Dr. Judey Pretorius

Age: 36 • Entrepreneur • Biomedical Emporium, South Africa

“I have always dreamed about developing my own product ranges”

Dr Judey Pretorius is a highly accomplished Biomedical Scientist and product development specialist with enormous experience in the disciplines of acute, chronic and post – surgical wound healing, regenerative medicine and cell therapy. She holds a Masters degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology followed by a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Drug design. She has always dreamed of developing her own product ranges, hence with her wealth of knowledge & specialized skills, she decided to start her own business and co-founded Biomedical Emporium.

1. Please can you tell us about your academic background and at what point did you realise you wanted to become a Biochemical Scientist?

I hold a Masters degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology followed by a PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, drug and development design. I am currently concluding on an Advance Diploma in Dermal Aesthetics.

My career started in the Pharmaceutical industry. I have obtained exposure within multinational, national and parastatal companies within the pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, medical device and tissue engineering industries. I have optimised, designed and developed respective products within the aforementioned disciplines for premier brands throughout my career. After I have obtained a wealth of knowledge within the development discipline, I have decided to start my own business that encapsulates all these disciplines with a dramatic amount of passion for what I inherently developed into an enterprise that blossoms.

I have always dreamed about developing my own product ranges within the respective medi-aesthetic disciplines, i.e. products that promote a therapeutic and biological response on the skin.

2. You have made significant contribution in coming up with new developments in aesthetic and wound care treatment, what was your first discovery and what went through your mind when your hypothesis/discovery was approved?

I do well in researching new ideas and trends within the aesthetic industry, and then taking those ideas and trends back to the laboratory to be converted into  commercial product. Some of the Biomedical Emporium commercial products that are available on the market currently are undoubtedly some of the most dynamic when compared to both local and international brands.

The moment when I realised to not work in isolation – working with all sorts of people and individuals with the similar disciplines is where I get most of my creativity from. Sometimes I get to interact with over 3000 people per month that share all of their skin care concerns with me. This allows me to identify the gaps within the industry and also to create a platform or rather a new formula to fill those gaps.

The fortunate component of Biomedical Emporium is the contact with a substantial amount of people within the republic of South Africa. The Biomedical Emporium provides free Biomedical treatment days throughout the respective geographical areas of South Africa. This allows for people to receive complimentary Biomedical treatments on acute skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne as well as remission oncology skin treatment.

Typically I attend between 10 – 20 events per month where I have respective contact sessions with members of the public regarding their skin health. Additionally, I present to individuals in scarce skills disciplines such as Dermatologists, Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons, Biomedical Scientists, nurses, pharmacists, somatologists, etc. at accredited conferences as well as universities and academic institutions to inform them of the latest technologies within the pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and medical device industries.

3. What makes Biomedical Emporium’s products unique from other products?

The business covers three respective disciplines, i.e. Pharmaceutical Industry, Medical Device Industry and the Cosmeceutical Industry. Research and Development work that is done within these disciplines make use of the respective biotechnological techniques in order to stay ahead and current with international technologies. The products are aligned to such as extent that it is in full compliance with legislations within Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and ASIA.

I don’t really have a favourite “child”, however, optimal skin health can most definitely be obtained by incorporating the Retinol molecule into your regime, such as the “Retinol Serum” or the “Retinol Night”.

Retinol is a “multi-bioactive molecule” – This molecule comprises of a variety of applications, from treating severe acne conditions to advanced anti-aging, and anti-pigmentation therapies, or acting as a skin nutrient and anti-oxidant agent. The effects of Retinol are largely attributed to the fact that Retinol promotes cellular growth, differentiation and preservation of epithelial tissue, i.e. skin cells.

4.What is the difference between cosmetic products and cosmeceutical products?

Biomedical emporium only utilises quality pharmaceutical grade raw materials in all formulations. All products are categorised as cosmeceutical products, which means that biomedical benefits will be obtained once applied to the skin. In other words, applying a product that works on cellular and molecular level in order to be potently effective and safe and to ultimately stimulate a therapeutic response.

It is difficult to describe what a cosmeceutical is if the word cannot even be found in the dictionary. It may be denoted that the word “cosmeceutical” is a combination of “cosmetic” and “pharmaceutical” which inherently may mean that a cosmeceutical product is a product that contains pharmaceutical grade materials that comply to compendia monograph standards to ultimately obtain a therapeutic or biological benefit upon application to the skin. A cosmeceutical product should thus comply to strict and measurable safety, quality and efficacy standards.

I however feel that there is a place in the dictionary for such a word as pharmaceutical benefits can be obtained from cosmetic products, let me explain why;

Ingredients found in certain cosmetic products already comply to international compendia monographs. The Compendium of Monographs contains the specifications and control procedures of ingredients and assist to speed the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of “medicinal” ingredients. A monograph is thus a written description of particular elements on an identified topic or ingredient such as Vitamin C, which is often used in cosmetic products to address skin lightening and brightening.

The facility, equipment and also staff members that produce cosmeceutical products should comply to listed guidelines and standards in order to obtain the final objective to categorically and explicitly prove that the product is safe to use by the end consumer.

A cosmeceutical product should thus be subject to the measurable quality control standards during the development, manufacturing and packaging processes. Guidelines and standards such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), and validation, and product stability procedures exist to which the manufacturer of such a product can align to in order to have documented and repeatable evidence that standards were obtained to the desired level of compliance before the products are released to the market.

5. The skin around the eyes is sensitive and it shows signs of aging prematurely, what skin care products can one use to reduce fine lines and wrinkles?

The skin around and on top of the eye area is the thinnest, most fragile and skin with the weakest cellular energy, hence the reason why we lose so much collagen and elastin fibres around the eye area. This make for visible expression lines and deep wrinkles around the eyes.

Ingredients to be considered in aesthetic products should be ultra-hydrating ingredients to protect the barrier of the skin to lock moisture. This would include products that contain hyaluronic acid and peptides. The aforementioned use of ingredients leads to an improved skin barrier function and assists by retaining skin moisture, inherently skin elasticity is improved which prohibits new wrinkle formation.

6. What is your favourite face moisturizer ?

I am besotted with “the new kid on the block” i.e. the Skin Biotic. It is a probiotic for your skin. This product restores the biodiversity and equilibrium of the skin. It is a phenomenal treatment for sensitive and eczema prone skin.