Our most scientific skincare, explained


Let’s face it: knowing beauty takes brains! As new skincare drops, we get a taste of the latest and greatest in scientific innovation, but with terms like N-acetylcysteine—and acronyms for days—we’re wishing we paid more attention in science class, and less time memorising Spice Girls routines.

If you’re considering adding science-led skincare to your routine, understanding what makes it effective is key. To help guide you through the mind-boggling details, we’re putting on our lab coats, embracing our inner nerd, and breaking down the high-tech details of our most advanced brands and their cutting-edge formulations. As it turns out, sometimes making the right choices for your skin is a little like rocket science.

MZ Skin

MZ Skin, a tightly edited skincare collection of anti-agers from London-based Oculoplastic Surgeon and Facial Aesthetics Doctor, Dr. Maryam Zamani, is a high-brow new arrival to The range uses proven actives like stem cells, encapsulated retinols and peptides, and some more unusual ones, as in this placenta serum, and ties together Dr. Zamani’s knowledge of facial aesthetics with a bright-eyed vision of science-driven, high-performance skincare for women.

Despite being a beauty boffin, Dr. Zamani subscribes to a simple three-step anti-ageing philosophy: reveal, enhance and protect. To reveal is to cleanse, brighten and exfoliate with skin-loving AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and retinol, setting your skin up for maximum product absorption, boosting the results of the creams and serums that follow.

To enhance is to nurture and nourish the skin. MZ Skin one-ups traditional moisturisers and serums by taking on high-powered ingredients like protein-rich phyto (plant) and ovine (sheep) placenta—way less scary than they sound, by the way—to improve skin density and the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. By day, the brand’s enhancing products, like its Hydra-Lift Golden Facial Treatment Mask and Soothe & Smooth Collagen Activating Eye Complex, will to help restore, hydrate and firm skin, and by night, rich formulas like its Replenish & Restore Placenta & Stem Cell Night Recovery Mask stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.

To protect, well, that speaks for itself. Every day our skin is exposed to the sun and other environmental aggressors, which have a knack for speeding up the ageing process. Solutions like MZ Skin’s Lift & Lustre Golden Elixir Antioxidant Serum harness the skin-protecting powers of hyaluronic acid, lolium perenne (ryegrass) extract and botanical polysaccharide (natural gum) to fight damaging free-radicals and prevent premature ageing.


Dr Yannis Alexandrides’ 111SKIN is out of this world—literally.

Also developed by a renowned cosmetic surgeon, 111SKIN combines surgical know-how with ground-breaking formulas for results-driven skincare. The brand’s hero ingredient is the strange-sounding NAC Y², a trio of actives with next-level antioxidant capabilities. Created in collaboration with a team of space scientists who treat astronauts’ stressed skin, NAC Y² induces the skin’s reparative processes to alleviate inflammation and scarring, and to protect against environmental pollutants. Dr. Alexandrides was searching for a way to treat his patient’s post-op complexions, and that’s what led him to elevating this ingredient to its starring role.

Ready to go deeper? NAC Y² is made up of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a derivative of amino acid L-cysteine and the precursor for glutathione, a key antioxidant produced by the body. This is combined with ascorbyl phosphate, a stable vitamin C derivative, and the hard-to-pronounce aesculus hippocastanum extract, which contains an antioxidant called escin (extracted from horse chestnut seed) and vasoprotective, an anti-inflammatory medication. Together, as 111SKIN’s revolutionary NAC Y², they’re proven to improve the skin’s resilience, protect from environmental aggressors, and serve up a serious dose of brightness. You’ll find it in 111SKIN’s pioneering product, the Y Theorem Repair Serum, and throughout the range.


Combining science with our afternoon cuppa is AMOREPACIFIC, the only company in the world to have cultivated a specific type of green tea for skincare. Seriously, the brand employs over 500 researchers and product developers, who conducted thousands of experiments to create a super-charged, nutrient-rich green tea named Jangwon No. 3, known as the Beauty Green Tea.

Listed in its formulations as AbsoluTea-T™, an anti-ageing concentration of amino acids, catechins and EGCG, one of the most powerful antioxidants on earth, this unique ingredient will change your skin game. The easiest way to join this tea party is the brand’s Vintage Single Extract Essence, which is akin to splashing your face with a nurturing chilled tea, or step up to its Time Response Skin Reserve Crème, a lavish face cream for those who seek a serious dose of repair and radiance. This is next-gen futureproofing.

As a Korean beauty pioneer (the brand established its first research laboratory in 1954), the company has patented over 2000 ingredients across its brands, 109 of them for AMOREPACIFIC. These patented complexes use the very best Asian botanicals to nourish the skin on a deeper level than ever before, delving way beyond what we ever thought was possible in the realm of botanicals. Who knew horticulture could be so chic?

READ MORE: I used AmorePacific every day for a month

Dr. Barbara Sturm

In the midst of surgeon-born, science-driven skincare is the namesake line from Dusseldorf-based aesthetics doctor, Dr. Barbara Sturm, famous for her celebrity-loved ‘vampire’ facial (also known as the ‘Kobe procedure’ for the basketball-inclined). Initially developing treatments for her patients using their own proteins and blood cells (we’re assuming you’ve seen the selfies of a blood-masked Kimmy K), Dr. Sturm went on to research and then launch a less-gory, readily available line with the same cell-driven properties. The result? Luxurious, efficacious, non-invasive treatments that work on a cellular level.

The range is all about healing and anti-inflammation, and is inspired by Dr. Sturm’s famous MC1 cream—a potent plasma-based (read: blood) cream that utilises the power of the body’s own proteins to address visible signs of ageing and inflammation. Rather than blood, Dr. Sturm includes the extract of DNA-protecting purslane in her shelf-ready formulations. Purslane is a succulent that looks as good on your desk as it does on your skin. Packed with skin-loving nutrients and omega-3-rich, purslane is healing and regenerative, stimulating cell repair while calming the skin of irritation. No wonder they call it the ‘fountain of youth’.

READ MORE: Get the Sturm glow


As you’re probably aware, we’re device-crazy, and for good reason! Nailing new-age device tech is NuFACE, a brand that taps microcurrent technology to generate non-invasive lifting and firming results that look, well, almost invasive. Seriously, people refer to these devices as a ‘five-minute face lift’ (golden girl Miranda Kerr even used it on her wedding day).

NuFACE serve up a selection of four microcurrent devices, but how do they work, you ask? Microcurrents are extremely low levels of electrical currents that facilitate circulation and cellular healing. They mimic the body’s natural charge, sending gentle waves through skin, tissue and muscle, stimulating collagen and elastin production to tighten lines, smooth puffiness and lift the face. Rather than targeting the signs of ageing at surface level, microcurrents work at a muscular level, resulting in long-term facial contouring, firming and toning. In other words, a NuFACE device is like a Pilates class for your complexion, firming, strengthening and stimulating. It’s proven, pain-free and delivers results that will make your jaw (not your skin) drop.

READ MORE: How to pick a beauty device according to what you need for your skin

Perricone MD

The science behind Perricone MD, the brainchild of esteemed dermatologist and nutritionist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, goes beyond skin deep. In fact, it’s all about the idea of healthy ageing, rather than the more familiar concept of anti-ageing.

Like 111SKIN and Dr. Barbara Sturm, Perricone MD combats the effects of ageing with a focus on anti-inflammation, backing it up with leading research on how to prevent and reverse the unwanted effects of chronic (or destined) inflammation, responsible for ageing and disease. This led to the creation of Dr. Perricone’s three-tier philosophy: tier one is an anti-inflammatory diet; tier two involves nutritional supplements; and tier three relates to the brand’s advanced topical skincare. Rich in antioxidants and nutrients that our bodies naturally create on their own (like acyl-glutathione, alpha lipoic acid and hyaluronic acid), the products help trigger time-reversing effects. All-rounder ingredients like glycolic acid, Vitamin C and copper tripeptides are added to the mix too, producing one-of-a-kind skincare solutions that do it all. They’ve even adapted their formulas to produce game-changing ‘no-makeup’ makeup. It’s the smart choice in foundation.

Ready to take your routine to the next level? Head into MECCA for a consultation with one of our skin specialists.


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