Synergistic Layering
(double the results in half the time)

by Marie Veronique

Just as no two people are alike, every skin inhabited by an individual is unique to that person. Individual skins may share conditions in common, like acne and aging skin, but under that umbrella each one presents a different set of symptoms. (Think of it as being like the microbe Propionibacterium acnes—it’s all one species that differs at the strain level, with some strains causing acne, while others don’t.)

We have found that the most effective treatments come from serums formulated to address skin problems at the symptom level rather than the condition level. For example our treatment serum regulates sebum production to ameliorate acne conditions, while our lightening serum inhibits tyrosinase to fade hyperpigmentation. At the serum level, we can target specific dysfunctions by supplying ingredients that help the skin self-regulate.

However, and this is where the formulation challenge rears its head, conditions often present multiple symptoms. Acne can be associated with clogged pores and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Aging skin can be just as much an age-spot problem as a wrinkle problem. Sun-damaged skin of any age can present as dull, dry, blotchy, uneven and prematurely wrinkled. Hormonal irregularities can trigger melasma in addition to adolescent and adult acne.

We have found that serums are most effective when they are symptom specific. Too many ingredients addressing too many disparate repair functions actually create a dysergistic effect. But there is also the need to address multiple yet related symptoms. What to do? Our solution lies in a unique delivery method, which we believe is in keeping with the true meaning of the word “organic.” We act as nature’s assistant by delivering the proper ingredients in a timely manner and letting nature do the healing.

We call this delivery method synergistic layering. It gives us a new tool for effectively treating multiple symptoms while keeping ingredients fresh. Let’s take a look at some common conditions and their symptoms so you can get an idea of what we mean.


Twin symptoms: Acne and clogged pores

The best way to deal with acne is to head it off at the pass by preventing pores from clogging. Retinol helps to clean out debris from clogged pores. Another way to keep sebum flowing in pores is to make sure pantothenic acid, which helps break down sebum, is adequately supplied.

Treatment: Layering Gentle Retinol Night Serum and Treatment Serum at night provides both retinol and pantothenic acid to keep pores clog free. It is the best way to deal with conditions like acne vulgaris and adult acne.

Twin symptoms: Acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which looks like a dark spot over an old eruption, is not the same as an acne scar. When an acne cyst forms the neck of the sebaceous gland fills with bacteria, cells and sebum. When it eventually bursts it sends the debris deep within the dermis, where it is attacked by white blood cells. The aftermath of this normal remnant of the skin’s inflammatory process can leave a color change. In pale skin the color change can be pink, red or purple, and in darker skins brown or black. The darker the PIH the longer it may take to resolve, sometimes longer than 12 months.

Treatment: Layering Gentle Retinol Night Serum and Lightening Serum at night provides both retinol to prevent further clogged pores and lipofuscin to dissolve dark material lodged deep inside pores. It’s the best way to deal with conditions like acne vulgaris and adult acne where hyperpigmentation is also a problem.

Aging, including photo aging damage

Twin symptoms: Wrinkles and age spots

Retinol increases collagen production, while the anti-inflammatories and tyrosinase inhibitors in the lightening serum help fade age spots.

Treatment: Layering Lightening Serum and Gentle Retinol Night serums is the best treatment for aging conditions, as well as conditions caused by photodamage that can affect younger people.


Twin symptoms: Melasma and dehydrated skin

Melasma, a common skin problem that seems to be triggered by hormones, can be aggravated by sun exposure. The brown to gray-brown patches on cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, chin, and above the upper lip can also appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.

Treatment: Gentle Retinol Night Serum will help regularize cell development and increase cell turn over rate, improve water barrier function and increase moisture retention. Layer Gentle Retinol Night Serum with Lightening Serum at night to lighten skin. Wear zinc oxide sunscreen, SPF 30, every day, rain or shine.

Twin symptoms: Melasma and temporary hormonal fluctuations

Melasma is so common during pregnancy that some people call it the mask of pregnancy.

Treatment: Because retinol serum is not advised during pregnancy we suggest layering Lightening Serum with Vitamins C+E+Ferulic Serum, which contains vitamins C and E for extra antioxidant protection. Vitamin C inhibits melanogenesis by inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme that triggers melanin production.

How to Use:

The layering technique is easy. After cleansing at night apply a small amount of the Gentle Retinol Night Serum, then follow with the Lightening Serum or Treatment Serum.

Pregnant users: Apply Lightening Serum first, then follow with Vitamins C+E+Ferulic Serum. Let dry, then apply your night oil as usual.

Use Gentle Retinol Night Serum, Treatment Serum and Lightening Serum at night, when your skin is in repair mode. You can use Vitamins C+E+Ferulic Serum under sunscreen in the morning for extra antioxidant protection.

*The names of the products in this post have been updated to their current names.

Have a question about our blog content and how it may apply to your own skin concerns? Email us here to get personalized advice from our on-call estheticians, or browse our Product Recommendations here.