Maine (WABI) - With heavy hand sanitizer use comes dry skin.
For some, that can aggravate extreme conditions like eczema.
Two University of Maine Biomedical Engineering graduates developed a skincare product that’s showing promising results.
As joy Hollowell reports, the key ingredient comes from something more likely to be found on your dinner table with a side of butter.
[Watch the full video here - https://www.wabi.tv/2020/11/23/umaine-grads-marketing-lobster-based-skin-creme/]
“We had never really thought about skincare much.”
Patrick Breeding and Amber Boutiette met their freshman year at the University of Maine in Orono. While there, the two Biomedical Engineer majors starting working with Dr. Bob Bayer at the Maine Lobster Institute.
“I refer to them as my academic children,” says the director, smiling.
The three became involved in research surrounding a type of protein found in lobsters.
“It’s an extract from the circulatory fluid of the lobster,” explains Bayer. “It’s a lot like our hemoglobin except that it’s copper based and it has some unique properties.”
Among them, protecting and renewing the lobster’s tissue.
The couple wondered - could this sea skin serum work on humans?
Boutiette suffers from eczema, a painful and recurring condition that causes her skin to become red, itchy and inflamed.
“You get to a point with eczema where it’s pretty severe,” says Boutiette, “and a lot of the products out there are either steroids which can do more harm than good or just drug store moisturizers which really don’t do anything.”
“We kind of literally figured, why not,” adds Breeding. “What could be worse than the 1,002nd thing not working that we’ve already tried.”
“We kind of literally figured, why not. What could be worse than the 1,002nd thing not working that we’ve already tried.”
Patrick Breeding, Co-Founder, Marin Skincare
The next time Boutiette experienced a flare up, she applied the lobster liniment.
“And within days, my spots started clearing up.,” she says. “And about two weeks in, it was completely cleared. it was literally the first time that anything had worked for me.”
Boutiette and Breeding went on to graduate school at UMaine. Midway through, they had a sort of epiphany.
“We kind of thought back to- ok, well hold on,” says Breeding. “We literally scratched our own itch and solved such an important problem for ourselves, let’s take what that was doing and bring it to other people.”
“What better to do through something that literally changed my life,” adds Boutiette.,
The couple spent the next year and a half developing a lobster protein based skin cream. They teamed up with Luke’s Lobster in Portland to sustainably extract their key ingredient.
“We’re essentially milking the lobster before they become seafood,” says Breeding.
In October, Marin Skincare launched online.
“We made our first $1,000 in that first day very, very quickly,” says Breeding. “And we’ve been filling hundreds of orders over the past month.”
The couple hopes their crustacean-based cream will go global. Dr. Bayer sees even greater possibilities for a precious protein that would otherwise go to waste.
“We could probably collect several million pounds of this material from the processing facilities in Maine and Canada,” he says.”
Read the original article here - https://www.wabi.tv/2020/11/23/umaine-grads-marketing-lobster-based-skin-creme/
By Joy Hollowell
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 4:01 PM EST