Zi Zai Dermatology first began producing herbal ointments using Chinese herbs in 2008. Over the years our product formulations (recipes) have evolved thanks to clinical results in our patient clinic, feedback from customers across the world, and the continued training and clinical experience of our herbalist (Diana Hermann). Our crafting process has likewise been transformed over the last 8 years as we honed our skills and acquired new tools and equipment to make the manufacturing by hand more efficient and consistent.
While still brownish (these lightened even further as they cooled), these EczeHerbal Ointments were made by filtering out the herbs from the final product. The newer batches will be darker since we will be leaving the herbs in the ointment.
Our early batches of herbal ointments were made by infusing Chinese herbs into oils (cooking the oils with the herbs in them), eventually straining out the herbs and then adding wax to form an ointment (something that will hold the herbal oil in contact with the epithelium of the skin, as opposed to an oil that gets absorbed quickly). These ointments worked well, but we thought we could make them stronger by leaving the herbs in the final product. We stopped filtering out the herbs in subsequent ointment batches and the results were as we’d hoped – the ointments were clinically more effective and we were pleased. However, we started receiving a few complaints from customers who were unhappy that the ointments were so dark because they left a bit of discoloration on the skin until they were fully absorbed. And some people did not like the feel of the ointments because the tiny bits of powdered herbs felt gritty to them when they applied the ointment to their skin.
Well, dang. Now what were we to do? We didn’t want to disappoint customers who were no longer happy with our ointments. So in early 2015 we caved to the pressure from these few negative reviews and we decided to start filtering out the herbs from our ointments again. Over the course of the last year and half we have compiled input from patients in our clinic, patients of our colleagues who use Zi Zai ointments, and customers who have purchased from us online. The feedback has been very definitive: the ointments WITH the herbs left in simply were more effective and the majority of users prefer efficacy over color/consistency. So as of this week, we are reverting back to our method of ointment crafting where we LEAVE THE HERBS IN THE FINAL OINTMENT.
The new batches of many of our herbal ointments will be darker again. We want those herbs in there!
Yes, this results in darker ointments. Yes, this results in thicker ointments. Yes, there may be itty-bitty bits of herb matter left on the skin (though our powdering process is much more refined now and we can achieve smaller particle size which results in a smoother ointment). And yes, these ointments are more effective and that is the most important criteria. We know there will still be some people who will be unhappy with this change. And we know we have to stick to our original mission – to make the most effective natural skin care products we possibly can produce. That is what you expect from Zi Zai Dermatology, isn’t it?
Ointments that will have herb matter retained in them include our 3 varieties of PsoriaHerbal Ointments, our 3 varieties of EczeHerbal Ointments, and our Qing Dai Gao. Our vegan LittleRedRash Ointment will still be made as a “clear” ointment (with herbs filtered out).
Tags: Chinese medicine, eczema, External Medicine, herbal ointments, ointments, psoriasis
Topics: Chinese Medicine, Eczema, Herbs for Skin Care, News & Events, Psoriasis, Rashes
Publish Date: June 6, 2016 *Articles may include updates since original publishing.
Diana Hermann is a licensed acupuncturist and board certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine. She received her Master Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, OR and trained in China at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Diana treats patients in her Fort Collins, Colorado clinic and hand crafts herbal skin care products for her company Zi Zai Dermatology. In 2015, she completed the Diploma In Chinese Medicine Dermatology program from Avicenna in London, UK. She completed the program for a second time in 2019 in Chicago.