By Lindsay Garric Special to Published May 20, 2015 at 6:20 AM

Acne. It’s one of the most prevalent and aesthetically pesky skin care challenges both men and women deal with at some point in life.

Acne usually strikes first at puberty, but can stick around through adulthood. Even celebrities cop to dealing with breakouts, enthusiastically endorsing their favorite infomercial and mall kiosk acne-battlers.

Most of these over-the-counter topicals use harsh ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that can dry out and redden skin. Dermatologists often prescribe a regimen of even more invasive treatments like oral antibiotics or Acutane paired with abrasive prescription creams/gels. Natural remedies tend to be a bit gentler and include tea tree oil, white willow bark and topical/internal probiotics.

Penelope Shihab, founder of biotech company MONOJO and CEO of Milwaukee’s Columbia Biotech USA has an innovative take on creating and maintaining clear skin. The ingredient Shihab utilizes for her new skin care line SKINUE is pretty unexpected. In fact, it’s as quirky as it is exotic. SKINUE relies on camel milk to battle blemishes. And this isn’t just any ordinary camel’s milk. SKINUE sources the camel milk whey for its products from the camels of the royal family of The United Arab Emirates.

The science behind SKINUE began at MONOJO – the only applied biotechnology firm in the Middle East and North African region. Shihab discovered the effectiveness of camel milk for treating acne after "MONOJO started its biotech research back in 2005 and focused on researching monoclonal antibodies. MONOJO conducted research on camel’s milk, as it is easily found in Jordan where MONOJO is located, and discovered that the camel milk, due to high protein concentrations in it, can be used to provide specific and highly effective therapies. In 2011, the research studies provided that using engineered camel milk, with its specific anti-acne proteins, helps in fighting acne. MONOJO then started formulating skincare products that both reduce acne and nourish skin."

SKINUE recently relocated their marketing and operations office to Milwaukee for logistics purposes and to implement brand awareness with guidance from Vertz Marketing. SKINUE is manufactured in Jordan, Turkey and France, but Milwaukee’s proximity to target markets like Chicago and New York allows for fast shipping and easy distribution.

SKINUE generously sent me their Acne Treatment and Defense Facial Wash, Serum and Gel to try. Even though I tend to stick to "natural" products I was intrigued with the star ingredient and was willing to give Royal Camel Milk a go!

I am happy to report that although the facial wash contains sulphates / sulfates (ingredients I personally typically try to avoid,) the wash is really gentle with a refreshing scent and left my skin feeling clean, but not "tight." Both the serum and gel are easy to use for spot treating and amazingly effective. I had a few hormonal acne flares around my jaw that I applied both products to before bed. When I woke up in the morning – the acne was markedly less red and inflamed – well on the way to healing! After two nighttime applications – the zits were almost gone with no dryness, itching or irritation; only a light red mark remained.

I am really impressed and will continue to use the serum and gel as my secret weapons for monthly blemishes.

Although Shihab, who resides in Jordan with her family and is currently pursuing her PhD in chemical engineering from Cambridge University, doesn’t really have any major personal skin concerns, she divulged that she when she faces acne breakouts, she fights them "by cleansing my skin twice daily and apply little quantities of SKINUE Serum."

Her tips for maintaining healthy skin are simple – cleanse skin twice daily with a specifically formulated facial wash and invest in a proper moisturizer.

"Our Argan cream has a unique combination of Argan oil and Camel milk. We also use many plant extracts and oils such as almond oil, aloe vera, henna extract, pomegranate and licorice extracts. Our products do not contain parabens, salicylic acid, or any other harsh or harmful ingredients," she says.

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Lindsay Garric Special to

Lindsay Garric is a Milwaukee native who calls her favorite city home base for as long as her lifestyle will allow her. A hybrid of a makeup artist, esthetician, personal trainer and entrepreneur all rolled into a tattooed, dolled-up package, she has fantasies of being a big, bad rock star who lives in a house with a porch and a white picket fence, complete with small farm animals in a version of Milwaukee that has a tropical climate.

A mishmash of contradictions, colliding polar opposites and a dash of camp, her passion is for all pretty things and the products that go with it. From makeup to workouts, food to fashion, Lindsay has a polished finger on the pulse of beauty, fashion, fitness and nutrition trends and is super duper excited to share that and other randomness from her crazy, sexy, gypsy life with the readers of