tbh, which stands for The Biofilm Hack, was founded in November 2019 and launched its first product, the Acne Hack Cream in March 2020. The company has since amassed 2,000 customers.
The acne cream is formulated with XBIO technology, touted to be the first of its kind in treating acne by destroying bacteria biofilm.
The product was developed together with Next Science, an Australian medical research company. Its patented XBIO technology is used in hospital and healthcare settings for wound care and infection control.
First for acne
According to Rachael Tyers, co-founder and head of marketing at tbh, its method of treating acne is the first of its kind globally.
Tyers explained that when C.acnes (the bacteria causing acne) is present on the skin, it forms a biofilm which is a colony of bacteria. The biofilm is held together by a slimy glue-like substance called the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS).
She added that 90% of bacteria live within biofilms: “When you put topical treatments on your skin, if they can’t break through biofilm protective layer (EPS), they are only targeting 10% of the bacteria on your skin.”
The Acne Hack Cream is able to break through the EPS layer, kills the bacteria and also prevents the biofilm from reforming.
The cream is made of several components including citric acid, which is responsible for breaking the metallic bonds holding the biofilm structure together, exposing the bacteria. Benzalkonium chloride induces the breakdown of the bacteria cell which destroys the bacteria, and sodium citrate dihydrate prevents the biofilm from reforming.
“What makes the cream special is not so much on the ingredient, but how it is formulated together with the XBIO technology. It is a new way of treating acne worldwide.”
Tyers told CosmeticsDesign-Asia she was struggling with acne herself and found respite in the product.
Currently, tbh is a team of two, comprising Tyers and her managing director. Another meaning to the company’s name was ‘to be honest’.
“We wanted the brand to be authentic, relatable, and mainly target the millennial audience, hence we use the acronym to strike a balance between being a fun consumer brand and medically-backed brand,” Tyers said
At present, its products are only available on its website, although it is shipped internationally to South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Maldives, UK, and New Zealand.
Besides the Acne Hack Cream, tbh sells a cleanser suitable for all skin-types.
The company is planning two product launches in the later part of the year, “These products will be created around the acne prone customer experience, giving them the products that they are most in need and in search for,” Tyers described.