Go Buy Now: The Somme Institute

As a beauty editor, I hear about the vitamins that work wonders on your skin--mostly A, E, and C--over and over again. But I rarely hear about how those magical vitamins penetrate the innermost layers of skin. It turns out, they don’t. Or they didn’t, until Somme Institute developed MDT5 in 1996, a molecular dispersion technology that pushes those vitamins (plus B3 and B5) deep down into your skin where they can actually do things like build collagen, thicken your skin, fight acne, fade melasma, and make fine lines disappear. Sound crazy? I had to see it to believe it.

Using this MDT5 technology, the Somme Institute created a universal five-step program: cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. “How do you tell a 70-year-old grandmother that the same product she’s using for anti-aging will help her granddaughter’s acne?” asks lead researcher Dr. Simon Erani. To start, he showed me the Institute’s before and after photos--then he let me see the results on my own skin.

After the first two weeks, it looked like a light had been turned on beneath my skin. (I’d first heard about Somme from team Into the Gloss, when founder Emily Weiss told editorial director Nick Axelrod that he was boasting a Cullen-worthy glow; she wasn’t exaggerating.) I kept waiting for the light to dim, for a new blemish to bloom, but three months later, the only thing I notice on my face is fading acne scars.

About those five steps: the mild Nourishing Cleanser ($40) won’t remove heavier makeup, but step two, a glycolic acid pad called Transport ($58), will take off what’s left while exfoliating the skin. (Erani says the vitamins defend against potential damage from too much glycolic.) The Serum ($82) is almost as light as water and A-Bomb ($70) leaves your skin so moisturized it actually bounces. The Double Defense Sunscreen ($48) is self-explanatory. Asked if there’s one product that’s most important, Erani says, “The core products--Transport, Serum and A-Bomb--do give the most dramatic results.”

In short, whether you’re trying to win a longstanding battle between you and acne, or just hoping to firm up and ditch your foundation for the summer, Somme Institute might be the fastest (and healthiest!) path to success.