Product, Service & Design Innovation
Home-Brew Innovators Prove Simple, Plant-Based Remedies Could Revolutionize Skincare

For most people with skin problems, the solution is to try every possible remedy and product out there until they find one that works. But when the alternatives don’t work, some enterprising patients decide to make their own.

Anita Redd took matters into her own hands when conventional remedies were no match for her infant son’s eczema — a painful condition causing inflamed and itchy skin. From birth, Kevin suffered from flaky and blistered patches on his body. When doctors recommended putting him on creams and steroids with potential side effects such as stunted growth, infections and hypertension, Redd decided to look elsewhere for alternatives.

When a wide range of treatments — including prescription medicines and natural remedies — proved ineffective, she decided to try out a solution of her own. She knew that olive oil managed to bring some relief, so she combined it with beeswax to give it the texture of a solidified cream. This was the birth of Anita’s Balm — what has become a life-changing moisturizer for many suffering from chronic skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.

After sharing the remedy with only friends and family for a while, Redd brought the product to market in 2011. Anita’s Balm gained scope rapidly — it is now stocked in more than 1,300 stores nationwide and has been attracted network news attention everywhere from Macon, Georgia, to Columbus, Ohio, to Albany, Charleston and Atlanta.

Faced recently with the dilemma of rapidly rising sales alongside the discontinuation of her product’s bottles, Redd created another unique solution: 3D-printed, biodegradable packing.

"I have no chemical background, but I was going to figure it out," Redd said.

Designing her own containers not only gives Redd control over her packaging, it also adds an additional sustainable benefit to her product — avoiding the variety of environmental issues that persistent plastics from packaging create.

"It's the only one like it on the planet," Redd said of the patent-pending design. "The ability to compost and biodegrade is really going to impact the cosmetics industry in unimaginable ways."

Her commitment to finding new solutions has reaped its benefits: The first batch of her new 1-oz biodegradable roll-up containers sold out within weeks.

Nothing to HideBack in 2012, while suffering — as many around the world do — from acne, 21-year-old nursing student Jordan Austin was struck with the idea to create a cream treatment out of Beta Sitosterol — an all-natural compound composed of an organic, plant-based sterol found in a range of everyday food products such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When the results proved to be incredibly positive, the family decided they had no option but to bring the product to market. This was the birth of the company Plexy Labs and its all-natural product, Nothing to Hide.

Nothing to Hide, the only cream on the market made from Beta-Sitosterol, has proven to not only treat acne problems but also sebaceous gland disorders. These minute, oil-producing glands that lie within the skin are responsible for a range of disorders — including Acne Vulgaris, Sebaceous Hyperplasia, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Milia and Steatoma — that can affect people of all ages. Nothing to Hide contains 3 percent high-grade liquid Beta-Sitosterol, which acts to calm the glands, leading to red spot and blemish reduction.

Nothing to Hide’s combination of Beta-Sitosterol, Niaciminid (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide and Allantoin are different from most other products, which are often ineffective or simply dry out the skin because they kill all bacteria — both good and bad. Plexy Labs says Nothing to Hide’s ingredients interact with the skin’s natural processes to slow down oil production, reducing visible irritation and blemishes.

As tighter regulations continue to emerge and demand grows for safer consumer products, bringing them back to basics as Anita's and Plexy Laba have could create a revolution in skincare.

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