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I’m from Maine and this lobster-based product is my secret weapon for healing irritated skin

I have eczema and psoriasis — this cream tackles both for me.
Courtesy Dory Zayas

As a beauty editor, it’s my (very fun and exciting) job to test hundreds, if not thousands, of products every year. I’ve been in beauty for over 15 years, so you do the math. I also get hundreds of emails a week pitching me new skin care, so it really takes something special to catch my eye.

Enter: the Marin Soothing Hydration Cream. I was born and raised in Maine, so when I first heard about the beauty brand Marin, I was immediately drawn in because of the founders' story. While in grad school at the University of Maine, just a few miles from where I went to high school, co-founders Amber Boutiette and Patrick Breeding met a scientist studying a glycoprotein that helps lobsters heal wounds and regenerate their claws. How the Marin cream came about was personal for Boutiette.

“It was truly a mix of science and serendipity,” Boutiette, who is now a Biomedical Engineer, told me. “When my eczema was at its worst in grad school, we just happened to meet the lobster scientist researching this protein. I had literally tried everything, and after seeing positive data to show that this new ingredient may help with skin barrier repair, I gave a DIY glycoprotein-rich cream a try. Within 2 weeks it completely changed my life—my skin felt ‘normal’ again for the first time in years!”

Marin Soothing Hydration Cream

What is the Marin Soothing Hydration Cream?

Obviously, lobster is a big part of Maine culture — in fact, my stepbrother Rob is a lobsterman. I even went fishing with him when I was a teen. It’s a very difficult and labor-intensive job that made me appreciate the trade even more. (It’s also very smelly since you use fish as lobster bait!)

During lobster processing, the glycoprotein used in this cream is a natural byproduct that is typically discarded. Marin partnered with Luke’s Lobster to upcycle the protein and create their hero product, the Soothing Hydration Cream.

Courtesy Dory Zayas

Why I like this product

It helps soothe my eczema and psoriasis

Like Amber, I suffer with eczema, and I also have psoriasis and generally dry, red skin. Steroid creams irritate me further, and usually burn, which definitely doesn’t make me want to use them.

The Marin Soothing Hydration Cream is formulated for sensitive skin, is super gentle and fragrance-free. (So no, you won’t smell like a lobster.) It’s tested by dermatologists and, in my opinion, works immediately to hydrate and soothe dry skin.

This past winter, which was particularly cold and windy, I dealt with dry, itchy hands and even cracked, bloody knuckles. I wash my hands a lot as a mom of a toddler, and I’m guilty of almost never applying hand cream afterwards. But this cream isn’t sticky or tacky, and it rubs in smoothy, without a greasy feel. You can use this cream on your entire body — hands, face, legs, neck — wherever you need a boost of hydration.

You can use this product head to toe

I’ve been primarily using it on my hands and elbows, the places I suffer the most with dry skin, but it’s also very comforting on my legs and arms after a hot shower. As I said, it’s not greasy and I don’t get that typical “sticky lotion” feeling while using this cream. You can see in my before-and-after photos that my hand was red and cracked in the morning, and just hours later, that same night, the wound had “closed up” and my hands felt remarkably more comfortable and soft.

I love the fact that the cream has minimal ingredients that don’t further irritate or upset my sensitive skin. I also love that it’s fragrance free, so I can use it on a train, plane or in a car without getting a nasty look from someone who is sensitive to smells.

Lobsters truly hold such a special place in my heart, mostly because I associate them with home and the feeling of being around my family, who all still live in Maine.

Since I like to share my bounty of beauty products I get through my job, my parents are hooked on the cream as well. My stepmom told me that she feels like the cream is softening her fine lines and that it feels like “nothing” on the skin, in the best way. She also said that other hydrating creams always seem to wear off by the end of the day, but this one continues to work.

What to consider

While I love this small-but-mighty brand, they boast only their hero-product cream and a lip treatment that comes in two flavors: unscented and blueberry French toast, another nod to Maine’s famous blueberries and equally as necessary in a New England winter.

The lip treatment is another one of my must-haves. It provides a clear, glossy shine that actually lasts and protects lips against the elements. Like the cream, it’s not sticky or tacky and I always have it in my purse.

Overall, I love the backstory of Marin and their lobster protein-based products. Hopefully the brand will expand their SKUs soon — I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.