Yorkshire skincare start-up benefits from free University support


Free scientific support from Leeds' Institute of Process Research and Development (iPRD) has enabled a local skincare start-up to commercialise a new facial wash for the teenage market.

York-based JooMo Ltd. have designed a citrus face wash comprising completely of natural ingredients but had previously been unable to launch their exciting product due to variation in product texture as the manufacturing process was scaled up to supply material for the marketplace.

JooMo® director, Nick Wallen, had initially found it difficult to identify an organisation with the right skills to take on the challenge of successfully formulating the face wash but - combining process scale-up expertise and a creative and flexible approach to problem solving - the iPRD team 'fitted the bill perfectly'.  iPRD was established at the University of Leeds in 2008 to support chemical and chemistry-using businesses in being more competitive through improved manufacturing processes and technologies.  Thanks to generous funding from the ERDF and Yorkshire Forward, iPRD is able to offer Yorkshire SMEs such as JooMo® two day's free consultancy or undertake short research projects at cost to tackle wide-ranging problems associated with product manufacture.  Mr Wallen says, 'Working with iPRD, we've managed to manufacture a unique product which our competitors have tried, but failed, to produce'.  

During their initial manufacturing trials, JooMo® had noted that issues were arising during the addition of a gelling agent which thickens the face wash.  A detailed study, executed by iPRD chemist Janet Welch, identified the optimum manufacturing conditions to circumvent these problems and enable the face wash to be formulated on a large scale.  Forty litres of product were subsequently manufactured by iPRD over two days and used to support the product's launch in February 2012.

Frans Muller, iPRD's Professor of Chemical Process Engineering, commented: "We are very pleased to have completed this project in collaboration with JooMo®. Not only have we delivered material that will help JooMo® to take the next steps towards product commercialisation, we have also demonstrated the excellent performance of iPRD's twenty litre manufacturing equipment."

With over fifty year's combined experience in working in the chemical industries - and a dedicated £5m process research facility - iPRD scientists can help industrial partners to solve manufacturing problems and identify opportunities for cost reduction in a diverse range of areas.  iPRD have already worked with businesses in the construction, personal care and pharmaceutical industries and are keen to build links with further SMEs in Yorkshire and The Humber.

Find out more on the iPRD website

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk