How my own desperate search for a skin cure led to JooMo®
By Linda Russell
(Director & co-founder JooMo Ltd)
Linda was born in the seaside town of Troon, on the west coast of Scotland, most famous for hosting The Open golf tournament 8 times.
Linda’s natural creativity was probably inherited from her father – a graduate of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art – while her compassion and ethical determination derives from her mother and grand-father’s influence as prominent Ministers of the Church of Scotland.
A school netball captain with an early talent for, and love of, languages meant it was a natural progression for her to go to Glasgow University and gain a Masters degree in French and German, followed by a postgraduate diploma in International Marketing.
While subsequently working for organisations across France, Germany and Italy, Linda also showed an entrepreneurial flair for causes and products she believed in, setting up businesses promoting modern Scottish designers and language courses for children.
Having been an avid user of various skin lotions and creams for years in the hope of getting perfect skin, in 2008 I developed a horrible skin allergy which I couldn’t seem to get rid of. Although it started off as a fairly innocuous looking red patch on the chin, it spread with alarming speed – groups of tiny red spots, angry and inflamed…..popping up round my mouth, on my chin, on my forehead. I was horrified; not only did it look awful, but it was really painful – sometimes so sore that it hurt to smile.
This was the start of a desperate period of hunting for a cure. My existing skin care products seemed to hurt my face when applied, so I stopped using them. I went to the doctor’s and was prescribed steroid cream, but after a temporary improvement, my skin was worse than ever. I remember going to Canada on business, and my face ached the whole time – I also felt horribly self-conscious meeting people, much the same dimly remembered feeling I had had as a teenager with an outbreak of spots.
Back home and the doctor next prescribed anti-fungal tablets, which caused a rash on my face, and finally a hospital specialist helpfully diagnosed dermatitis and said the only cure was a long course of antibiotics! Along the way I tried everything from prescribed steroidal creams and over the counter antiseptic creams to expensive herbal ointments and balms from online ‘niche’ skin care companies …….it seemed nobody really knew what the problem was, and in any case nothing worked.
Not only that, but my teenage sons (Sam and Kit) had developed skin problems of their own: Sam had started to suffer badly from increasingly recurrent bouts of cold sores, which inflamed his skin and also made him feel generally really under par….Kit on the other hand had had problems with skin rashes and allergies since he was a baby, and most off the shelf creams tended to make things worse.
In utter desperation I spoke with Nick’s dad, a doctor, and he recalled that the only effective advice his own mother was given many years ago for her psoriasis was to stop using anything , including soaps, but instead to just apply a warm sea salt solution to her skin. He suggested I try this; within days my skin showed signs of improvement. Feeling optimistic again, I got the boys to try this as well – hurrah, their skin started to improve ……how amazing.
So Nick, intrigued by the healing effect of just using salt and water, started to look more into the science and history of skin condition. What he discovered was that in the developed world over the past 100 years, there has been a dramatic and consistent rise in skin ailments such as eczema, and that the rate of increase has actually been accelerating in recent years. The UK had rapidly become one of the most badly affected countries in the world, with allergic disease prevalence figures around ten times higher than countries in Asia. Given that over the past century the developed world has become wealthier, and that we have also had access to previously unheard of medical facilities, the rise in skin problems over the same time period would appear counter-intuitive?
Next, Nick tried to find out whether there had been an environmental change that could explain this near epidemic in chronic skin disease? While it would be wrong and “bad science” to simplify the causes – as there are almost certainly many issues at play – one irrefutable fact was that the rise in skin problems have coincided with the growth of additives in food and cosmetics.
The startling truth was that the introduction of 20th Century cosmetic products with their chemical additives has led to the alteration of the skin’s natural condition, the break down of its defences, and an allergic hyper-sensitivity caused by these “junk” ingredients.
I realised that I was a classic victim of “junk cosmetic” skin, as I had been using face and body products ever since I could remember, and cumulatively over the years my skin had been so damaged that it finally flared up in an allergic and inflamed mess! Most worryingly, we realised that the same thing was happening to all those teenagers who were innocently using current skin care products in the belief that this would solve their skin problems.
It was at this point that I began to investigate so-called ‘Natural’ skin remedies – and was horrified to find out that there was virtually nothing for sale that didn’t contain unpleasant, synthetic ingredients. The same was even more true for skin care products aimed at teenagers. The so-called ‘Natural’ cosmetics industry (supported by the standards organisations that they were usually members of!) through deceitful marketing and PR were manipulating people into thinking that they were using totally natural products when in fact they weren’t at all! I was one of them!
We were determined to change things. We decided that it must be possible to develop an effective natural face wash which would not only help Sam and Kit’s skin, but would help all teenagers to get their healthy skin back too.
From his research, Nick knew that there was a simple solution to this crisis in skin condition – develop a non-chemical truly natural product that restored the skin to its natural environment and so repaired the damage caused by normal skin care products and their additives.
So convinced were we of the dire need for such a formulation that the more the so-called professional formulators and industry ‘experts’ told us it couldn’t be done, the more determined we were to prove it possible!
Sam and Kit then became guinea pigs, as over the following months Nick – a chemist by background – and top University research teams tested various combinations of natural ingredients.
The first challenge was to specify the combination of ingredients that would work in synergy to return the skin to its intended state: after much research the Microbiota Immune Response Regulation (MIRR)™ technology that restored the skin's natural biodiverse microbiome was perfected.
The main remaining hurdle was to produce a stable product, and the eureka moment came when Nick realised how that to achieved this by getting the active ingredients to work together in synergy rather than individually. The impact of them working together was greater than the sum of their parts.
Nick had achieved the impossible and developed a completely natural, safe and effective face wash product for vulnerable teenage skin, something the largest cosmetic businesses with their huge R&D budgets had failed to do. JooMo was born…!.
JooMo® Face Wash cured my skin problem – my skin has never been so healthy. It’s also remarkable that as an unintended consequence of my hands coming in contact with our Face Wash, the chronic eczema I got on my fingers has disappeared too!
Sam’s cold sores also quickly disappeared and he has NEVER had a recurrence, and neither he nor Kit has suffered any further from outbreaks of spots since using our product. The great thing is that their skin is now allowed to look after and heal itself.
As soon as it was launched on the market, the almost instantaneous effects of JooMo® Face Wash stunned everyone: users, journalists, and health & beauty bloggers alike.
To sum up the end of my journey with just one (of a myriad of testimonials) from one beauty & fashion writer:
“I would recommend this product to those who wish they had perfect skin”.