207 - UMaine grads launch skincare startup with Maine lobster as the key ingredient

Amber Boutiette and Patrick Breeding have launched Marin, a skincare cream that uses glycoproteins from Maine lobsters to fight eczema.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Recent University of Maine graduates Amber Boutiette and Patrick Breeding have been hard at work during the pandemic launching their first skin cream called Marin. 

Marin, which means star of the sea, is unlike any other skin cream in at least one way; the bioengineering graduates are using a glycoprotein from lobsters as the key ingredient. 

It all started when the pair were getting their masters degrees in bioengineering at UMaine and were working with lobster scientists to find value-added applications for lobster byproducts, the parts that get thrown away. Breeding explains that the glycoprotein found in lobster is responsible for its ability to fight off disease, heal wounds and protect internal tissue. 

The research came at the perfect time. Boutiette, who is not only a business partner with Breeding but a girlfriend as well, was battling eczema with rashes on her face and eyes. With the help from the researchers they were working with at the Lobster Institute in Orono, the couple made a cream and Boutiette started applying it to her face. 

Credit: Marin
Amber Boutiette says after three days of using Marin skin cream, which uses lobsters glycoprotein, her ezcema started to clear up.

"After about three days my skin started to clear up. In about two weeks my flare-ups were completely gone," explained Boutiette. When the pair realized they had stumbled on something that could help people, they began working on their business with an eye toward helping others with the same problem. 

"[Eczema] is so much more than a rash. It's not a vanity problem. It's painful and distracting and itchy and flaky and, for some people, it's just extremely debilitating," explained Boutiette who has dealt with the chronic skin condition that affects 35 million Americans. 

 Boutiette says the solutions for eczema are not great: either prescribed steroids that can damage the skin over time or drugstore creams which often are not effective. 

The couple has been partnering with Luke's Lobster in Saco, which is where they get the glycoprotein from the lobster before it becomes seafood. They say that the lobsters do not feel anything when they extract what has become their cream's key ingredient in their cream. The cream is then manufactured at a cosmetic facility in New Jersey. 

The cream has a shortlist of ingredients all of which, Breeding says, are used with a purpose and without any fillers or parabens. While the idea of lobster cream may be off-putting to some, it has no fragrance. 

Credit: NCM

"We had so many hiccups in COVID. We wasted hundreds of hours of time, tens of thousands of dollars to get to market. That was very very difficult," said Breeding, but the hard work is paying off. They currently are growing out of their home office in South Portland and are ready to start hiring their first employees. 

While they currently only offer one product, they are working to develop more but want to do so with purposeful intent. So far the clinically tested cream is being received well by customers, many of whom are seeing the same benefit that Boutiette experienced, alleviating their eczema.

Both from New England, the couple say they plan to stay and grow their business in Maine, and they think their cream could help the state's number one export.  

"We could literally add dollars to each lobster going through processor if we were doing this to scale which could be a huge boost in revenue from a completely different revenue stream from a completely different industry for the lobster industry," said Breeding. 

Credit: NCM
Amber Boutiette and Patrick Breeding, co-founders of Marin skincare.
 12:26 PM EST November 19, 2020


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Based on 938 reviews
Soothing Hydration Cream
Martha Townsend

I have not tried ghe product because I bought it for a Christmas gift!

Awesome cream

Quite by accident I found Marin skincare and I’m so glad I did. I read the background of how and why it was developed. I liked what I read and saw, took a chance, rest is history. It’s everything that was said. Love supporting small businesses!

Mari::So far so good!

Have Bloody pimple breakouts from Lyme (for which I take herbs). The Marin cream resolves this skin issue (closes the skin breach) much faster than others I have tried and its not greasy. As a former Biology/Chemistry major, I appreciate that nature has provided many beneficial compounds for health and healing--Ed Goodwin Canton, MA

works great healing rosacea

I have mild rosacea and this is the first natural product that has worked in healing and erasing the red spots left behind. No more prescriptions for me. Thanks for such a great product.

Love it!

Helped my very dry skina lot! Non greasy! I really like this!

Love this cream!

With the older weather coming, so do chapped hands. This hand cream does not disappoint. Just a pea size works on both hands and feels great while rubbing in. Wait just a couple of minutes and you are good to go. I bought one for myself and one as a gift- the recipient will love it!

Going to be a Xmas gift

Really looking forward to giving it as a gift; my daughter suffers from terrible eczema in the winter months. Your results look so promising! Full review to come.

My skin is actually healing

This is hands down THE BEST hydration delivery cream by far. My feet, hands, elbows, face are all different in just one week. There is a slight funky scent but DONT CHANGE A THING. I almost don’t want to share how good it is because I don’t want these guys to sell to a larger company or change a single thing. Medicinal, healing, my absolute favorite

Great product

I’ve been struggling with lingering skin issues stemming from a bad staph infection. After a few days of using this product I noticed a significant improvement.

Customer service

Awesome customer service. Haven’t used the lotion yet since it’s a stocking stuffer. 🤞it’s as good as it claims.

So far, great!

I was very intrigued by this product when I read about it and all of the research that went into making this. I also read many of the reviews and their experiences and I decided to give it a try. I highly recommend you do the same! I do have some eczema that pops up on my arms and elbows randomly throughout the year and it had gotten pretty bad when I bought this. After the first time I applied it, it was significantly improved, almost gone. After the second time/application, it was gone the next day. I’ve also been using this on my face and I’ve noticed that many of the dark spots/hyperpigmentation has started to fade. You can’t go wrong!


I bought the cream as a Christmas present for a loved one who suffers from psoriatic arthritis. I hope it will give him some relief.

Soothing Hydration Cream
Valerie McGonigle
Great product

I recently saw a segment on Chronicle about your product so i ordered some. I like to shop local and support small business when i can. I don't have any skin problems but it's winter so a good moisturizer is a must.. I like this product very much!! I wouldn't say it's totally fragrant free when first applied but the scent does dissipate. It reminds me of summer days on the beach. Happy times!!
i will definitely buy this again. Valerie McGonigle

So far so good

I really like the texture and thickness of this lotion. It isn't greasey and it makes my skin feel wonderful. I'm interested to see if it helps with my rosacea and eczema (when it flares up next) and I will report back.

Using it on pre cancerous peeling spots on face and it has calmed them down.

Got it for my sons eczema . Hope it works well

Will let you know after xmas

First time user

My wife and I tried the cream for a couple of days now and really like it. We will be ordering more.

Good quality good product

I have not been using it long enough but it seems that it will be good. The only thing that I really dont love is the lobster smell, but it also corroborates that it is the real thing.

Soothing Hydration Cream
Kathy McGonigle

I have had eczema since I was a kid. To the point that I have a scare on my arm. I’ve tried all kinds of OTC and RX medication only for temporary relief. It’s only been a week and so far Marin is working!
It does have an odd odor to it and I would suggest a mild fragrance could be added.

Soothing Hydration Cream
Kathleen Pelton

Even though I have small areas to cover, it’s such a relief to find something easy to obtain. It provides quick relief from the burning and itch. Thank you for Marin! My fingers love it! My face loves it,Every spot loves it!

Soothing Hydration Cream
Catherine McDougall

I've had psoriasis since high school. I'm 68 now and i have tried everything to control it. After a week using this incredible product I see signs that this is working. I will continue to use this for the rest of my life..Thank you.

New Marin User

I’ve only had Marin for a couple of weeks, but I really like it so far. It cleared a rash under my chin in just a couple days.


Perfect product

Soothing Hydration Cream
Marc Chadbourne
hands, dry & cracking

I have dry, cracking skin on my hands to the point they can bleed when active working and playing sports. This Marin hand cream has cleared my hands of all dryness and cracking. Amazing!

Soothing Hydration Cream
Betsy Broughton
Relief from psoriasis

I received my Marin cream just before Thanksgiving. My psoriasis is mainly on my hands and feet. My hands take quite a beating with all the cleaning, dishes, water and dish soap leaving stripped, sore skin. I put it on before bed and my hands literally are 90% healed this morning. I'm not usually this impressed by any product. This is a very pleasant surprise.