Robbie Miller with a background of science, pharmaceuticals, skincare and tech along with co-founder and brother-in-law Daniel Kaplan, both of which experienced acne themselves, are the founders of ZitSticka. They were uniquely suited to create a solution to their pimple woes. This solution turned out to be “KILLA,” a penetrative stick-on patch that uses microdart technology to prick the affected area of skin and deposit acne-fighting ingredients beyond the epidermal layer, straight into the zit’s nucleus. Transparent and virtually undetectable, the patch can be worn throughout the day which Miller and Kaplan hope will help further the normalization of acne and encourage people to accept pimples as a part of everyday life. This dedication to promoting open dialogue around acne has also manifested in a blog “The Spot,” where they educate readers on skincare in a relatable way, and their “Zitty Committee” where members such as Munroe Bergdorf open up about their skincare journey.
From Miller and Kaplan: “Our dream is for people to be proud of posting pictures of them in their ZitSticka. The only way to truly help insecurities is to talk about how normal it is,” says Miller. We caught up with Miller and Kaplan to find out more about their journey.
What is the story behind ZitSticka? Daniel Kaplan: The way that it happened was that I got a massive boil on my bum, golf ball size. Then a year later I felt that it was coming back, and the person I saw at the pharmacy told me that I should use Ichthammol which is a drawing salve but it stains everything it touches. It is extremely black and tarry and so he said to place a plaster on top so it doesn’t stain anything. After using this, it was quite literally a lightbulb moment that whenever I get a spot in my life I am going to put a plaster over it. The only person I ever made one for was Robbie, to which he was like ‘let’s just do this!’ and that was how it happened! We looked into the field and found there were no other stickers that actually impregnate a zit with the ingredients, they simply sit on top and after a lot of research, we created ZitSticka. What did you think was lacking in the industry that you wanted to address with the brand? Robbie Miller: We couldn’t understand how there was no such thing as an impregnated acne patch, with acne fighting ingredients, on the market. We started looking at different technologies that were out there. There were stickers, called Hydroclode stickers, that are used for a very distinct stage of a zit’s life cycle, it’s when you have a pimple right at a head and it uses osmosis to draw moisture out of the skin. The problem with that is that it can only be used at a very distinct stage – the end. So, you have to go through an extended time of suffering, of having a pimple physically and emotionally until it’s at the right stage. So, we obviously did so much research speaking to our target audience about what they are doing, it was amazing how many people had given up with current treatments on the market and how many people were trying crazy, different things because they didn’t know what else to do. And so, we understood that in order to become efficacious we had to get beneath the surface, straight to the source of the infection. KILLA is ZitSticka’s debut product.