Do you really have live bacteria in some of your products?

Yes … because you really have live bacteria on your face.

If you didn’t, you’d be in trouble. The first pathogen that came along would colonize and you’d get a really nasty skin disease.

We add the bacteria to protect you.

Why don’t you do a cleanser?

Screw cleansers!

We have many strong arguments against them. Visit fuxoap.org to see some of them. Foaming products are bad for your barrier function, bad for your skin microbiome and bad for your headspace. You are not inherently dirty. Don’t buy into the ad campaigns.

That said … given the COVID situation … you should wash your hands. Just leave the rest of your body out of it if you don’t want to accelerate aging.

WTF. Why is your Sapienic Oil so expensive?

We’re sorry. Well … a little bit sorry.

We extract the sapienic acid from the seeds of a vine that is indigenous to Tanzania. The seeds are small, and the yield is only around 6%, so it is costly to produce. The seed pods also explode and throw the seeds about 15m away, which is very irritating.

The only other source of natural sapienic acid is humans and we’re not keen to bathe people in solvents to extract it. Unless you’re offering?

Where are your moisturizers?

We understand that you’re probably used to a moisturizer. We’ve broken the moisturizer into two parts … a Lipid phase and a Serum phase. This allows you to tailor the product to your skin’s needs. Add more oil if your skin is lipid dry and more serum if it is dehydrated.

This format also means that we can exclude the emulsifiers that would normally disrupt your skin’s natural microbiome.

I keep forgetting your brand. Why did you choose such a s#!t name?

We know the brand name isn’t catchy.

You say it “sap – ee – en – ic”.

Sapienic acid was the main reason for the name – it’s our hero ingredient. The acid was named for the only animal species that makes it – Homo sapiens – and it is the most abundant fatty acid in human sebum. We were sick of seeing other brands claiming to mimic sebum when doing that is really hard.

“Sapiens” also means “wise” in Latin and the brand is for humans that have wised up a bit.

Also, the .com was available.

Can I use your range with my favorite cleanser?

Yes, you can, but we urge you to reconsider. Our species is around 300 000 years old and we’ve done quite well without foaming products for 299 900 years of that.

We did not evolve to need soap.

It is clear that we need the natural oil on skin though. Why would you want to emulsify the oil off your skin and wash it down the drain? Nobody can replace it effectively. Trying to mimic sebum is a lot like trying to copy breast milk … we can try but we definitely can’t compete with the intricacy of the real thing.

Are your products for men or women?

We make products for Homo sapiens sapiens. Hence the brand’s name.

We don’t differentiate between genders or race groups.

There are differences between male and female skin. Male skin is hairier and, on average, slightly more oily. There are also differences in the skin of different race groups. These differences are, on the whole, minor and don’t warrant the design of segregated product lines.

What pH are your products?

We set the pH of all our products at around 5,3. This is acidic enough to maintain the acid mantle and promote good barrier function without irritating skin.

Who are you people?

We’re anarchistic scientists, hell bent on disrupting a beauty industry that we see as deeply flawed. The status quo is not great for people and terrible for the planet. If we achieve nothing other than forcing some rationalization of the skincare industry, we will consider this venture a success.

What will sapienic acid do for me?

Our Sapienic Boost will improve skin firmness by an average of 12% in 28 days and it will boost skin hydration by around 30% (average 20 humans).

We know that it has the ability to shift the skin microbiome – it is selectively toxic to Staphylococcus aureus and can be used as a nutrient by key microbes on your skin – so we are hoping that it will normalize skin that is dysbiotic (disturbed microbial ecosystem).

Which bacteria do you use?

We use three Lactobacillus species and one Bacillus.

Bacillus is spore-forming so it can stay stable in spore form in a buffered aqueous base – the Probiotic Mist.

Lactobacillus is a little more sensitive, so we encapsulate it and disperse it in an anhydrous oil base to keep it alive. It will only reanimate when it is exposed to water on your skin. These are in the Probiotic Facial Oil.

Do I need to keep your probiotics in the fridge?

No. We’ve done our homework and they are stable for 18 months at 30˚C / 86˚F. Some of the strains are inherently stable as spores and we have encapsulated the others to keep them viable.

When do I use the two PRIME products?

When you’re older than 35.

Who owns the company?

The founder and owner is a South African scientist and entrepreneur. He lives in a small farmhouse in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal with his rather large family. He bathes every day but hasn’t used soap or shampoo for more than a decade.

What do you mean by carbon neutral?

We account for the carbon that is emitted in the manufacture of our raw materials and packaging (embodied carbon). This is partly why we use glass wherever we can. We also audit the carbon that we produce in the manufacture and transport of the product to its final destination. We make every effort to reduce these emissions. We purchase ethical carbon offsets for the emissions that we cannot avoid. As we grow our sphere of influence, we will be able to put more pressure on our suppliers to reduce their carbon footprints. Take that Donald.

Are you certified organic? By who?

Yes … to the COSMOS organic standards by Ecocert France. Ecocert audits the raw materials, the manufacture and the packaging. We see these standards as a useful starting point, not as an end goal. There are aspects of the standards that we believe are not stringent enough, but they still provide an audited baseline to reassure you that your product doesn’t contain chemical residues.

Did you hurt the bunnies?

No. We’re a little bit obnoxious, not nasty. We have never tested our products on animals. We test on humans. We will not purchase raw materials from suppliers that test on animals or that contract with other entities that do. We will never use animal products of any kind in our range … not even beeswax.

Can I mix your range with my other favorite products?

Of course, you can … but it may well be counterproductive. We feel that a few well-considered high-quality products will beat a random mix of products with varying philosophies on skin health.

Your products don’t have fragrance ingredients. Do they smell bad?

We minimize our use of fragrance ingredients because they are a common cause of skin sensitivity. The products have a very faint vanilla smell from the 0,01% natural vanillin that we add.

Why don’t you use essential oils?

Essential oils are a complex mix of many compounds. Any one of these compounds can trigger an allergic response on skin. We work hard to minimize the total number of potentially sensitizing compounds in our products.

I have sensitive skin. Is this for me?

We built this range for sensitive skin. We don’t disturb barrier function with surfactants. We use mild preservatives and a single fragrance molecule at very low percentage to minimize the chances of sensitization.

Do your products contain palm oil?

We don’t use palm oil but some of the products contain ingredients that are made using either coconut or palm oil. Generally, coconut is used. We ensure that when palm oil is used that it is RSPO certified. This is also audited independently by Ecocert to the COSMOS standards.

Why choose glass? It’s heavy. Surely the carbon load is high?

We put a lot of thought into our packaging materials. The embodied carbon in glass is much lower than plastic (around 1,4 kgCO2/kg vs 3,3 kgCO2/kg) but the fact that glass is heavier offsets this to a large extent. We chose glass because its after-use impact on the environment is very low. Plastic can be recycled … but the recycle rate is low and it causes damage to ecosystems if it isn’t properly managed after its use. In the USA only 8,4% of the plastic that was thrown away was recycled in 2017 and this rate was down from 2015, so things aren’t getting better. Glass recycle rates are higher (around 26%) and it is not a threat to ecosystems if it isn’t recycled.