Invest NI Helps Caraderm to Develop New Seaweed Skin Lotion for Export Markets

Ballycastle-based Roonivoolin Naturals Ltd has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop an innovative skin lotion, Caraderm Skincare, using seaweed harvested from the shores of Co. Antrim.

The company has recently secured a distribution agreement with Sangers (NI), the pharmacy and healthcare distribution business, and has secured new business in Scotland.

Roonivoolin was formed in 2011 by Liam McBride to develop the natural lotion from an old family recipe. The company has received technical support and advice from Invest NI in both the development of the lotion and in meeting the requirements of the EU Cosmetics Directive.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technical Solutions said: “Caraderm Skincare is an excellent example of how our technical experts can assist a small business to access expert advice to ensure the success of a new product. In the case of Roonivoolin, this has been of particular importance when navigating the stringent regulations that apply to the European cosmetic and healthcare sectors.

“Invest NI worked with the company in developing the initial formulation. We then connected Roonivoolin with Dr Barbara Olioso of The Green Chemist in Bath who provided further advice on the development of the product and enabled the company to comply with the exacting requirements of the Cosmetics Directive.”

Liam McBride of Roonivoolin said: “Caraderm is a completely natural product that has been found to offer significant skincare benefits because it is made from a single plant, carrageen moss, the healing properties of which have been recognised for centuries. The lotion is produced from seaweed which we harvest, cure and then rehydrate using other completely natural ingredients.

“Invest NI’s advice on the development of the lotion and on the requirements of the Cosmetics Directive was invaluable. It enabled us to ensure that the lotions met exacting EU regulations and made it easier for us to win business from Sangers and also, most recently, from pharmacies in Scotland.”

The seaweed used by Roonivoolin is sustainably hand harvested from the north coast of County Antrim and Rathlin Island. The tradition of using carrageen moss for skin treatment is well documented as being very effective in treating a range of skin condition including rashes, bites or stings, acne, eczema and psoriasis.