A natural acne cure is hard to find. It was the discovery of the skin solving powers of Golden Seal that spurred Barbara Filokostas to formulate the Rescue Acne Cream and, in turn, Botani natural skin care. Every Botani product, including the Rescue Acne Cream, goes through a rigorous testing process to ensure it’s as effective as possible before it’s available for purchase. These tests, devised by Botani’s Microbiologist, Microtech Laboratories Pty Ltd founder and industrial chemist Derio Comar. We chatted to Derio about precisely what causes acne, what it takes for a product to hit the shelves and why it is that Botani’s Rescue Acne Cream is a true green science innovation.
5 Minutes With Derio Comar, Botani’s Microbiologist
Before Botani came to be, company founder Barbara Filokostas knew she wanted to develop a natural product for acne. “There weren’t any on the market,” Derio says of purely natural acne treatments at the time. “So we had to put together a number of ingredients. One key factor was the acidity of the product. We tried to match it to the acidity of the skin and, in doing so, acidifying the product made the ingredients more active. We reformulated the product a few times and we took it to a level where it was working against various bacteria.” And so, Botani’s Rescue Acne Cream was launched.
Until that point, acne treatments traditionally consisted of one main ingredient- Benzoyl Peroxide. “We all know of peroxide we use to bleach our hair,” explains Derio. “It’s predominantly a bleach, but it’s also an antibacterial product, so that’s why it is in acne preparations. One of the problems with it is that it can sensitise people and can certainly cause some irritation, so some people don’t like Benzoyl Peroxide for those reasons.”
Botani’s Natural Acne Cure
While Derio tells us that Benzoyl Peroxide works for some people, Barbara was passionate about formulating a product that could work for all skin types. “The peroxide can cause some dryness of the skin and some irritation, whereas our acne product doesn’t work as an oxidising agent as a peroxide does. The actives within the product should not irritate compared to the traditional Benzoyl Peroxide type products. The ingredients are far less damaging to the skin and effectively kill all the appropriate organisms that cause acne.”
To understand how Botani’s Rescue Acne Cream works, it’s essential to learn what causes a pimple. “There are two aspects to acne.” Derio tells us “One is an inflammatory process, and one is a bacterial infection process.” Botani’s Rescue Acne Cream acts on the bacterial component first by killing the species of bacteria that are involved in the acne process, then follows that up with an anti-inflammatory activity to heal the spot.
“Two main organisms are implicated in acne. One is Propionibacterium Acnes, and the other is Staph Aureus. Everyone knows staphylococcus or golden staph. Both of those organisms have been implicated in causing acne, or in the infections related to acne. This particular product kills both of those organisms effectively. We achieve a 99.9% kill in less than an hour.”
Rescue Acne Cream
One of the things that makes Botani’s Rescue Acne Cream and, in fact, the whole Botani range so unique, is its Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) listing. “The TGA controls therapeutic goods, so any product that falls under the Therapeutic Goods Act such as medicines, over the counter products and creams that make medical claims like acne treatments, are required to be registered with the TGA,” says Derio. “Normal cosmetics do not require registration. They’re pretty much unregulated in this country. Cosmetics are only regulated from labouring, whereas products that make therapeutic claims must be registered and a whole range of tests and efficacy data has to be supplied to the TGA to launch that product on the market.”
“All natural products are generally difficult to get through the TGA simply because the activity for some products is not as good as traditional chemical processes. The efficacy can sometimes be a problem- products are not as strong or as active as traditional chemicals.” But if a natural product proves to be well formulated, safe for use and effective, there’s no reason it can’t make it through the TGA processes.
With so few natural products receiving a TGA listing and certification, what is it that makes this product so unique? “One of the key factors with the Acne Cream is that it’s compatible with skin pH, so it’s an acidic product, as is the skin,” explains Derio. “The acidity of the product also enhances the activity of the ingredients within the product, and the product ingredients are synergistic. There are some ingredients, and they work together rather than individually.”