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Skyler Stein is the President of Gladskin USA, an international skincare brand that has developed an eczema cream with a patented smart protein called Micreobalance™, which quickly relieves eczema itch and redness by simultaneously moisturizing and restoring balance to the skin microbiome. We interviewed Stein to learn about his background and why he decided to leave a successful career in investing to run an eczema skincare company.
What’s your background and why did you decide to bring Gladskin to the U.S.?
I was born and raised in San Diego. I went to Duke University for college and spent my freshman year in a specialized program studying genomic science and its potential impacts on society.
I started my professional career investing in and growing different types of businesses and then went to Harvard for my MBA. Three weeks into my first semester, an unexpected health challenge (Lyme) caused me to take a two-year medical leave.
The experience launched me into an incredibly fascinating obsession with Health & Wellness. In addition to following my doctor’s orders, I researched nutrition, supplements, exercise regimes, and related technologies. I dove into the world of microbiome science, testing the effects of antibiotics on my microbiome weekly for a year. I also experimented with approaches that were a bit more esoteric. I’m now back to 100%.
Happy to hear you’re back to 100%. Did you end up finishing your MBA?
After my full recovery, I finished my MBA at Harvard, and decided to dedicate the next chapter of my career to helping people through microbiome based science.
So how did you end up leading Gladskin USA?
While working at Obvious Ventures, a Venture Capital Fund founded by Ev Williams from Twitter, I looked for opportunities to invest in and help grow microbiome focused companies. It was during this process that I met the European-based Gladskin team. I met nearly every company pursuing microbiome based skincare and Gladskin’s patented science was the most impressive. This inspired me to join the team to further build on Gladskin’s success in Europe and to bring these life changing products to the millions of Americans with inflammatory skin conditions.
What have been your biggest successes thus far?
The biggest successes are when we see happy customers sharing their stories of how Gladskin has improved the quality of their lives. Many of our patients have had eczema for years and tell us that they have tried countless treatments without success.
I love this recent review from Amanda. We see reviews like this come in all the time, and it feels so good hearing this feedback from customers who feel like they have tried everything and knowing that we are helping new people every single day.
Wow, that’s an impressive review. Why does the product work?
Researchers have found that four out of five people with eczema have an imbalance in their skin bacteria – also called the skin microbiome. When skin bacteria get out of balance, eczema flares up. Healthy skin needs a healthy balance of bacteria, just like your gut does.
Gladskin with Micreobalance™ is a new category of skincare that actively restores balance to the skin microbiome as it moisturizes. Also, it is free of ingredients that are common in many drug store products like steroids, fragrances, alcohols, and preservatives, which can kill the good bacteria needed for healthy skin.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in your business?
The hardest part has been educating people that a skin microbiome imbalance is a driving cause of eczema. However, it’s like a lightbulb moment once people start to understand that your skin needs a healthy balance of bacteria, just like your gut does. Most people feel that seasons, stress, and diet cause their eczema to flare, but many times the root cause is an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria that naturally live on skin.
After that, we still have to let people know that our product is safe for everyone (including babies) to use every day. Many people ask how our product can be safe enough for infants, yet also effective enough for adults. The reason this is possible with Gladskin, is because it works on the skin microbiome imbalance, which is a driving cause of eczema flares for most people with Eczema, whether you are 3 months, or 40 years old.
Has Gladksin won any awards or recognition?
We have been accepted by the National Eczema Association, have been featured in media like the BBC, Vogue, and VeryWell Health. We won the “Ideas from Europe 2018 finals, and 3 of the top eczema dermatologist researchers in the country have joined our Scientific Advisory Board.
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