The National - Turn back the clock with Immupure's cow colostrum
Made of cow colostrum, Immupure skin products are now available in 17 countries around the world and recently made its debut in the UAE.
I eat beef and drink milk, so there's no real reason why I should have a problem putting cow colostrum on my face. Colostrum, incidentally, is the pre-milk produced by mammalian mothers in the first 24 to 72 hours after giving birth - the best of breast milk, so to speak. But when I first heard about Immupure, a line of beauty products made from colostrum, I was a tad unsure.
Colostrum is packed with the nutrients, antibodies and general goodness that a newborn needs in its first hours of life. Detlef Fuhrmann, a German economist who spent decades working in the pharmaceutical industry in the US, recognised its potential as an ingredient in skincare and spent 10 years developing Immupure, a range of anti-ageing skincare products that promises to increase cell rejuvenation, smooth wrinkles, firm elasticity and supply the skin with essential nutritional elements and vitamins.
The range, which consists of a cleanser, eye serum, wrinkle smoothing serum, daily moisturiser and night cream, was launched three and a half years ago at Henry Bendel's on New York's Fifth Avenue. Within a year, it had become the best-selling skincare line in the history of the store, which, it's probably worth noting, has been around since 1898. Immupure is now available in 17 countries around the world and recently made its debut in the UAE. We caught up with Fuhrmann to find out more.
Where do you get the colostrum?
We use colostrum from cows. Cow colostrum is about 30 to 40 per cent more potent than colostrum from other mammals.
That doesn't mean that there are calves out there being robbed of their necessary nutrients, does it?
A beef cow produces about six gallons of colostrum and a milk cow produces about eight gallons. A calf only needs the first litre after it is born. So we take the colostrum after the first day when the calf has had its fill. We set up a plant in America's Midwest and have a number of farmers under contract. And we have a system in place where we can track every gallon of colostrum back to the cow that it came from.
What sets Immupure apart?
Colostrum is the main active ingredient across the whole line. All the other ingredients are plant based and every ingredient has a function. There are no fillers in there. We do not include any mineral oil or petroleum jelly, which a lot of other skincare brands use because it makes the creams feel nice and smooth, but they actually clog up your pores. It is a unisex product and works on every type of ethnicity and every type of skin.
The idea of colostrum doesn't put people off, then?
Not at all. Our main target group is ladies in their 30s or 40s, which means they are likely to have children and they know what colostrum is.
We are seeing an extremely strong shift towards natural products. The more educated people get, the less they want to put all these chemicals on their skin. Our product is hypoallergenic and free of oils and parabens, which means it can be used by pregnant women, lactating women and by patients that have survived cancer, because once you have survived cancer, you cannot use anything with parabens in it.
If colostrum is so effective, why are other skincare companies not using it?
It is expensive to develop. Many years ago, we calculated what it would cost to produce one of the creams created by one of the big skincare brands. It was sold for US$80 (Dh300) in stores. We calculated that the packaging cost about $3 and the ingredients in that jar were worth 32 cents. And this is a far cry from what it costs to create products with colostrum. I think that's why nobody else has jumped on the bandwagon.
Tried and tested
With the promise of rejuvenated, wrinkle-free skin laying rest to any remaining reservations I may have about colostrum, I test Immupure's cleanser (Dermaclean Anti Ageing repair cleanser - Dh240 for 100ml) and night cream (Night Intense Repair and Hydrating Cream - Dh795 for 50g). All Immupure products are fragrance-free but do have a mild milky odour. I am warned that I may suffer a breakout after using the cleanser but that this is not an allergic reaction - instead, it is the skin purging itself as the colostrum starts to work.
I notice a slight worsening in the condition of my skin and mild, rash-like symptoms for the first day or two but this does not last long and once it clears, I cannot deny that my skin looks better. The night cream is very thick and is immediately absorbed into the skin, leaving no oily residue. Two weeks later, I do still have some wrinkles, but my skin is undeniably smoother and more healthy looking - and I am a colostrum convert.
While Immupure is not yet available in stores, it can be directly purchased from the exclusive supplier in the UAE, Gulf Dermacare. Visit www.gulfdermacare.com