Skin Elements (ASX:SKN) shares shot up this morning on news it is teaming up with Holista CollTech (ASX:HCT) to sell hand sanitisers — with the company stressing it’s not just a short-term cash grab.

Since the coronavirus broke out demand for hand sanitisers has risen exponentially and companies have pivoted into this space from juice makers to beauty clinics.

Skin Elements, which sells skin care products, joined the crowd a couple of weeks ago saying it sought to launch a new antimicrobial liquid. Today it announced it was teaming up with a company that was in the hand sanitiser game before the pandemic began.

Its new business partner, Holista CollTech (ASX:HCT), had a hand sanitiser long before COVID-19, but until then it was better known for dietary supplements.

But demand for Holista’s hand sanitiser spiked when COVID-19 hit.

Under this new partnership, Skin Elements and Holista will make a new hand sanitiser product named Invisi Shield. It will combine Skin Elements’ skincare formulas and the NatShield compound in Holista’s product NatShield.

Skin Elements has the capacity to produce up to 20,000 100ml bottles per month and has hinted it could expand in the future.

While Holista’s sanitiser has not been proven against COVID-19, it has been shown to work against other coronaviruses and is a powerful disinfectant generally. It works by making infectious organisms crash together, killing them in the process.


Sanitisers are here to stay

But unlike other COVID-19 bandwagoners, Skin Elements and Holista reckon their partnership will outlive the crisis.

Their point of difference — Invisi Shield will be alcohol-free unlike other brands on the market.

“Life after COVID-19 will see more use of sanitisers at a personal level,” Holista CEO Rajen Manicka said.

“I am happy to see two Australian companies take the message of ‘all natural’ and alcohol free’ to the world as an alternative to alcohol’.”

Skin Elements boss Peter Malone also said it was something his firm was in for the long haul.

He also told Stockhead it had been laying the foundations for over 2 years and the fact it was alcohol-free may seem secondary but was critically important because excessive use can cause dermatitis.

“The days of the alcohol sanitiser are over  – this is the future in sanitising,” he said.

“Obviously the market sees the opportunities in hand sanitiser due to COVID-19 but the non-alcohol is a big market and we are one of the strongest in that space”.

Both companies’ share prices surged this morning but Skin Elements’ rise was greater — more than doubling in early trade.

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