Natural skincare company ZAZA & CRUZ is using antioxidants derived from whiskey to develop luxury skincare products with the expertise of researchers from the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.
According to the university, this is believed to be the first time a whiskey byproduct has been used “to investigate the antioxidant capacity on cells.”
The research was made possible through a collaboration between Interface, a company that connects businesses with academia, and Rebecca Hastings, who founded ZAZA & CRUZ in 2013 in the city of Inverness.
According to the university, ZAZA & CRUZ makes products using natural ingredients that moisturize skin while protecting it from cellular damage and the cosmetic effects of aging.
Using samples from GlenWyvis Distillery in Dingwall, researchers found that polyphenols and nutrients extracted from whiskey can reduce inflammation, ease redness and protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals in the environment.
Inspiration for the products
The idea of using whiskey derivatives in skincare products came from a Japanese company that proved in the 1970s that the sake yeast fermentation process had beneficial effects on the skin.
“Having the experience of the team at RGU helped me as a business owner in my field to feel confident in the results that they could produce with their research facilities.”Rebecca Hastings, ZAZA & CRUZ owner and founder
“From day one we were both excited about the project and of the outcomes we were to find,” said Hastings. “Having the experience of the team at RGU helped me as a business owner in my field to feel confident in the results that they could produce with their research facilities.”
“Working together with RGU and Interface has helped my business to look forward to the future,” she added. “I cannot thank the team enough for all the support they have given me as a Scottish-based business in the Highlands.”
“The RGU team has developed a great partnership with ZAZA & CRUZ and this is reflected by two successful research projects investigating the antioxidant effect of pot ale from whisky for health care products,” said Principal investigator and Senior Lecturer Dr. Carlos Fernandez.
“I met Rebecca at an event at Highlands and Islands Enterprise where I was able to provide her with details of our unique matchmaking service and discuss innovation in her sector which could apply to her small business,” said Interface's Business Engagement Executive for Inner Moray Firth, Kirsty Buchanan.
“I am delighted with the results of Rebecca’s partnerships with RGU – we are all very excited about the potential future impacts, for Rebecca, her business, RGU’s research, and of course the Inner Moray Firth region,” she added.