We’re on a continual quest to develop unique and better performing sports skincare products. Every product we do is researched and re-thought with an extensive network of elite athletes and professional teams led by our founder and sports physiotherapist, Randall Cooper.
Here’s an example of how we do things at Premax, detailing the development of our Weather Defence Facial Cream;
After competing on the FIS Ski Cross World Cup circuit for a number of years, 2 x Olympian and Premax advocate Katya Crema caught up with Randall for a regular post season coffee.
“Your sunscreen is the best on sunny days, however when it’s minus 15°C and the wind is blowing at 40km/h I’m finding it hard to protect my face. My skin is getting dry, red and chapped. Some athletes use petroleum jelly or lip balm, but that’s not ideal. Can you make a cream for this?” said Katya.
Randall took the idea to other members of the Australian Winter Olympic Team and indeed it seemed to be a common problem for skiers and snowboarders. Next on the list for Randall were road cyclists on the world tour (it’s 2016), so he spoke with cyclists and staff in Team Sky, Orica-Greenedge, Wiggle High 5, and Team Tibco Silicon Valley Bank. It was an issue there too, and for elite marathon runners as well.
Once the problem had been identified, in this case that a sports-specific facial barrier cream was needed in outdoor sports, extensive research and consultation was undertaken to work on a solution.
“I really drew on my experience and network at this point” says Randall. “As someone with a master’s degree in research I critically reviewed the scientific literature to look at what ingredients we could use to provide protection from the elements, but also allowed the skin to breathe and sweat normally. Once I had my list of preferred ingredients I put it to our cosmetic engineers for review, scrutiny and viability, then to our suppliers to ensure we could readily source high quality ingredients”.
It took hundreds of samples and many months to work through the product prototyping phase. Samples were sent to elite athletes in a wide variety of sports, with extensive feedback being sought for every formulation.
“It’s was an exhaustive process as we asked for feedback on all the usual skincare issues such as whether it caused breakouts or allergy, to product effectiveness i.e. does it actually reduced dryness and chapping in wind and cold, to sports specific applicability – can your skin still breathe and does the product run off when you sweat?” says Randall
Our team drew on connections not only in elite cycling, skiing and athletics but also professional football, tennis, sailing and rowing. Randall’s not one to endlessly list the household-name teams and athletes that are in our inner circle, however he does make mention of how he can get the best athletes to test out our prototypes.
“The gateway is my network of physios and sports science staff in the elite teams. I ask them if they can get 3 or 4 or their best athletes to anonymously provide feedback on our samples so it’s truthful and genuine. Sometimes the athletes put their names on their feedback forms – it’s an impressive roll call. Maybe I’ll have them framed one day!” says Randall
Once the Weather Defence Facial Cream prototype was refined and approved by the athletes and our team, months of lab testing followed to ensure it was a safe and stable formula. The product underwent stress testing in a 40°C incubator for months as well as challenged with bacteria and fungi to ensure the product remains safe for years after manufacture.
After nearly 2 years in development, and successful product validation we got to launch day – what we call race day.
Think of someone who prepares for their first marathon. First comes the idea, then the commitment, the training, the lead up events and then ultimately the day comes when it all comes together. Race day.
Launching the Weather Defence Facial Cream was a race day for Premax. We felt prepared, ready and excited, however nerves come into play on the actual day and you hope you got it right.
We did. The product has been a success and no doubt due to having the athletic community lead the development.
It’s how we do every product.