The science and efficacy of Atopis skincare is set to take the world by storm.
Take one entrepreneurial scientist with a PhD in Cell Biology, a Masters in Microbiology and a slew of awards, and put her in a lab to create skincare for eczema and she’ll come up with an extraordinary product.
Add a family history of severe acne and rosacea and two young daughters to the mix, then hit said scientist with surgically-induced early menopause and she’ll use her expertise and knowledge of plant intelligence to create an entire range of exceptional skincare. The skincare is Atopis. The scientist is Dr Iona Weir.
What Is Apoptosis?
Apoptosis is Greek for ‘leaf fall’
Iona has long been fascinated by ‘apoptosis’ – the process of programmed cell death. In 1996 she won the global award for best PhD in Cell Biology for her thesis on apoptosis—where she proved apoptosis occurs in plants as well as humans and it’s reversible in the plant world. In yeast and bacteria this process is known as autophagy.
A Respected Voice
Going on to win a Young Scientist Award, and speak at international conferences, Iona became a respected voice in the cell biology and biochemistry fields. She spent time working at the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research and was the chief scientific officer for the development of the number one gastrointestinal product Phloe while simultaneously developing a pharmaceutical oral eczema medicine for serious eczema.
After working in government departments for many years she joined a group of like-minded New Zealand scientists to develop BioDiscovery NZ and screened millions of extracts and microbes from indigenous plants. “From that, I gained a knowledge of every plant in New Zealand for human health,” she says.
The Secret Language of Plants
“Plants can’t walk away from stressors like UV light and droughts so they turn on defencemechanisms,” says Iona. “In one experiment, I layered plant cells underneath a permeable membrane with human cells layered on top. By manipulating the plant cells I could induce them into producing bioactive compounds that could signal to the human cells and change their response to stress.”
Starting Atopis Skincare
After leaving BioDiscovery the time seemed ripe to create her own solutions for eczema and acne. “I met John Kitto, who has a marketing and natural skincare background and we founded Decima Health Ltd—the intellectual property owner of Atopis,” says Iona.
Proving Atopis works
Before Atopis was released the company made the decision to undergo two independent human eczema clinical trials to prove the extract in Atopis creams actually worked, is safe, and though 100% natural, has the power of a pharmaceutical drug. Clinical trials were successfully completed in the USA and New Zealand.
Iona’s groundbreaking research and knowledge of plants, microbes, and the immune system underpin Atopis along with a world patented extract called myriphytase, which is clinically proven to help with eczema, psoriasis and acne.
“Once apoptosis is triggered in human cells, the cell is committed to death whereas a plant cells defence mechanisms protect against and then reverse the early stages of the apoptosis pathway,” says Iona. “We used these mechanisms in plants to develop myriphytase and applied it to controlling the cell death rate and immune responses in human skin.”
Going through early menopause in her 40s Iona’s skin became badly affected. “I couldn’t find anything specifically formulated for menopausal skin,” she says. “Then I used the eczema cream one night and it was amazing. For the first time, my skin didn’t feel dehydrated. That’s why I developed the anti-ageing cream.”
Acne & Eczema Saviours
Atopis also offers Acne prone skin cream— developed on her family—to clear skin and reduce inflammation and radiant balance, which helps with hormonal skin flares, redness and softens scars. “Depending on the preparation I use myriphytase and change the reaction of the plants I use,” says Iona.
Atopis cleanser and toner have just landed. “The revitalising toner contains native plant extracts and protects and heals the skin,” says Iona. “The cleanser is called Thoroughly Gentle—I kept formulating until I would be comfortable putting it on a baby’s skin.
OTC Status in the USA
The eczema cream – Dry Itchy Skin –gained OTC (over the counter) status as an eczema therapy cream. “We’re the first New Zealand company and the first 100% natural cream to get OTC status,” says Iona. “There’s a highly regulated section of OTC registered products on Amazon, which we will sell through later this year.”
Lots more is on the formulating table including help for rosacea, keratosis polaris, psoriasis and a men’s range.