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Home-brewed skin-soother a hit with customers

Fort Collins Coloradoan September '03 Article on RegenaSkin™ Cream.


Kimberly Bearden spent much of her life battling relentlessly dry skin before she finally stumbled upon a body cream that could soothe her rare skin disorder.

It wasn't one of the many prescribed by dermatologists or doctors, or even those expensive bottles found in drug stores.

The cream was one she made herself at the age of 21 while she was playing around with different ingredients.

And while she's used her homemade cream twice a day since then for the last 15 years, it's only been recently that she realized it also could help others affected by skin problems.

"I don't think people realize how extremely painful it can be," she said. "It can determine everything you can do in a day."

Bearden hasn't met many people like her who suffer from ichthyosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes skin problems, and that's why she didn't initially think about introducing her product to the general public.

With a background in social work, Bearden spent much of her adult life raising two daughters and has no experience in medicine.

"I'm not a nurse or a doctor," she said. "I'm just a girl looking to help her condition."

Last August, she let a family friend with cancer use the cream and it helped heal his rash caused by chemotherapy medication.

That's when she realized all types of people might benefit from her concoction, which she called RegenaSkin™ cream for skin "regeneration."

"I had no name, I had no label, I didn't have anything," she said.

A year later, much of that's changed.

Bearden has customers across the United States -- many suffering from the effects of diabetes or chemotherapy -- and she sells about 50 jars a month.

The 16-ounce jars retail for $35 and many of Bearden's customers find her by hearing about the cream from a doctor, nurse or friend, she said.

Fort Collins resident Pam Amelang is an acquaintance of Bearden's and has bought the cream for about a year.

One of Amelang's children has a mild case of eczema -- a common skin problem that causes itching and dryness -- and it's helped clear up the problem, she said.

"This has definitely been the best," she said. "The dermatologist's products did not take care of her."

Even though Bearden doesn't have previous experience making cream, Amelang said she had no hesitations buying the product.

"I totally trusted her when she said there were all-natural products in the cream," she said.

Indeed, medications aren't used in the cream, and it's designed to "mimic your skin's natural oils," writes Bearden in her marketing brochure.

After Bearden decided to sell her product, she had a chemist check the formula and virtually nothing was changed, she said.

While she's steadily building a customer base, Bearden is making the lotion and filling jars in the kitchen of her Fort Collins home.

About four 16 ounce jars -- or one batch -- takes her about an hour, and she operates alone.

"I've been cooking like a fiend," said Bearden, whose own skin looks healthy and shiny, masking any symptoms she may have had.

Now she's looking for a local manufacturer to make the product and eventually she hopes to grow into a larger business.

"It's very expensive to make it in small quantities," she said. "I haven't paid myself or anything. It's much cheaper to buy it in huge quantities."

In the meantime, she's still surprised and flattered people want to buy the body cream. She said it's an indication that there's not really a lot of effective body creams on the market.

"I really think perhaps I've found my niche," she said.

Originally published Monday, September 8, 2003