Case Study

The Mentholatum Company Ltd


University of Dundee
University of Edinburgh
University of Stirling


Life and Chemical Sciences


Edinburgh & Lothians

With a reputation spanning over 100 years, East Kilbride based Mentholatum are a recognised leader in the sale of Topical Pain Relief products.

The Business Challenge

Looking to diversify into the skincare market the company had developed a new range of skincare cosmetic products based on novel ingredients for the treatment of acne. Requiring academic analysis to be carried out on their range before they could be taken to market, the company was referred to Interface by Scottish Enterprise. They needed to gauge performance and efficacy in the key areas of:

  • reduction in skin redness
  • control of sebum production
  • anti-bacterial properties
  • promotion of clear skin

The Solution

Following a full search of the academic base in Scotland, Interface introduced the company to Dr Richard Weller at the University of Edinburgh, who had relevant industry experience.
Leading the eight week clinical protocol study on the OXY range, Dr Weller conducted a full analysis report and published a white paper on the results, both of which have proven invaluable to Metholatum.

As Colin Brown, Director of Research and Quality Development at the company explains:

The introduction from Interface to the University of Edinburgh has been invaluable for the launch of our Oxy range for the spot prone skin market. The increased credibility we have received from working with the University and with Dr Weller has also improved our opportunities to gain increased  market share in the healthcare/personal care market.

The collaboration was also beneficial to the University in terms of highlighting the scope of their research to the wider business world, as Dr Weller comments:

The Mentholatum consultancy work has been very successful. We conducted a full clinical trial of its anti-spot products. To date, this work has gained considerable interest in two major British dermatology journals, and I suspect it will gain additional favourable media attention.

Creating Sustained Relationships

So successful has this collaboration been that Mentholatum see the partnership of University and business as filled with potential for future projects. Colin explains further:

This initial introduction has opened many doors within the University and also the wider Scottish academic network. We envisage this partnership with the University of Edinburgh as being long term and see many mutual benefits from working together.


Since this initial project for their OXY skincare range, the company have funded a three year SUPA (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance) PhD studentship which investigated the application of Magnetic Resonance Elastography.

They have also sponsored a second PhD studentship through SINAPSE, a consortium of six of Scotland’s top universities’ medical imaging groups, including the University of Stirling and the University of Dundee.
This Scottish imaging network is at the forefront of research in the field of brain imaging.

Looking to the future,  Mentholatum is now collaborating with the Department of Physics at the University of Edinburgh on a project which will support the measurement of the rheological properties of its products.