lines orange, are they not the same?
A. We have analysed SNPs that affect skin ageing and despite environmental factors such as UV and exposure to pollution affecting both fine lines and deep wrinkles, we found that certain genes involved with the development of fine lines and skin wrinkles differ.
Deep wrinkles are directly associated with specific genes which relate to the skin metabolism such as your skin’s ability to produce collagen, elastin, and antioxidants. Fine lines are also linked to the skin’s ability to protect itself, yet skin hydration seems to be a more prominent factor influencing your risk to developing fine lines.
We have therefore linked specific genes to certain tiles, based on the direct impact these have to a specific skin concern. This means that your tiles for these skin concerns can vary as they are linked differently to the health conditions we assess.
Q. My Skin DNA Report states that I am at a high risk for developing photoaged skin, but my skin tone is dark. Why is that?
A. It is true that melanin, the natural pigment in the skin, provides a certain degree of protection against the effects of photoaging. A darker skin type will naturally have more melanin content, providing increased protection compared to a lighter skin type. This does not necessarily mean darker skin types will be automatically considered to be low risk group in developing photoaged skin or even avoiding skin cancer.
Recent studies suggest that there are other factors besides melanin quantity that affect an individual’s susceptibility to developing skin cancer, one of those being DNA repair. Currently there is no conclusive data confirming the role of melanin protecting darker skin tones from skin-related damages associated to UV radiation. At DnaNudge, we suggest following NHS guidelines and recommend everyone to use a sunscreen, regardless of your skin type or risk to developing photoaged skin.
Q. Can I change my DNA and therefore my DNA Report?
A. Your genetics and therefore your DNA Report are fixed, as your DNA is unique to you and does not change throughout your life. Your risk of the different skin related health conditions across your report will remain the same (i.e. if you have a high risk for loss of hydration, this will remain the same). However, by making small changes to your skincare choices and product purchases, this can make a meaningful difference to your health and overall risk of developing skin related health concerns over time. You can take control of your genetic predispositions.
Q. How are my product recommendations generated?
A. Our team of cosmetic scientists worked along with geneticists, dermatologists, and deep-learning software engineers to create an algorithm that uses your DNA to create custom product recommendations. The algorithm takes into consideration your genes, the type of product you are scanning, and the functional ingredients of skincare products. Based on these factors the products are then either recommended for you or not, and alternative product recommendations are generated using our simple colour-based thumbs up, thumbs down system.
Q. Can the DnaNudge app tell me why products are not recommended for me?
A. Yes, when viewing a skincare product, click on the 'product details' section. There will be one or more red thumbs down displayed next to the components of the product. For skincare products, the red thumbs down indicate that there is not enough of those type of ingredients in the product for you, based on your genetic report results for skin health.
Q. Will my skincare recommendations be compatible with my skin type?
A. The DnaNudge App and DnaBean are not designed to treat medical skin conditions. Any healthy lifestyle changes you make as a result from using the DnaNudge service may lead to improved skin. For example, if you have dry skin, our algorithm will nudge you to picking skincare which alleviates this concern. However, product recommendations are based on ingredients in a single product and your genetic risk to ageing. If you are using multiple skincare products, we are unable to assess how these will interact with your skin. If you have any questions related to a specific product or have had a bad experience, we advise you to contact the brands directly.
Q. My favourite skincare product is not being recommended to me; should I stop using this?
A. We will always nudge you to use products based on the genetic risks outlined in your genetic report & the ingredients in the formulation. This does not mean the current product you are using is harming your skin, it simply means there may be a better formula out there to suit your genetic concerns. Our service is for information purposes only, but at the end of the day it’s your choice whether to implement the advice.
Q. Why have some of my product recommendations turned amber?
A. For skincare, if you exceed your daily goal for inactivity, some of the products that don’t contain enough anti-ageing ingredients will turn amber. This is a nudge to keep moving as a sedentary lifestyle has been strongly associated with poor health and ageing. You can click on the amber part of your Green DNA Bar to see the number of steps required to return your products to green. Besides your steps, our algorithm measures prolonged sitting, which is its own independent factor for poor health.
Q. Are my skincare recommendations affected by inactivity?
A. For the Skincare package, your product recommendations are influenced by your activity levels. Being sedentary for too long will make some products go amber as the App will start encouraging products with increased anti-ageing ingredients for you. There is a strong link between sitting for extended periods of time and ageing according to the NHS, so this is a nudge to keep moving or pre-emptively deal with the effects.
Q. What is the ‘Ingredients I usually avoid’ function?
A. You can select ingredients that you do not wish your product to have, for example, alcohol, parabens, or even fragrance. When you scan a product which contains an ingredient you have selected as one you wish to avoid, you will be notified should the product contain one or more of the ingredients you would usually avoid. This list can be found as part of the initial DnaBean setup, and can also be found in the ‘More’ tab within the App. When you add a new ingredient to this list, you must sync your DnaBean to your DnaNudge App to load it with the most up to date information.
We do not recommend individuals suffering from allergies to rely on this feature, given that we cannot guarantee that the product information we receive from manufacturers and other third-party product datasets is accurate.
We recommend that you always check the product label or contact the manufacture directly, to ensure a product is suitable for you. If you do find any discrepancies, please let us know via the 'Email Support' function within the 'More' section in your App. We recommend that you always check product labels and ingredients to ensure they are suitable for you.
Q. Do my product recommendations change if I am pregnant or have a skin condition?
A. No. There are certain ingredients you should avoid when you are pregnant (i.e. vitamin A). In the settings of your DnaNudge App. we give you the option in the “Ingredients I usually avoid” section, where you can select ingredients which you wish to avoid during your shop. At the moment, our current recommendations only consider your genetics. If you are pregnant or are suffering from a particular dermatological skin condition, we advise you to always consult with your local GP, and contact the brand directly, before following any of our product recommendations.
Q. What are the alternative product recommendations and product details information?
A. When you view a product in the DnaNudge App, you find more details about the ingredients in the formulation and alternative recommendations for that specific product. In the ‘Alternatives’ tab, a list of alternative recommendations for similar products within the same skincare category will be displayed. In the 'Product Details’ tab, you can see a breakdown of the functional ingredients in the product formula and whether these meet your skin concerns outlined in your genetic report.
This list will be based off the ingredients found on the INCI list of the product, which include anti-ageing agents, antioxidants, moisturisers, skin brighteners, soothing agents, and sun defence. Next to each component, there will be a green thumbs-up or a red thumbs-down. If a product has enough of that functional ingredient to meet your skin concerns, a thumbs-up will be displayed next to it. Alternatively, if there are other products with better functional ingredients to cover for a particular skin concern, a thumbs-down will be displayed next to the ingredient function.
Q. Why have I been recommended a product with fragrance when I have selected this as an ingredient I want to avoid?
A. Allergens are the components in fragrances that may cause allergies. As such, we only label ingredients as fragrances if these have any restricted allergens listed by the EU Commission for cosmetic products.
If you have selected fragrance as an ingredient you want to avoid, but have been recommended a product with fragrance, this may either be because the fragrance ingredient has an allergen that is not restricted by the EU, or because the ingredient labelling is unclear and does not disclose the allergens present in the product.
We cannot guarantee that the product information we receive from manufacturers and other third-party product datasets is accurate. We recommend that you always check the product label or contact the manufacture directly, to ensure a product is suitable for you. If you do find any discrepancies, please let us know via the 'Email Support' function within the 'More' section in your App. We recommend that you always check product labels and ingredients to ensure they are suitable for you.
Q. Why is DnaNudge only available to UK customers online at the moment?
A. Our databases have over half a million products which are primarily belonging to UK-based brands, yet we contain many international brands that can be found across the globe. We are constantly adding new products to our database and expanding our international capabilities to increase our global coverage.
Q. When I place an online order what will I receive in my postal package?
A. You will receive a box containing your colour and size choice of DnaBand, your colour choice of DnaBean, easy-to-use cheek swab kit, consent forms to be filled in and returned, and a pre-paid return envelope to send the swabs back to us for testing.
Q. How quickly will I get my genetic results from the online service?
A. When you order online, we will send you our easy-to-use cheek swab kit - it takes just a minute to use - then simply return it to us using the pre-paid envelope in the kit. Once we have your returned swab, we will process it in store and you will receive a code which you will need to validate by signing in to your DnaNudge app, as that is where you will be able to access your results which will be in a DNA report format. This whole process, including postage, normally takes around 5 working days.
Q. What is a NudgeStore account?
A. A NudgeStore account allows you to track new orders, view details of previous orders, find information easily and quickly about products and services, and download support documents or instructions for use manuals.
Q. How does my DnaNudge app account differ from my NudgeStore account?
A. Your NudgeStore account, should you choose to set one up, is totally separate and not connected with your DnaNudge app account. The NudgeStore account is purely to help you track new orders, view details of previous orders, find information on products and services, and download support documents or instructions for use manuals
Q. How can I see past orders?
A. You can find this information in the email we will send you confirming each order, or by logging in to your NudgeStore account, should you have set one up.
Q. How do I change the email address on my NudgeStore account?
A. Simply log in to your NudgeStore account and choose 'edit personal details' to update your account information.
Q. How do I change the postal address on my NudgeStore account?
A. Simply log in to your NudgeStore account and choose 'Edit Personal Details' to update your account information.
Discount Codes & Promotions
Q. I have a discount code, how do I use it online?
A. The discount must be entered at checkout and once verified, any discount or promotion applicable will be applied to your purchase. Please be careful when entering your code, as they are case sensitive. Any code must be entered correctly and within the valid promotional period to redeem the discount. If a code is no longer valid or is entered incorrectly, no discount shall be applied.
Q. Do you offer a discount for NHS employees?
A. We are pleased to offer all NHS employees at 15% discount online and in our store(s).
Online – To qualify you must register using your official NHS email address and then enter the code NudgeNHS15 at checkout. Once we have verified your credentials the discount will be applied to your purchase (excluding postage and packing).
In store – To qualify you must show a valid official NHS security pass/badge to our in-store team. Once verified, the 15% discount will be applied to your purchase.
Q. Do you offer student discount?
A. At the moment, we are unable to offer student discount online, but are pleased to offer a 10% discount to students in store, on production of a valid NUS card.
Delivery & Shipping
Q. Who do DnaNudge use for shipping?
A. We use Royal Mail first class postal service for the dispatch of all UK online orders.
Q. How do I know that my order has been dispatched?
A. When we’ve packed and dispatched your order, we’ll send you an email with a tracking number for your parcel. If you ordered multiple tests or products, we may send these through more than one parcel, in this case you will receive tracking numbers for each parcel dispatched.
Q. How long will my order take to arrive?
A. We aim to dispatch all orders as quickly as possible. Orders received before 3pm, on a normal working day, are normally dispatched the same day. Orders placed during the weekend or on a Bank Holiday are normally dispatched the next working day. We will send you an email to let you know when your order has been dispatched. Please allow 2-4 working days after the receipt of this email for your order to arrive. In the unlikely event that you’ve not received your order within 5 working days, please contact our Customer Services team via email@example.com for assistance.
Q. Are there are delays to deliveries due to Covid-19?
A. Royal Mail are aiming to deliver as normal during these unprecedented times but advise that delays may occur to some items due to staff shortages arising from the pandemic. Please allow a little extra time for your delivery to arrive during these times. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Q. Will I get a tracking number for my delivery?
A. Yes, we will provide you with a Royal Mail tracking number for each parcel that makes up your delivery. This information will be sent to you via email once your order has been dispatched.
Q. Do I have to pay postage to return the swab to you?
A. No, we include a prepaid envelope in your test kit for the return of your swab sample.
Refunds & Returns
Q. What is your refund policy for online orders?
A. You can request a refund up to 14 days after the date of purchase, providing that you have not used and returned the swab for testing. If this has occurred, your test has been processed and unfortunately, we cannot issue a refund. All unused items must be returned to us, in their original packaging, before a refund can be issued. The cost of return postage in this instance is your responsibility and we strongly advise requesting a proof of posting receipt. Our full Terms & Conditions can be found by scrolling to the bottom of our web pages and clicking on ‘Terms & Conditions’.
Q. How do I request a refund for an online purchase?
A. To request a refund, please fill in our refund request form - click the link here to find the form and start the refund process. Once we’ve received the completed form and checked its eligibility, you will be issued with a refund number and will receive a refund request acknowledgement email. Please be aware that refunds cannot be given if you have used and returned a swab for testing, for more information please consult our full Terms & Conditions.
Q. How long does a refund take to process?
A. Once we have received your returned items, we aim to process your refund within 3-4 working days. The refund will be credited back to the original payment card/method.
Q. Can I request a refund once my swab sample has been tested and/or my results have been received?
A. No, unfortunately, if you have used and returned a swab to us, your test has been processed and therefore we are unable to issue a refund. Our full Terms & Conditions can be found by clicking the link or by scrolling to the bottom of our web pages and clicking on ‘Terms & Conditions.
Q. Where do I return my items for a refund?
A. All items to be refunded should be returned, in their original packaging, to the following address:
30 James Street
Security & Privacy
Q. Where can I find details of your security and privacy policies?
A. Full details of our security and privacy policies can be found in our Terms & Conditions. Click the link for details or scroll to the bottom of our web pages and click on 'Terms & Conditions'.
Q. Where can I find safety information about your product?
A. Safety information can be found here or by scrolling to the bottom of our web pages and clicking on 'Safety Information'.
Q. How is my DNA data stored?
A. Upon completion of the DNA test, your results are encrypted and uploaded to a protected and secure cloud database and sent to your DnaBean which you synchronise to your phone. We do not and cannot store your saliva sample. Your sample DnaCartridge is for single-use only and is safely disposed of once your test has been completed.
Q. How is my genetic privacy protected?
A. Our DNA testing technology analyses only specific parts of your DNA that have well-defined roles in nutrition and metabolism. Since we only pinpoint certain locations within specific genes (SNPs), your full genetic identity can never be revealed by our tests.
Q. How is my DnaNudge app and personal data stored and protected?
A. All your personal data is held securely. We have put security measures in place to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, accessed, or used in an unauthorised manner or disclosed.
Q. Can my DNA data be shared with other users through NudgeShare?
A. No. DNA test results cannot be transferred between users through the NudgeShare feature. NudgeShare only allows sharing of product recommendations, keeping your genetic results private to you.
Q. Do I have the right to withdraw my DNA data?
A. Yes. If you wish to close your account and withdraw your DNA data, you can do so immediately by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What happens to my data if I lose my DnaBean?
Do not worry if you lose your DnaBean. Your data is encrypted in the DnaBean and can only be synced with your own DnaNudge App account. You can buy a new DnaBean and set it up through your App account.
Frequently Asked Questions