By: Steve Minich, Anchor
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A South Portland couple has launched a new skincare product, and lobster is the main ingredient.
A protein from the lobster that allows it to heal wounds and regenerate claws is the foundation for Marin Skincare’s hydration cream
“So we do a little bit of chemistry and take this out of the fluid and use it as our active ingredient,” founder Patrick Breeding said.
Breeding and his partner Amber Boutiette operate Marin Skincare from their home in South Portland.
As University of Maine graduate students, they researched ways to find more value in lobster by-products.
Boutiette suffered from severe eczema, but after testing a trial formula of their lobster lotion, within days she said her face began to clear.
“I was kind of patient zero with eczema for people trying it, so after it worked on my skin, we realized that this was something really incredible that we needed to share with other people,” Boutiette said.
With patents already applied for, they launched their product late last year.
They teamed up with Portland seafood company Luke’s Lobster where the fluid that contains the lobster protein is removed during processing. In the past, the fluid would have gone down the drain.
“We found a way to go in, sustainably collect it from lobsters that are going to become seafood anyway, so it becomes a value-added product for processors,” Breeding said.
Other ingredients in the cream include shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E, but the ingredient from the lobster they tout for its healing properties is called a marine glycoprotein.
“I think that eventually it would have been stumbled upon because the properties that this has is unlike anything else that's on the market,” Boutiette said.
“You think about lobster processing and you think about the meat, some people are starting to use the shell. We use the circulatory fluid," Breeding said.
The actual tubes of lotion are processed outside of Maine, but everything else from the processing of the lobster, research and packaging happens in South Portland.
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