Moss. A.K.A. Modern.Organic.Sacred.Skincare. One of the most exciting beauty ranges I've come across recently. There are plenty of products out there that cater to acne prone skin, sub-ranges, add-ons or afterthoughts with the odd blemish treatment gel or clearing mask to help you banish that breakout, but nothing specific or as special as moss. That's why I was just so darn excited when I made my discovery, as moss really is specially dedicated and created for those of us with problem skin (though there is something for everyone!) and I've been obsessed ever since. 

Having acne isn't fun. It's a little bit soul crushing and confidence destroying - I know from experience. Celestyna, the creator, founder and mother of moss knows this too, having suffered from acne herself. Becoming an expert in all things spotty moss was born and she hasn't looked back.

I loved this quote from her website "moss is unique in that it does not provide a blanket solution for the catch-all term “acne,” but provides specialized solutions depending on the type of acne symptoms presented, offering specificity unprecedented in both the beauty and green beauty industries."
It really represents how I feel - acne isn't one size fits all, there are many different factors to consider and treat, often from the inside out.

If you have the time I would really, really recommend reading through Celestyna's accompanying blog on all things skincare. I have read most of the posts twice (the one on hormonal acne and supplements was really informative for me) and while you're there subscribe to the newsletter because there's even more great info hidden in those emails AND an exclusive discount code in email #3. Shhhhh.

As part of my new bi-monthly spotlight series (more on that later) I have asked Celestyna a few questions below - there's nobody better to tell you about a brand than the creator, right?!

For anyone just being introduced to moss today, what can they expect to find? What is moss?

moss is skincare that is not ashamed that it is created first and foremost for fussy, acnegenic skin. It is beautiful and luxurious, and profoundly nourishing for any skin type, but I always want my clients to feel like they are not an afterthought - they are the reason moss exists and it caters to them first, offering plenty of products to choose from to heal their EXACT skin challenges. The official tagline is “luxury, organic skincare for rebel skin.”

Your range is dedicated to helping those of us suffering from acne, what inspired you to bring moss to life?

My own skin and my own story. I suffered from acne A LOT. I think those who have suffered and overcome a problem (with awareness and self-growth) are infinitely better equipped and informed to solve that problem than any random doctor or scientist, despite the difference in official qualifications. My unique area of knowledge is healing acne holistically, and that is what I feel called to share. Skincare is a great way to get the conversation started. People do not like changing habits, but they love beautiful things that promise results.

There is no one size fits all cure for acne - it's a tricky beast to tame. What would you suggest for someone looking to turn to natural methods and products, where do they even begin?

I’d say, get off birth control. Cut out sugar and dairy. Drink (much) more water, eat (much) more veggies and more healthy fats. Be very gentle topically. Very minimal. Do nothing to your skin at all for a period of time. See where it settles. Then use oils to wash and nourish. Give it time. A pretty simple recipe actually, but hard to execute. Diet is especially difficult for many people. Not their fault. The world we live in makes it EXTREMELY difficult to eat right.

What is your starting point when creating a new product?

Either a need of my own, of a client, or a fun ingredient I want to play with. Right now, I’m very curious and excited about enzymatic exfoliation, and have some new products centered around fruit enzymes in the works. Before that, one of my accounts commissioned a pure essential oil spot treatment, and before that, I heard from lots of people that they wanted a cleanser that worked like an oil cleanser, but rinsed like a gel cleanser. So that is also in the lab right now. I might be going a little crazy with all the new products, but it’s my company and I can do what I want and I can always edit later!

The ingredients you choose are so unique, many I had never heard of before! (I am glad to see a lack of shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax - thank you!) What deems an ingredient worthy of making it into a moss product?

It is very simple - it must be maximally safe and healing for acne-prone skin. Nothing else gets in besides the ingredients chosen for this particular quality.

How long does it take from idea to finished product? Do you build products around the ingredients you have sourced or around a skin problem to cure? (or something else?)

Salvation was ready for production with the very first formula I wrote - that product was like a download from the heavens. Usually though, formulas get iterated dozens of times before I get them right. If I have time for R&D, a product moves faster. If I’m busy with orders, it moves slower. Especially in the beginning, a lot of challenge testing is necessary to make sure a product can stand up to heat, time, etc. That takes a while too. Products that don’t need rigorous challenge testing get released much faster. I generally roll new products out when I’m asked to solve a problem, and none of the current products will do it. New problem needs new solution!

What's your top desert island product/s?

Mascara (I use Physician’s Formula organic) and oil. You can do a LOT with oil. Cleanse, nourish, protect. It removes eye makeup, it makes good lube (!!). Right now I love Sacha Inchi oil - very good source of omega 3s and feels really good on my skin. Also great as a supplement - better than fish oil! Salvation has a formula upgrade and will now contain Sacha Inchi, and we are launching another face oil with Sacha Inchi soon.

What's next for moss?

Still finishing up the line, lots of new product launches. Then lots of education and content - books, blog, and maybe an online course. Then supplements, teas and food. Integral for healing acne, and will complement the skincare.

And that's that! I hope you learnt a little something new, discovered a new and exciting brand and fell in love just like I did.
Are there any products you're crushing over? I love the sound of the Salvation Balm, with kokum butter, ucuuba butter, mafura butter and bacuri butter, amazing!! Though I think I'm going to get my hands on Zen Physic ASAP because it sounds like the dream, specially designed for cystic acne?! I'm there.

I hope you liked my new spotlight series, I'm hoping to have a new one up with an interview and introduction to a new brand every two months. It's great way to get to the nitty gritty stuff and really learn about the products you may be using (or wanting to purchase!).