HE’S BEEN on a mission and by his own dissemination Kyle Frank has derived at the conclusion that the answers to our skin problems are all around us, we’re literally walking right past them.
Concocting natural remedies for issues affecting our skin is all the rage at the moment but for Frank it was a personal journey, which has led him to creating a natural, organic and vegan skincare range specially developed for those who suffer from acne.
In 2013 a study by Bhate & Williams concluded that acne affects eight in 10 individuals aged between 11 and 30. The most common age group is between 14-19.
However in rare cases acne can continue into adulthood and affects five per cent of women and one percent of men. Acne is deemed an external skin condition. However a study by the British Skin Foundation in 2012 highlighted the emotional and psychological effects of acne. These include depression and low self-esteem and confidence that can impact sufferers’ work and social life.
Having battled with cystic acne for five years, the chemicals in conventional acne treatments left Frank’s sensitive skin feeling dry and irritated. He decided to study acne, by travelling to different parts of the world, reading antiquated literature and doing his own research.
While learning about business from the Prince’s Trust enterprise course Frank, 23, launched his own brand, Frank’s Remedies, in his third year of university, after many years of developing products that resulted in creating and formulating products that cleared his five-year struggle with cystic acne.
Q: Most people just accept the decision of the doctors, accept there probably isn’t another way to combat their skin issues, but you didn’t, why not?
Kyle Frank: Essentially the creams and oils they were giving me was making my skin and appearance a lot worse as well as taking a toll on my body. They got to a stage where they referred me to dermatologists, which was the last stage of trying to clear the acne. I had to sign declaration forms because there were a lot of side effects and there were regular blood tests as well.
When I was taking the medication it basically dries out your whole body including your Synovial fluid, which is the fluid that allows your joints to move. After taking that for a month I felt like a tin man. I couldn’t go to the gym or play basketball or do anything at all because it actually painful to move. So I always believed there was a natural solution for anything, any type of disease or skin ailment, so I went on my own journey of trying to create my own products really to try and find a better understanding.
Q: Talk about some interesting places you travelled to on your journey and what you learned along the way?
KF: While I was travelling I got to stay with a family in Bali and they taught me about making products from natural, raw ingredients. They also taught me a different interpretation to what western culture believes, where everything is dietary or hormonal, that things can be connected to stress or repressed emotions. They taught me about things like Ho leaf and Rose Quartz which can be used to heal the body and mind holistically. As well as using Aloe Vera which has been known to calm and heal the skin as well as other effective ingredients.
Q: This journey began in your teens, a difficult time for anyone, especially those who are dealing with skin issues such as what you faced, did you find there was a lack of support out there for you and people like you?
KF: There was hardly any support because at the time I got acne it was quite late in my teens, most of my friends already had clear skin and had been through it years before. I’d go to pharmacists and other professionals and they would never really know what acne was and they would say I would have to wait and that left me thinking there has to be another route to understanding this.
Q: Did you ever have plans to run you own business? Talk about what you aspire to be when you were a young boy growing up in south London?
KF: I’m from Streatham and wanted to be a judge when I was younger, something about the way they banged the hammer down appealed to me. I went to university like most people really, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and this seems like my calling.
I was studying Ap psychology and sociology and was going to look into being a psychiatrist with a view of going into teaching or therapy and I started looking into this when I was in my third year of uni and was on the Prince’s Trust enterprise course as well.
Q: Natural and organic remedies are quite in vogue at the moment, how do you plan to separate your product from the pseudo-repair alternatives that present themselves as just as effective as your own?
KF: I think most other products target most of what they do to fit everything, to help with eczema, to help with acne etc. In reality I don’t think it 100 percent does that.
My products are particularly for acne and it’s after effects. Sometimes people where their spots have gone down they can continue to have the spots and blemishes for years, so I think it’s great to have that all in one range. I also think that me being a part of the brand and being quite lucky to have documented images from my past is a thing people can relate to.
Q: Elle Magazine featured your product as a ‘Top ethical brand’, as well as Vegan Life magazine loving the efficacy of Franks Remedies; the recognition must make you feel particularly good? What’s to come?
KF: It’s nice to recognised so early after my launch. I’m creating more products to complete the range, I’m focusing more on the scars and blemishes side of it. I’m working on a survival kit, which is going to have five miniature versions of the first products I created. So it’s a persons first go to product of they are having acne issues and I have a helpline on there so any issues that they are having, we can talk.”
Check out more here: www.franksremedies.com