The idea came about as a direct result of some pretty severe health problems I suffered a few years ago. When I was 30 I was looking after my Father, who was seriously ill, and I took some medication that I wouldn’t normally have taken if I wasn’t going through a stressful period in my life. I had lots of complications because of the medications and one of the side effects I experienced was severe pustular acne. It appeared quite quickly and was very uncomfortable. I tried to hide from the world. I took time out from my life and my job. It affected me a lot – physically and emotionally. It was a very traumatic time.

Trying to find a solution, I decided that I needed to review my whole lifestyle, taking a holistic approach to my health. I started researching diets and healthy lifestyles and eating. I went through the process of cutting out everything I shouldn’t be eating and reassessing everything that I was using on my skin. Going through that process of identifying certain triggers to my skin problems. I spent a lot of time online looking at acne topicals and ingredients that people said helped them in forums and blogs. I was also researching the benefits of taking supplements. Zinc was supposed to help your skin, so I started taking that and found it helped a lot. Then because I had been on a
course of antibiotics I had taken probiotics for a while, so I looked into gut health and introduced probiotic tablets permanently to my diet. 

This lead to my discovery about the gut microbiome and then a little later about the skin microbiome as well. I then started a beauty blog, which was more for myself. I was tracking what I was using, what I liked and what I didn’t like and people really started to respond to it well. I researched lots of skincare from Europe and Korea. I racked up quite an Amazon debt buying all the products I wanted to try with the ingredients and formulas that sounded like they were ok, but not quite right. Once I had found out about probiotics in skincare I tried to find other brands that had them in them and realised that there were only a few available overseas. My skin was starting to heal and I was excited about what the future held. 

Then about four years ago I suffered perioral dermatitis. I am pretty sure that my perioral dermatitis was triggered by a combination of stress, a fluoride allergy I developed or using cortisone cream on a rash around my mouth – I noticed my perioral dermatitis flare-ups were worse after I visited the dentist. And that was when the idea really took hold. I was desperate for something to work. There were various products that included the ingredients that I loved, but nothing streamlined and simple that was active enough or contained the ingredients that I would like to use for my sensitive skin. I used the knowledge from all of my research to create my first samples of AMPERNA®.

The road to launch was a challenging one; while I have a background in design and packaging design and my husband is a programmer and helped with our website; I had no idea how to develop a brand, a range of skincare and where to start. 8 months in after launch business is going well, we are slowly getting our name out there. 

Ultimately I am in business to help people feel more comfortable and I am helping people every day so I am successful right now in that regard. In future, I would like to be stocked everywhere and would love to help more people! Receiving feedback from the people I’ve helped by creating AMPERNA® – that is the best reward.

Kiri Yanchenko