How do we humans make decisions? How long have you got? It’s a question well served by academic brainpower and literature. In recent years, neuroscientists have even begun to publish best-sellers on how and why we choose what we choose, expanding our minds with a fascinating introduction to the two modes of thinking which inform our judgment.

Whether it’s the System 1 and System 2 approach of Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow, the Automatic and Reflective modes of Thaler & Sunstein in Nudge or, more imaginatively, the Elephant and Rider of Jonathan Haidt in The Happiness Hypothesis, there is general agreement that we have an emotional side (System 1, Automatic and Elephant) and a rational side which combine to facilitate decision-making.

The big story has been the evidence that our choices are not based, as we might prefer to believe, on solid reasoning. It is now widely accepted that the long-held belief in human rationality is no longer valid and that, in fact, emotions are central to decision-making.

It was Antonio Damasio and Joseph Le Doux who were credited with the early work confirming the importance of emotions in this regard. Damasio’s research demonstrated that when people suffered neurological damage to specific areas of their brains pertaining to a certain class of emotions, they were unable to make decisions. Le Doux found that the perceived division between reason and emotion was false. He concluded that cognition is not always logical and that emotions are not always illogical. In short, reasoning is only possible because our emotions limit that about which we can reason. Although we are only aware of our rational mind, we are emotional beings.

Clearly this can get us into trouble, when, for example, we allow our fast, automatic system to make decisions that we should really pass to our slow, reflective system. But imagine if we start to make decisions not based on intuition or logic but on our biological code?

One of today’s key trends is personalisation, whether it’s coffee, cars or trainers. And the luxury beauty market is beginning to redefine what ‘personalised’ actually means. As health and wellness become the new beauty buzzwords, medical science is providing access to innovation which can personalise products right down to a consumer’s DNA.

There has always been a strong desire for customisation the luxury sector. Niche perfumers are already offering fragrances with ingredients which are blended to individual specification. But it seems that gene analysis is the next frontier in what is now being referred to as hyper-bespoke luxury beauty.

Based in New Jersey, Personal Cell Sciences produces a range of products customised using consumers’ own cells. Adipose stem cells are harvested and mixed with antioxidants, proteins and peptides for improved skin health. The life sciences company also offers a form of future proofing, cryogenically storing stem cells in preparation for the time when technology has advanced sufficiently for these cells to be used in further anti-ageing innovations.

In London, also, Geneu has developed exclusive microchip technology which, at its flagship store in New Bond Street, ‘analyses your skin’s DNA and discovers precisely what your skin needs.’ Created by British engineer Chris Toumazou, the Geneu method, developed over a 10 year period with Imperial College London, extracts DNA, creates a profile in around 30 minutes and then formulates anti-ageing serum which provides the ultimate match, in composition and concentration, to the needs of the individual customer. As Professor Toumazou told Stylus, the research and advisory firm specialising in innovation; “Genetics has become a bulldozer. It is absolutely going to dominate – becoming second nature, almost. Personalisation like this is going to become the future of skin health.”

Will hyper-bespoke, gene-based customisation stop at our skins? Can we look forward to a dinner date which commences with a little light DNA harvesting before we order some food which our body deems appropriate?

To that point, will it be ‘we’ anymore who are making the decisions? If our highly influential System 1 has already been described as a ‘hidden autopilot’, do we face a future where our intuitive and logical minds are joined by an even darker stranger?