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go with the glow Entrepreneur mum discovers the perfect tan for psoriasis and other skin conditions

BEAUTY: Creator has skin in the game

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Kerri Ryan, with her tanning location

Kerri Ryan, with her tanning location

Kerrie Ryan with Luxe Gold tan

Kerrie Ryan with Luxe Gold tan

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Kerri Ryan, with her tanning location

Kerrie Ryan is ready to go with the glow after searching for years for a tan that worked with her skin condition.

The Luxe Gold entrepreneur has suffered since her teens with psoriasis, which was irritated by every self-tan she used.

In desperation she turned to a chemist friend who came up with a formula which worked so well Kerrie bought it and set up her own global brand.

Covid and the birth of her second child stalled her business plans following the 2019 launch but now she's ready to bronze the world with a product which has transformed her skin.

"This is something I think is massive, because I saw the improvement in my skin, so I bought the formula," says Kerrie.

"I can't claim it will cure your psoriasis, but it will help people with problem skin."

The mum of two has suffered from the condition, which can affect the skin on any part of the body, since she was 14. It's incurable and causes dry red patches which are covered in silvery scales.

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Kerrie Ryan with Luxe Gold tan

Kerrie Ryan with Luxe Gold tan

Kerrie Ryan with Luxe Gold tan

She had used thick make-up to cover up the patches of psoriasis, which often made it worse, before reaching the end of her tether in her mid-twenties.

"It started off when I was a teenager with a couple of spots on my leg and at one time it was on 90 per cent of my body.

"Growing up it was really hard when it's all about who looks the best and people were just nasty, especially if you had something that wasn't as well known about as it is now.

"After I had my first child, I broke out really badly again and I took a meltdown. I thought I just can't do this any more.

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"My friend thought it was the chemicals I was putting on my skin, the body lotions, perfume and tan, and suggested looking for a tan which didn't cause irritation, but I never thought of it as a business."

Kerrie consulted an expert in a local company and together they found a formula which worked.

"She told me there was nothing on the market for people with skin conditions like me. She was the scientist behind it, and I was the test dummy.

"We came to a tan where I loved the colour, and it might not improve everyone's skin, but it improved mine, and I bought it."

Northern Ireland is one of the biggest consumers of self-tan in the UK, and globally the market is worth over £1 billion a year.

Kerrie says other brands are starting to claim they can help conditions like psoriasis and eczema, but she knows from personal experience that hers works.

"I only have a little bit of psoriasis on my elbows and in my scalp," she says.

"During lockdown I was pregnant and running about in tracksuits and my psoriasis got really bad again. I started using the tan again, and my skin is now under control."

The 29-year-old, who still works full-time as a market developer for Coca Cola, decided on the Luxe Gold name because the levels of colouring agent DHA mean it won't go darker.

Kerrie was also determined to get a local face for the promo pictures and recruited make-up artist pal Julieanne McGrath, and the new brand was born. Luxe Gold is also one of the Miss Northern Ireland sponsors and tanned all the contestants in the recent competition.

She says the feedback from customers with skin problems has been phenomenal.

"People say to me, 'you don't know how bad my skin is,' and no tan will stick to them and I'm saying, 'just try it.'

"I could talk all day about it.

"It's only when you start to look for something like this and ask why is there nothing there for people like me.

"Now I have girls with skin conditions who use it all the time."

She's hopeful the brand will go big as word gets about its niche in the massive market.

"I think word is slowly starting to spread and I'm hoping it will go worldwide.

"I know the market is loaded, and there is tan coming out of people's ears, but I have a tan that is different, and I know it can help people like me," says Kerrie.

roisin.gorman@sundayworld.com

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