As I looked at the CygenX Luminessce, a high-potency anti-aging skin serum that TIA sent for my review, it brought to mind the word “luminescence,” which means “the emission of light not caused by incandescence and occurring at a temperature below that of incandescent bodies.” Another definition is “the light produced by such an emission.” So my initial reaction was curiosity and a heightened anticipation of how luminous and bright my skin would be after a 30-plus-day application.

I am now in my 50s and have been blessed with the good genes of most Asians, who are known to look 10 years younger than their age. Out of vanity, since age 25, I have always followed a skin-protection regimen to keep wrinkles at bay and have been fairly successful, except for the unavoidable laugh lines (or marionette lines) around the mouth and a few on the forehead, as well as some uneven skin tone and a spot of melasma caused by sun exposure during my ignorant teen years. My skin is a combination of normal and oily now, but it used to be very oily in my youth. So I was naturally eager to test this new product that promises to a) “restore the natural iridescent glow of softer, smoother, younger-looking skin” and b) “transform the appearance of tired, aging skin and fine lines to a look that is fresh and radiant...”!

The product came in a simple 30 ml airless pump dispenser just like some Osmotics products that I had been using, which by the way, I had to temporarily put aside because the instructions on the box specifically says not to use it with other products. The reason: the other products may “disrupt, block, weaken or destroy the active ingredients in Luminessce.” Okay, that sounds fair enough, as all of us who have done any product-testing normally use the product by itself to see the true effect it has on the target area for the said period. The box had a short list of ingredients, which starts with the main active: Cygenx’s Tri-Mix Blend of human fibroblast conditioned media, human adipose derived stem cell conditioned media, and induced pluripotent stem cell conditioned media. These combined ingredients are enough to arouse intrigue and urge one to embark on the daunting task of uncovering the truth, and thankfully Marta once again has accomplished so much as she has enlightened us in her January 14 post! The only thing on the short list that sounds like a hazard is the preservative phenoxyethanol.

There was no product information leaflet that usually comes with boxed skincare products. However, the box had the directions, the ingredients, and a warning printed on it clearly. So I had to go to the brand’s website to get more information on Luminessce other than the intriguing “potent growth factor signaling molecule” tag phrase on the box. Initially, I had to send an inquiry to the company regarding the product instructions that directs the user to “massage the serum for approximately five minutes” (gasp! oh no, not an extra five minutes to my already 15-minute regimen!) because I found that within 30 seconds the odorless, colorless and light serum had already been absorbed thoroughly. The reply was just as I hoped: to massage until it is absorbed into the skin. In addition to that first query, I also needed to know if it would be all right to use a sunscreen (since this is considered an “other” product) on top of the serum after the a.m. application. The company spokesperson said that it’s okay but only after waiting five minutes before applying the sunscreen. Agh! That darn extra five minutes is back! Seriously, I had to set my wake-up alarm five minutes earlier since then.

The website states that this serum’s “Penetration Plus Nano-Encapsulating Technology,” which encourages deeper penetration of the actives into the skin, combined with the Tri-Mix blend of growth factors or the human conditioned media, which are naturally secreted proteins that activate cell proliferation (as in collagen production), produces the following benefits: Naturally diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and recaptures the youthful luminosity and smoothness of the skin.

After the allotted four weeks plus one more week I felt I just had to extend my trial to, I would say that Luminessce delivered less than 50% of the results that I had hoped for based on its promises. The marionette lines and the one on my forehead still exists, probably slightly diminished but still visible, so it didn’t really “reverse the appearance of wrinkles.” (See my before and after photos below.)

Imelda Before and AfterHowever, it seems that it somehow slowed down the aging process since I had not seen any new wrinkles or lines pop up other than those that are already there, and my skin seems to feel a little bit firmer and softer to the touch. I’ve grown accustomed to the extra five minutes in my regimen and would continue to use the serum until the remaining slightly more than one-third amount is used up (in perhaps another two to three weeks). My conclusion is that Luminessce is a serum of moderate value, as long as you learn to dispense the contents slowly as I did by depressing the pump gradually and controlling its flow to the minimal amount needed for the target areas. Nonetheless, I don’t believe I would plan to purchase the product in the future, knowing that there are or may be other great products out there that are better priced and work just as well if not better.

Editor’s note: Read Marta’s review of CygenX Luminessce.

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