Fighting Acne And Eczema With This Mystery Ingredient (Hint: It's In Your Jewelry Box)

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Products formulated to fight acne are often too harsh for skin, and are packed with irritating chemicals that can even be harmful to your health. This can especially be an issue if you're trying to combat problematic skin, eczema, or psoriasis. We sat down with Kelly, half of the husband and wife duo who founded the innovative and totally non-toxic product that harnesses the power of silver to keep your skin clear.

Tell me a little bit about you and your background.

In my life before Zyderma, I had a career as a Computer Graphic & Interactive Multimedia Artist, creating educational training modules for software development companies in the Health +  Sciences sectors. During this time, I gained invaluable insight into the life-cycle of product development, clinical studies and patient education. The expertise gained from these experiences were essential to the creation of our Zyderma brand.

Was there a defining moment in your career where you knew you wanted to transition into this industry? And specifically, in non-toxic beauty?

With the birth of our first child, we became very particular about the products we used in our household. We were already aware of drug-related side effects, so it was no surprise that we started considering our personal care products too. For frame of reference… BPA-free plastic was a hot button topic at the time.

As a toddler, our daughter experienced persistent eczema, and of course, we took her to our amazing pediatrician who prescribed medicated topical treatments. The creams worked temporarily but were not permanent solutions. Curbing her dairy intake helped somewhat but that it wasn’t enough either. Her perpetual skin issue along with those suffered by our friends and family, inspired Rick and his colleagues to create our first product: ZydermaHS Clarifying Cream for acne-prone + problematic skin.

In the early stages of developing Zyderma, my role was supportive while I worked elsewhere. I have to laugh because I was working near full-time hours with Rick at the same time. It’s been worth the exhaustion though because I completely believe in him, and the product too. Talking and writing about our product over the years has became second nature for me. I’ve found myself increasingly inspired to spread the word with every client that comes to us for help. Our kids, families and friends have been using the cream consistently for all sorts of issues over the years with tremendous results and that’s so worth it.

What inspired you to start Zyderma? Why the clarifying cream for your first product?

With extensive backgrounds in the cosmetic & healthcare industries, we’ve learned much about the harmful ingredients in most skin care products and the resulting side effects. And as doting parents and friends of sufferers with different skin disorders, we became increasingly concerned with the lack of skin-friendly products. Always on the look out for innovative ingredients, MicroSilver® was introduced and the team quickly recognized its unique value and potential to become a game changer.

Did you personally struggle with problematic skin?  

I have dealt with acne-prone skin of varying degrees for most of my life. Finding the right product that didn’t dry out, burn or make my skin red and angry looking was a struggle unto itself. Which side effects?  The sore, inflamed breakouts along with scarring on my face, chest and back were intolerable and very embarrassing. I discussed drug options like isotretinoin (Accutane) and Spironolactone (off label) with my general practitioner, who advised me about the slew side effects, including those related to potential births defects to an unborn child. Rick and I were newly married, and with thoughts of having a child, the risk was too great.

In most recent years, my skin has looked it’s best! Through trial and error, I’ve discovered what causes my flare-ups (hormones, dairy and dehydration) and how to manage my skin. Most importantly, I learned that that bacteria had in fact been worsening my skin’s condition and impeding its ability to heal. While other acne products are designed to combat bacteria, they are too harsh for my skin and create other issues for me. The Clarifying Cream on the other hand, is a product that gently supports my skin with significant results.

What is the mission behind your brand?

Zyderma’s mission is to provide simple, effective, non-toxic skincare that is environmentally friendly and cruelty-free; and, to actively support others as we continue to develop our product offering and reach. We currently support Leaping Bunny & PETA but our plan, as we grow, is to donate from sales directly to organizations within Asia, who are fighting to end animal cruelty.

The Clarifying Cream, our first product, is housed in an airless bottle for maximum shelf life and is recyclable. The formula was designed using only a few carefully selected ingredients that are Eco-certified and naturally-derived. Proof that animal testing is not necessary for delivering significant results.

Who is Zyderma's Clarifying Cream for?

Zyderma®HS Clarifying Cream differs from many topical products, as it is a clean, drug-free formula, that provides continual antimicrobial cleansing action that helps regulate the skin flora and reduce the impact of harmful bacteria. It’s a wonderfully gentle product with skin nurturing ingredients that can be used to support people of all ages who suffer from acne-prone and problem skin. The hero ingredient in our unique formula is MicroSilver®.

As with any product, we advise each person to do a patch test on a small area to make sure there is no reaction to any of the ingredients.

Tell us more about the MicroSilver ® What makes it so unique?

There are other forms of silver ingredients used in personal care products, but MicroSilver ® is one of a kind! This organic ingredient has a highly porous micrometer sized pure silver particle that cannot be absorbed, nor penetrate the skin’s barrier, creating a safe and effective product that cleanses the skin of harmful microorganisms. It’s being used worldwide in ground-breaking ways within the medical industry! Zyderma is the first in North America to embrace its benefits as a cosmetic in the beauty industry.

Personally, what are your core values when it comes to skincare & beauty?

Non-toxic and cruelty-free are key to my beauty products with no specific preference for organic vs. synthetic. I have been systematically cleaning-up my make-up bag and personal care products for a few years. I’m taking the approach of one product at a time as it can be an overwhelming and costly process. Finding new products that meet my standards and fulfill my needs, feels amazing!

What major skincare challenges have you dealt with?

A medical aesthetician recently determined that my sensitive skin was congested and dehydrated which is not uncommon for my age (48), and skin type (oily/combination). I have been dealing with acne scarring and melasma since my kids were born. In addition to using the Clarifying Cream to improve my skin quality, I wear sunscreen and every so often will book an appointment for non-invasive treatments like microdermabrasion and/or a fruit enzyme peels to help keep my skin looking fresh.

Which products do you use?

My daily routine to maintain healthy looking skin is very simple. The cleanser I’m using is currently not yet available on the market. Next, I follow up with our Clarifying Cream to reduce redness and manage my acne-prone skin. It serves very well as a light moisturizer for my skin which can easily become congested with heavy moisturizers. I also tone with Indie Lee’s COQ-10 once per week, and exfoliate with a konjac sponge twice per week.

Any beauty tips you swear by?

Drink water, and wear sunglasses. I can’t say this enough. Water has an incredibly positive overall effect on our bodies, and the skin will reflect that. Protecting the delicate skin around the eyes can be achieved by wearing proper sunglasses. Both beauty tips help to keep the skin smooth and glowing, which in turn slows the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. No need to look older than we are! Let’s age gracefully.

Do you have any beauty rituals that you use to unwind?

I love, love, love resting cucumber slices on my eyes. This ritual takes me back to my first ever spa experience as a teen. It’s something I literally crave when I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed, which is perfect because cucumber is wonderful for reducing swelling/puffiness around the eyes and for refreshing the skin too. Just being able to take a moment to be still and feel the coolness of the cucumber, to breathe in its fresh scent and to know that my skin is receiving a much-needed boost… it’s my happy place.

What keeps you sane?

To be perfectly honest, I’m currently working on balance. I need to exercise more and regulate my sleep to manage my health and stress. I used to be a total fitness nut, but my focus has shifted away from myself, and toward the needs of my family and the business. No complaints!  

I’m truly blessed to have an incredibly supportive family, and crazy lucky to have my partner in life, as a business partner too.

I’m grateful for him. Rick is also very creative, with brilliant business and marketing acumen. Gosh, we’ve been together for 22 years, and business partners for 19. How time flies! We’ve certainly butt heads over the years, but with a lot of love, trust and patience, we’ve figured it out. Zyderma represents our best selves, with a working relationship that plays to our strengths as individuals, and as a team.

Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

We truly love helping people. Take a moment read the Client’s Success Stories, candid testimonials from people of all ages who have used our Clarifying Cream after suffering for years from acne, eczema and even life-threatening skin disorders like staph infections and Hidradenitis Suppurativa for which no form of treatment could provide any relief. Knowing that we are helping, if even a little, is validation of our hard work and it fuels our passion and commitment to keep providing safe and effective skin care.