Gill Meets Annette Luck
As a long-term sufferer of Keratosis Pilaris, what was the inspiration to create your own product?
Having grown up with KP, and reaching adulthood unable to find a satisfactory answer, I became frustrated with the lack of products on the market to address the problem. Given that 40% of the population have KP, I found it incredible that there was no readily available solution. The more research I did, the more I realised that this was a really common and neglected problem, and many people were desperate for anything that would help. Visits to Dermatologists always ended in disappointment when I was told other than scrubbing and moisturising there was nothing that could be done. When my children developed it, that was the final straw, and I became more and more determined to create a high quality product that would be of real benefit to KP sufferers.
What was the first step you took to formulate AMELIORATE?
I am very lucky as a very good friend of mine owns a skincare manufacturing business that has a global reputation for innovation and a passion for new product development, and we sat down with their team and had a chat! From the outset, they were tremendously enthusiastic and supportive and quickly realised that we had an opportunity to make a ground breaking product that would be the first of its kind in the UK specifically targeted for the management of KP. I worked closely with the Technical Director, a really inspiring guy who is the Immediate Past President of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, and he explained the rigorous development process that our product would have to go through to meet their very high standards. And boy did we go through some tests – stability tests, challenge tests, microbiology tests, safety tests … I lost count. I cannot thank them enough for getting behind this project from the word go.
Who came up with the formulation?
I knew that formulations containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids could be useful, but existing products containing them fell well short of my expectations. The in-house team of chemists were able to build on what we knew, and the product took shape and evolved over a number of months. The company is a member of the Cosmetic, Toiletries and Perfumery Association (CTPA), and this was reflected in the way that they approached this project. The regulatory standards insisted on by the manufacturer meant that we not only had a product that was efficacious and safe, but was also of fantastic cosmetic benefit.
How long has it taken to get AMELIORATE to market?
The process has taken 18 months from conception to having the first batch roll off the production line. We made sure that every step along the way we were going to end up with a product that we were really proud of – it took 11 prototypes before we were happy! The nature of the product meant that at some stages of its development we were close to crossing the line where cosmetics end and pharmaceuticals begin, but the team were able to ensure that the product was developed appropriately, so we could target it at the correct audience. Whilst the formulation was being created in the labs, an awful lot of work was going on in the in-house design department too. Brand identity, copy, packaging design and legal copyright – so many things as a consumer I previously took for granted. The Creative Director was an inspiration and immediately picked up on how I wanted to represent the brand. The whole process was immensely slick – a whole new world to me but what an amazing journey! I’ve loved every minute.
Your product has been independently tested, how important was this for you?
It was absolutely essential that we had completely independent testing to prove the efficacy of the product. Although we were quietly confident that we had something special on our hands, we were completely blown away by the results of the trials, which showed that nearly 90% of users had a noticeable improvement. The manufacturers have conducted hundreds of trials, and these were by far the best results they had ever had from an independent user survey. The results were so good that we applied for a Patent for the formulation. To read the many positive comments provided by the user group was quite an emotional moment for me, and really made the whole thing worthwhile.
AMELIORATE can also be used as a general moisturiser for dry skin, can you please extrapolate?
We wanted to create a product that in addition to being useful in the management of KP was also a superb moisturiser. The Lactic Acid in AMELIORATE™ Body Lotion is a highly effective humectant, which means it attracts water to the skin. It’s also very good at breaking down keratin and dead skin cells, exfoliating and rejuvenating the surface of the skin. In addition AMELIORATE™ Body Lotion contains ingredients such as Allantoin, Urea, Sweet Almond Oil and a Milk Protein Complex that also attract and retain moisture, making it a really effective way to nurture dry skin. Friends of mine who haven’t got KP can’t get enough of it, and say their skin has never felt so good.
Tips for using AMELIORATE Body Lotion?
We recommend that once an improvement in the skin is noticed, use of AMELIORATE™ Body Lotion continues daily. AMELIORATE™ Body Lotion exfoliates the skin by breaking down keratin and dead skin cells, and if this process is not maintained, then the hair follicles will fill with debris once more and KP will return. It’s an excellent moisturiser for all of your body not just your bumpy areas. Your skin will thank you for it! Try it on your feet – you will be amazed!!
We are also getting feedback that AMELIORATE™ Body Lotion is also helping with ingrowing hairs on legs. This is something we will need to confirm in the future with another user trial but I guess by exfoliating the top of the hair follicle, the hair has a clearer passage to exit!
As with other AHA products, AMELIORATE™ Body Lotion may make skin more sensitive to sunlight, so we would always say to our customers to be ‘sun smart’ and always use a high sun protection factor.
AMELIORATE™ Body Lotion is just the start. We had such a brilliant response from our user trials that we have been inspired to create more products that fulfil our exacting standards for effectiveness, quality and luxury. We look forward to introducing more exciting products in the near future. Watch this space!