Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Mel Lewis from Ultrella.
Every day a lot of people get up and apply a layer of aluminium to a sensitive area of skin that acts to regulate heat and moisture in the body. Aluminium isn’t something you’d normally find in the body, but because it blocks a bit of moisture and smell, we roll and spray it into our underarms without thinking.
Natural deodorant hasn’t always had the best image. Everyone probably knows someone they can smell at five paces who runs a crystal under their arm occasionally to help with odour, while some ‘natural’ mixtures have so much rosemary and coconut oil that you end up smelling like a body odour lamb roast.
While tackling an endurance 100km challenge, Mel Lewis needed something that worked but wasn’t full of nasties. She figured there had to be a better option to what she could find, so she applied for a research grant through Callaghan Innovation, got it, and partnered with a product development expert to create Ultrella, featuring a range of natural products that act like a natural botox, suppressing perspiration without the need for aluminium.
To talk about what Ultrella is doing today and its place in the new world, Mel Lewis joined us by Zoom for a chat.