From investigating in the Clinics to his own laboratory: he created a cosmetic firm that sells in eight countries

Patricia Dermer She is a chemist and has a PhD in Biological Analysis. 35 years ago, he created Lidherma, an Argentine company dedicated to the development of cosmetic products with scientific support that employs 70 people, operates in eight countries, has 70 points of sale and in 2021 he sold some 3 millions of units.

“Even with the pandemic and the Mandatory Preventive Social Isolation (ASPO), 2020 was a year of remarkable growth for Lidherma, the highest -percentage- in the history of the company. With that background, we knew that growing in 2021 would be a challenge. And we managed to grow more than 5% “, shares Dermer, in dialogue with Forbes.

But Lidherma’s history dates back to the late 1980s. Dermer, at the time, was working as a researcher at the Hospital of Clinics of Buenos Aires. “The first idea of ​​what was later Lidherma arose in 1987. In a meeting with members of the Dermatology service, they asked me to translate very new research on the use of retinoic acid from German, “recalls Dermer.

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Knowing the benefits of this asset, the doctors asked him to develop a formula to apply to their patients. Because the results were more than encouraging, Dermer found himself increasing the number of kilograms he had to produce. “The product, which achieved a visible improvement in the skin of people who presented fotoenvejecimiento, led me to think that I could transform my work into a personal entrepreneurship“, he recalls.

It was then that Dermer, who had previously worked in the research field, found an opportunity. “The first thing I did was borrow a lab. A few months, I formed a team with two young doctors and two cosmetologists with hospital experience and rented a property in Belgrano, “he shares.

Coming from the academic and scientific field, the great initial challenge was to learn all those issues related to the commercial, administrative and financial world. But it did not take long to overcome it, surrounded by professionals who accompanied her at all times.

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Today, Lidherma develops and manufactures scientifically backed skin care products. With 60 distributors in the country and in Latin America, operates in the Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. “We plan to expand into the Mexican market and we have other countries in the region in the pipeline,” he shares. In Argentina, it has 70 points of sale, through the franchise system.

From the consumer perspective, isolation created new needs for skin care. At the same time, almost all opportunities for encounter, counseling, personalized treatments and follow-up were lost, Dermer acknowledges.

“At Lidherma, we quickly organized ourselves to provide professionals and consumers with tools that would allow them to continue with daily care despite the distance. With the conviction that we had to work to be close despite the distance, We develop video call skin diagnosis systems, we train cosmetology professionals to carry out personalized approaches via WhatsApp and for them to send the products to their customers’ homes. Throughout the ASPO stage, the goal was to be close. And we did it, “he says.

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In general, the categories that work best at Lidherma are facial care products, with a special emphasis on anti-aging products, those specifically for sensitive skin and for acne. “During the pandemic, the success was the special mask and hand cream for the care and balance of the microbiota, which were especially suitable for all health professionals“Dermer adds.

Lidherma launches face and body products every year. The first between March and May, the second between July and September. “In addition, we are in the process of evaluating and analyzing a new business unit,” he said.

Looking ahead to the year that has just begun, the company plans to incorporate specialized personnel in the areas of Digital, Systems and Research and Development. These resources will be added to the 10 that were incorporated in 2021.