A few years ago, Anne Marie EEnziger had a light spot on her back caused by tinea versicolor, a common, easily treatable fungal infection.“Instead of seeing that patch of skin as a nuisance and something I wanted to get rid of, I had this ‘aha! The moment I was like, “Wait, what if good things are doing this?” says Anne-Marie, a former science teacher who has never lost that sense of science curiosity.
Her instinct was correct: hyperpigmentation and hyperpigmentation (darkening and lightening of the skin) are both inflammatory responses (respectively) that increase or decrease melanin production in the body as a preventive measure. “Because my skin was protected, it didn’t burn in the sun and it looked more radiant,” says Anne-Marie.
She wondered if she could harness the powers of what’s going on in her skin in a topical lotion. She and her husband, Harvard-educated scientist Mike Einzinger (and, fun fact, founding guitarist for the band Incubus), have put together a team of leading scientists – incl Pearl Grimes, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and president of the Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute of Southern California. Together, they discovered Malassezin, a molecular compound that comes from a yeast called Malassezia furfur (the same one that causes dandruff), lives on the skin, and regulates melanin production.
Now, you can experience everything Malassezin has to offer in Mother Science Molecular Hero Serum ($89). It’s the new molecule hero and is complemented by calming, brightening niacinamide and restorative alpine rose extract.
“The three ways we help increase pigmentation is by slowing down the transfer of melanin to the upper layers of skin cells via melanocytes,” says Anne-Marie. “We are also able to slow down the overproduction of melanin. Then finally, we slow down the transition from melanocytes, the highway-like structure that melanin travels through, to keratinocytes, the top layer of skin cells.”
Malassezin contains ten times more antioxidants than Vitamin C – long hailed as the gold standard for radiance – allowing it to provide incredible protection against free radical damage that can cause premature signs of aging. It is also more stable than vitamin C, which is known to rapidly degrade. “We’ve been testing it for years now because we have this molecule sitting in bottles, and we can go back every once in a while and see that molecule is still stable,” says Anne-Marie.
Because malassezine has a calming effect on the skin, it can do its job without causing irritation. “It activates the skin’s endogenous antioxidant mechanism, which is the natural antioxidant defense mechanism,” says Mike. The team was able to tell that the ingredient worked without irritation by repeated patch testing for irritation. “Basically, people put it on their skin over and over again,” says Anne-Marie. “We have hundreds of people doing this who self-report sensitive skin. Then we ask, ‘Did you experience any irritation?'” Of the 200 people who did this, there were no reports of inflammation.
The brand uses biotechnology to synthesize the M.I went down In the lab, it takes what Mother Nature gave us and enhances it – hence the brand name, Mother Science.
“Mother Nature is old and kind. She takes care of us, and we take care of her,” says Anne-Marie. “Few people know about Mother Science, mainly because I made it. But Mother Science, to me, is another entity that we can draw on, like Mother Nature, for wisdom and that offers solutions to our problems. And the wisdom that Mother Science offers us is both ancient and modern.” “When you take something like Malassezin, it’s a molecule that’s been on human skin for hundreds of millions of years, but we’re making it using state of the art technology. That way, we can sustainably scale the business. We don’t grow plants and then throw them away, like throwing in the peel of an entire aloe vera plant to get Aloe vera juice. We don’t take beeswax and collapse a bee colony. We make what we need, efficiently and cleanly — and for me, that’s a future in sustainable beauty.”
Using Mother Science Molecular Hero Serum
I’ve been using Mother Science Molecular Hero Serum for about a week and love it so far. Of course, it’s too early to see any results, but I can tell that it goes on smoothly, dries quickly without feeling sticky, and lays well under sunscreen and makeup. Plus, it doesn’t desensitize your skin to sunlight and doesn’t interfere with other active ingredients — which means you can use it morning or night. Use it to replace all of your other serums or add to your cycle to improve your routine.
“If you’re using a very irritating retinol, you can still use Malassezin, and maybe it will up your retinol because it works in a different way,” says Anne-Marie. “I love to look at this because you are using different tools in treating different issues in your skin with the products that you are using. We are using a new lever that wasn’t there before, which complements all the other levers that you are pulling.”
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