A ONCE-PROMISING North East skincare brand is being given a new lease of life, with the help of the e-commerce operation that inspired it.
Dermasalve was a Newcastle-made skincare firm that promised much before its owners hit financial problems less than five years ago. However, its new owner Meadow Laboratories has adapted the product, and is relaunching it in partnership with the company from which Dermasalve was born.
As part of the arrangement with Skin Salveation, Dermasalve will be made in Romford and distributed from the North East. Skin Salveation is currently looking for space in Alnwick for a fulfilment centre, and is planning to recruit warehouse and customer service staff.
John Davidson, director of Skin Salveation owner JHA Associates, said: “Many customers thought that since the collapse of Dermasalve, the product had gone out of production. We intend to spread the message through our new in-house designed website, very quickly making the public aware that the range is very much online.”
The Dermasalve story began when two County Durham miners discovered that mixing certain ingredients reduced the harsh effects of their skin-hostile workplace. They teamed up with Dr Mark Randle and Dr Stephen Drew, and the team sold products online under the name Skin Salveation while getting feedback from users.
It used this feedback to develop a distinct brand called Dermasalve in 2003, which offered irritant-free products such as creams and shampoos for treating eczema, dermatitis and acne. JHA Associates then bought the Skin Salveation business, including the original range.
Dermasalve grew to the point that it was selling products around the globe, and it floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2006. However, it plunged into insolvency in 2008 after failing to secure adequate investment. The brand was picked up by Meadow Laboratories of Romford in Essex, which re-formulated the product to improve its shelf life.
Products were made available through a site operated by Meadow Labs shareholders. However, little promotion took place until Meadow Labs linked up with Skin Salveation, which offered a range of skincare products online and used social media to bring together people who wanted to share tips on treating skin problems.
Andrew Roberts, managing director of Meadow Laboratories, said: “The Skin Salveation range really impressed me. I’ve been talking with John and his team for several months now and their extensive knowledge and understanding of dry skin conditions shows they really know what they are talking about.”
Dermasalve is now available from www.skinsalveation, and visitors are being offered free samples as part of the product’s relaunch.
Davidson said: “Skin Salveation is now going to sell Dermasalve through the website. We believe there’s a big demand for Dermasalve products, so we reckon there should be a lot of interest.
“We’re setting up a fulfilment centre in Alnwick to manage the products, so there’s no doubt we’re going to have to bring in customer service and warehousing staff.
“The plan is to get such energy behind it through e-commerce that shops will want to stock it as well.”