What makes moss different?
Thank you for your interest in this profoundly transformative skincare. We have spent over 2 years refining our formulas to contain the most effective, powerful ingredients while remaining gentle and safe, even for sensitive skin.
While our skincare is primarily designed to help adult women suffering from acne (a problem that has worsened over the last 20 years, so much so that over 50% of adult women now complain of some degree of acne issues) it is also tremendously effective for aging and damaged skin. This is for two reasons: one, our clients are typically at an age where aging is also a valid concern and the skin healing metabolism has begun to slow significantly. Second of all, acne lesions are damaging to the skin and require additional cell repair and regeneration support.
Acneic skin is skin with trauma. Our two part skincare system addresses multiple acne-causing mechanisms and supports the skin across the entire acne lifecycle, making it both extremely beneficial and effective – never harsh or damaging.
It takes a blemish 30-90 days to form, and much of this time, it is invisible. Once a blemish forms, especially if it is a deep cyst, it can take months to heal. Even after the blemish is gone, scarring and hyperpigmentation may remain.
Most skincare for acne only addresses one or two acne causing mechanisms and only specific parts of the acne lifecycle. For this reason, we do not condone relying on spot treatments. Spot treatments only treat acne after it has shown up as a blemish on the skin. At this point, the damage has already been done! The skin is highly inflamed, and scarring is almost inevitable. The blemish is a wound that requires valuable resources to heal. Blemishes are very taxing to the skin.
Wouldn’t it be better to prevent the blemish from forming in the first place? This helps keep skin healthy and strong, instead of the skin constantly being weakened and wounded. (That being said, if a blemish does sneak through, a spot treatment is highly recommended. We just don’t recommend it as your ONLY acne skincare.)
What products do you recommend for my skin?
Many people ask us to recommend a product. We always recommend both products since together they create a synergistic force. You can see in the charts below that neither one checks ALL the boxes, but together they both do.
For some reason, people with severe acne gravitate more towards Illumina. This makes total sense – Illumina seems like it is more “active” and “powerful” because it is exfoliating. I know from experience, that when you have acne, especially if it is persistent, you begin to look for grenades to throw! You are so sick of your skin rebelling, and you’re always looking for harsher and harsher products to just shut the acne down.
But like we just mentioned, acneic skin is skin with trauma. Compared to healthy skin, acneic skin tends to have a damaged or weakened skin barrier – especially if you’ve been using harsh acne treatment or have gone on Accutane. This is a bigger problem than it seems because it causes a whole host of issues.
A weak skin barrier allows more bacteria, pollutants and irritants in. It has a harder time preventing trans-epidermal water loss. Because of this, the skin gets dehydrated. Dehydrated skin produces more sebum in an effort to protect and “rehydrate” itself but this just leads to skin that feels both oily and dry! Dehydrated skin is also less elastic, which means pores have a reduced ability to stay clear, and a lot more impactions in the skin occur – these are the “seeds” of blemishes.
Acne skin also tends to have more scarring, even if it is invisible. Most wounds, including blemishes, result in some degree of scarring. That is why the peptides in Potentci are so important – they are your best bet for repairing the skin tissue and healing scarring outside of procedures like lasers or derma-needling, both of which, we are beginning to understand, do not come without their own long-term damage – there is no free ride. Of course, if the peptides are effective on scarring, then they are also very effective on wrinkles and skin texture and tone, firming, plumping and smoothing, making Potentci a very powerful anti-aging product.
This is why Illumina does best with its partner Potentci. While Illumina keeps pores clear and inflammation down, Potentci takes care of all the rest – and it’s a lot! It heals and heals and heals. It is a healing powerhouse. It helps strengthen the skin barrier, provides hydration, and protection from UV damage. It might not seem as powerful because its effects might not be as immediately visible as Illumina’s but they are just as, if not more, important to skin health.
Here are some guidelines:
If you have hormonal acne, inflamed acne, persistent acne or adult acne, choose both.
If you have ONLY congestion and closed comedones and NO aging concerns, choose Illumina.
If you have ONLY aging concerns with NO desire for a retinol-like exfoliating product, choose Potentci.
How do I use them?
Illumina and Potentci are very simple – as far as understanding their function and form they are really just a serum and a moisturizer with fancy names.
The reason we have given them fancy names is because they are royalty amongst skincare. These products are extremely concentrated. Each is about 50% actives (compared to 5-20% for 99.9% of all skincare, even expensive brand name skincare.). This means that they truly are as powerful as several products in one. When you look at them this way, the investment begins to make sense.
They also both have light-weight, slightly more runny textures. This is on purpose – to prevent over-application. This allows you to use less product, making your valuable skincare last a lot longer. It also helps reduce any afterfeel or stickiness, although, since the concentration of actives in these products is so high, it is impossible to make them completely imperceivable.
With these products, a little goes a very long way and less is more. When we did research with testers, we found all of them were applying too much product! Please read our application guidelines to make sure you are not making the same mistake. Proper application is important because it improves skin feel, improves product performance and stops product wastage.
However, just because the textures are light, this doesn’t mean they aren’t deeply nourishing, medicinal and hydrating.
How will these clear my acne?
Here are the acne mechanisms and causes that Il and Po inhibit and/or reverse:
- Hyperkeratinization (sticky dead skin cells that do not slough off as they should and end up clogging pores)
- Sluggish cellular turnover
- Sebum oxidation (makes sebum comedogenic)
- Linoleic acid deficiency in sebum (makes sebum sticky and comedogenic)
- Elevated interleukin-1a levels (causes inflammation)
- p. acnes bacteria (both type 1 and type 2)
- Increased 5a reductase hormone activity in the skin (causes hormonal acne)
- Activity of collagenase enzymes – also known as Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP) – (enzymes that destroy collagen and contribute to inflamed, painful acne)
- Impaired skin barrier and dehydration
In terms of acne lifecycle, we define 4 main phases:
- Before a blemish is visible, there are multiple factors that are conspiring to create it, including impactions and clogs in the pores and inflammation and hormonal activity in the skin. Diet can play a large role.
- When a blemish surfaces, it is important to reduce as much inflammation as possible and give the skin all the wound healing support it needs. The older a person is and the more compromised their skin health is, the slower the healing process is.
- After a blemish stops being inflamed and swollen, it can still leave behind a bump, a scar or hyperpigmentation in the form of red or purple dots. At this stage encouraging cellular renewal and dermal matrix protein regeneration is key.
- Even after hyperpigmentation fades (months after the blemish initially surfaced), scarring and collagen damage can remain (even invisibly). To the extent it is possible, supporting the key proteins of the dermal-epidermal junction is most beneficial for the skin at this point.
Additional benefits for the skin:
- Smoothes fine wrinkles
- Decreases deep wrinkles
- Decreases acne scars
- Decreases hyperpigmentation
- Improves firmness + reduces sagging
- Improves elasticity
- Improves plumpness
- Decreases TEWL
- Increases hydration
- Contains ceramides
- Contains sterols
- Contains fatty acids
- Antioxidant rich
- Repairs skin barrier
- Erases congestion
- Refines superficial texture (smoother + brighter)
- Refines dermal-epidermal texture (less scarring, wrinkles, sagging)
- Speeds healing
- Stimulates collagen
- Stimulates ALL relevant proteins of dermal-epidermal junction (Laminin V, Collagen type IV, VII and XVII, Elastin, Intergrin)
- Repairs UV damage
- Prevents UV damage
How to ensure good results:
To see the best results, it is imperative to use these products faithfully and consistently in the exact manner prescribed. They WILL NOT work if used haphazardly or inconsistently. Please follow this routine for the next 2 weeks to 3 months. (Some people may see results after only 2 weeks. The majority of acne sufferers are encouraged to stick to the routine for 3 full months, since that is the lifecycle of an acne.)
We recommend a simple, minimal routine.
Apply after cleansing. Shake POTENTCI well, and apply 1-2 pumps to skin, massaging in well. Follow with sunscreen.
Apply after cleansing. Apply 1-2 pumps ILLUMINA. Shake POTENTCI well, and apply 1-2 pumps to skin, massaging in well. Follow with oil or balm, if more hydration is desired.
Please note, these products are extremely concentrated and a little bit goes a very long way, making them more economical than you might think. Over-application of the product (very common!) may result in a coated or sticky feeling to the skin, as well as a waste of valuable product.
Please be very mindful of the recommended amounts to apply. When in doubt, apply an extremely sheer layer, massaged into the skin very, very well. Remember less is more.
Please note, that Potentci may take a few minutes to fully sink into the skin while Illumina may cause an initial period of purging (temporary worsening of the skin as congestion is brought to the surface and pores are cleared. It is important to be patient and not lose faith through this period – clear skin IS on the other side!) If Illumina causes irritation (unlikely) reduce usage to every other night or to 2x per week.
Recommended Application Method:
Pump 1-2 pumps of product onto fingertips. Gently dot fingertips onto left cheek, right cheek, chin and forehead, making sure that the first area you dot doesn’t take all the product. Once product has been evenly divided between the 4 quadrants of the face, use both hands to massage product into the skin, working to cover the entire facial area. If there is not enough product, use 1/2 more pump where needed. If there is too much product, spread it onto neck as best as possible. Wait 1-2 minutes before applying next product.
Because these products are so concentrated, the only additional products we recommend besides Illumina and Potentci are a cleanser, sunscreen in the am, and a balm or oil if more moisture is desired in the pm.
Please see our recommended sunblocks here, our recommended cleansers here, our recommended balms/oils here and our recommended makeup here. In the meantime, if you have any more questions, email us and we will be happy to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you see no signs of improvement in your acne after 2 months, let us know! We will work with you to either modify your routine or refund your investment. (You must stick to the above guidelines for 2 months in order to be eligible for a refund. We cannot guarantee the skincare if you do not use it as directed.)