Photo by Antyna Gould

I am a third year English Major at the University of Maine. In my free time I can be found playing rugby, working out, or enjoying a good book.

UMaine alumni launch skincare line derived from Maine lobster byproducts

Two University of Maine alumni have recently developed a cream to treat eczema using the byproducts of the lobster fishing industry. Amber Boutiette and Patrick Breeding both graduated from UMaine’s biomedical engineering program, and had worked with lobster during their research lab.

After struggling with her own eczema, Boutiette was inspired to find a solution to the irritation and dryness caused by the inflammatory skin condition. Breeding, who had been working to find biotech applications for various marine resources, learned about the glycoproteins found in marine life such as lobster. These glycoproteins are what lobsters use to repair and protect their hard outer shells, and have similar healing capabilities when applied to human skin.

The two met in their first year of college through the biomedical engineering program and became close over the course of their time at UMaine. They worked together to develop a skin care product which utilizes the glycoprotein’s natural moisturizing and healing capabilities to treat symptoms of eczema including dryness and itching. Their product is scentless and paraben free, and has been tested by dermatologists to ensure that it is non-irritating. Their formula also includes hyaluronic acid, which is found in many highly rated skincare products as a moisturizing agent, as well as ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E. These ingredients combined with the marine glycoproteins create a formula which is great for treating skin.

As the product is sourced from shellfish, the website suggests using minimal amounts if customers have allergies, so as to test if it triggers an allergic reaction.

Boutiette tested the product on her own skin, and found that after only two weeks her skin was much clearer. Other customers have also been satisfied with Marin. Their reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, with around 82% of their reviews being four stars or higher. Most commented on the incredibly quick healing factors of the cream.

“My hands were bleeding cracked open, and within two days they looked and felt like new hands,” wrote one customer on the Marin website. Others hailed it as one of the best treatments they had tried so far, and noted that results from the treatment were fast and effective.

The start-up has partnered with Luke’s Lobster in Saco, Maine to sustainably source their glycoproteins. The company launched Marin back in October of this year, and the co-founders have overcome the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic to get their product into the market.

“We had so many hiccups in COVID. We wasted hundreds of hours of time, tens of thousands of dollars to get to market. That was very very difficult,” Breeding told News Center Maine. Despite these setbacks and challenges, they were able to bring their product to market, and are looking into hiring more employees.

The product is available for purchase on their website at marinskincare.com, and their business is located in South Portland. For more updates on Marin, you can visit their social media on Instagram and Facebook.