Online Exclusives

Cold Cream

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | February 8, 2012

For Oksana Panasenko, founder of Dairyface skin care products, it's not enough to use fresh, natural ingredients' products must be refrigerated too!

Freshness is a key when shopping for food, and now Oksana Panasenko is trying to do the same for skin care. Her Dairyface line of skin care products, which debuted late last year, is kept in special refrigerated units to ensure product integrity and efficacy. Why the fuss about refrigeration and freshness? All Dairyface products are based on fermented dairy products that, Panasenko insists, work wonders on skin maladies such as acne and other problems.

Oksana Panasenko, creator of Dairyface.
That’s because Dairyface incorporates all the goodness of milk in every product: you know, things like vitamins A, D, E, C and B12, lecithin and over 100 million superfine, easily-absorbed, nutrient-rich balls of fat that moisturize dry skin, according to Panasenko. At the same time, the formulas contain peptides, proteins and lactic acid to stimulate collagen production.

“Fermented milk fixes problems and leaves no scarring,” explained Panasenko. “The beauty industry started from dairy products thousands of years ago.”

Panasenko discovered the beauty secrets of fermented milk as a child. Growing up in Turkmenistan with severe acne, she went from doctor to doctor looking for a solution.

The Dairyface lineup includes five SKUs.
“I started having skin problems when I was 13, it made me obsessed with vanity,” recalled Panasenko. “I wanted to be beautiful like all the other girls—even my brother, who is five years older than me, never had any skin care problems. If you have damaged skin, nothing will make you feel beautiful. It became an obsession.”

But it was only when an elderly neighbor recommended that she apply fermented dairy and herbs on her face that her skin cleared.

Years later, when working as a Russian television personality, studio makeup irritated her skin and Panasenko resorted to the same dairy products that had cleared her skin as a teenager. It wasn’t long before other women in the studio wanted to find out Panasenko’s skin care secrets and soon, a cottage industry was born.

In 2006, Panasenko immigrated to North America and she realized that due to her limited English, her career in television was limited as well. Instead, her husband urged her to pursue her passion—skin care. Panasenko took his advice, teamed up with a leading dairy microbiologist and cosmetic chemists and, over the next several years, developed her patent-pending five-item line of products, which includes a mask.

Today, all Dairyface products are produced at Maple Hill Creamery in Little Falls, NY. Panasenko insists Dairyface is the first skin care that is produced in a food facility.

Glad Allover scrub is one of five items in the Dairyface line.
“We use the same equipment that is used to make yogurt—every ingredient in our formula is food grade,” she insisted.

The line consists of five products: Peppermint Créme body cream, Glad Allover scrub, Green Tea Magic face cream, Lavender Lovely face cream and Eye Caramba eye cream. Each product retails for $19.95 and In addition to pro-biotic yogurt, the line includes ingredients such as chamomile, jasmine, black currant oil and avocado oil.

“With Dairyface, your face ‘eats’ the product. It disappears. Your skin is hungry for the product,” observed Panasenko. “Milk fat is very beneficial to skin. It works on all types of skin.”

But to work properly, Dairyface must be refrigerated—even at retail. That’s why Panasenko and her team worked with True Food to develop a cooler unit to keep products fresh. Retailers that carry Dairyface must agree to take the units and that’s been an obstacle to expanding distribution, Panasenko admitted. At first, the Dairyfood line was only going to be available in food stores, when it debuted in November. Now, Panasenko is willing to expand distribution to more traditional skin care retailers.

All Dairyface products are packed with natural, food-grade ingredients—but don't eat them, the formulas look and smell better than they taste, according to the company.
“When a person wants something for her skin, she doesn’t go to the grocery store, she goes to the department store. We’re still targeting grocery, but we are open to beauty retailers too,” explained Panasenko. “

At the same time, Dairyface’s expansion is hampered by its freshness. The preservative-free product has a short shelf life, even when it’s refrigerated.

“We must educate people via Facebook and Twitter about the skin care benefits of milk,” she admitted.

Dairyface products are currently available in Eataly, a New York retailer, but Panasenko insists that with the right education, demand for food-grade personal care products will grow.

“Five years ago, people needed to be educated about organic food,” recalled Panasenko. “Now they know where to buy it. Today, they’re asking, ‘what can I do for my skin?’”

With more consumers reading labels, the time is right for Dairyface, according to Panasenko.

“We want women to start shopping for fresh skin care products like they shop for fresh food.”

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