When testing an anti-aging product, there are other factors to take into account, such as weather and hormones, or both. And if it is at all possible to wax philosophical when it comes to wrinkles, then permit me the thought that not all of them are created equal. Which is a convoluted way of introducing this review of CygenX Luminessce ($149), a serum with human conditioned media, by saying that whether I think it works or not depends on what day of the week it is and what area of my face I am looking at.

When I was given my bottle of Luminessce, I was told it would require 30 days to see results (the accompanying hair product should be given 90 days); I am now about six weeks in. I started out using it on my forehead (I usually do this when I am testing because I don’t want to subject my sensitive, rosacea-prone cheeks or breakout-prone chin to something that may give me a bad reaction. If the forehead is OK for a couple of weeks, I then move to full face.

My forehead was more than all right with Luminessce. Within a couple of weeks, the skin was feeling a lot tighter and looking a little smoother. With the rest of my face, the results have been a little mixed. For crow’s feet and laughter lines, it really hasn’t done much at all. However, the creases around my chin and fine lines around the lips do seem to have improved.

Interestingly, this is almost the opposite of the effect I was seeing during the few months that I used BioEffect, a plant-derived epidermal growth factor (EGF) serum, which did a great job with crow’s feet and not much at all for lip lines. It was this that got me wondering about different wrinkles and aging areas of skin. Perhaps this wrinkle here is the result of not enough collagen, and this one over here has more of an elastin issue. In which case, these signaling growth proteins in the serum may have more luck communicating with one set of cells than another. Just a thought.

It is probably useful to segue at this point to say that Luminessce’s formula is actually similar to ReLuma’s in that it uses a mix of conditioned media (proteins that are supposedly able to influence fibroblast migration enables the release of more cytokines and growth factors). Although I’m fairly pleased with Luminessce, I’d have to say that ReLuma’s performance was overall better.

Having said that, my skin doesn’t have the plump sheen that it had with BioEffect. A fact that the cynic in me could put down to BioEffect’s generous helping of glycerin. But then there’s glycerin in Luminessce’s equally sparse formula. Actually, I’d go so far as to say that my skin looks and feels dry and drab. But that could be winter, or hormones (which are feeling a bit weird and possibly menopausal). And anyway two people (who don’t normally make such comments) have told me in the past week that I’m looking great.

My bottle is about two thirds gone and would be lasting longer – in which case, I would regard it as good value for money – if its airless pump (these things really don’t work) didn’t dispense a huge splurt. Anyway, we have another bottle out with a reader reviewer and I’m dying to know her verdict.

Ingredients: Tri-Mix Blend (Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Conditioned Media), Water, Glycerin, Polysorbate-20, Cellulose Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium PCA, DL-Panthenol , Allantoin.