The creator of Sinus Buster is at it again, working on a line of products that he said could cure everything from thinning hair to skin irritation.
Wayne Perry of Rotterdam — former owner of SiCap Industries, which manufactured Sinus Buster, a nasal spray that uses capsaicin to relieve congestion — has formed a new company, GSC Products, which is manufacturing a new line of products called Greensations.
The product line includes ThermaSkin spray, ThermaScalp spray, ThermaFeet spray and ThermaSkin Wrinkle Balm. Each product uses a combination of capsaicin and caffeine to increase blood flow.
Next week Perry said he is launching two new roll-on products designed to help different skin irritations like poison ivy, sumac and oak and act as a bug repellent.
Perry is also experimenting with an all-natural line of mineral makeup called Youthful Trends.
“People have barely scratched the surface of what capsaicin can do,” he said.
Science is more accepting now of what capsaicin can do. Studies are popping up across the country using capsaicin to stop heart attacks in progress and kill certain types of cancer cells, said Perry, who has no background in biology and describes himself as an inventor with a focus on natural products, not a scientist.
According to Perry, capsaicin, which is what makes a hot pepper spicy, and caffeine increase the absorption of other ingredients and botanicals.
“It increases absorption and immediately stops itching and irritation not only on the scalp but on the skin within 60 seconds,” he said.
ThermaScalp helps to unclog hair follicles, which Perry said contributes to thinning hair and hair loss.
Hair follicles get filled with oils, pollen, smoke and other things in the air. Once blood flow and circulation begin to slow down the body stops producing hormones and chemicals needed for healthy hair, he said. ThermaScalp opens up the clogged follicles, he said.
ThermaSkin uses the same premise by increasing blood flow to an area infected by a rash or other irritation and allows the skin to heal itself quicker.
Perry sold SiCap Industries, the company that manufactured Sinus Buster, in 2008, to New Jersey-based pharmaceutical startup Dynova Laboratories. Perry worked for the company until about six weeks ago, when he let his inner inventor take over.
Like with Sinus Buster, Perry started the new company out of his home in Rotterdam in October but quickly found he needed more space. He moved his operations to 381 Broadway in Menands nearly a month ago.
“Consumers now are looking for all-natural more than ever,” Perry said. “People are willing to pay more for a product that they know is all-natural and safe for them.” A small bottle of ThermaScalp, ThermaSkin or ThermaFeet sells for $14.99 on the Greensations Web site.
The manufacturing happens in Menands. Perry’s mother is his only other full-time employee and he employs another part-timer, who he said will be full-time if things continue as they are.
The team creates small batches of the product, bottles it using hand pumps and labels it by hand as well. “It’s what we did for the first two years of Sinus Buster. Even when we were doing $1 million a year,” he said. “When you’re a start-up company, the last thing you want to do is dump a few hundred thousand dollars into machinery.”
Dr. Tim Lesar, director of clinical pharmacy at Albany Medical Center, called capsaicin a substance that treats symptoms rather than conditions. The substance works to fool the nerve endings so pain is masked by a different sensation.
For example, capsaicin may improve the symptoms of poison oak, but it may not clear the rash any faster.
Sinus Buster works similarly to Vicks VapoRub in that it affects nerve endings and transmitters in the brain to create less congestion and make the user feel better. But like VapoRub, it doesn’t cure congestion, Lesar said.
There are also data that show capsaicin can help cure headaches, especially migraines and cluster headaches, which are very severe and sudden.
Capsaicin affects nerve endings, which can help control blood flow and inflammation, Lesar said.
Capsaicin often creates a burning sensation and has been prescribed for years to cure arthritis and sore muscles because it creates a warm feeling.
While the substance is unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, Lesar said capsaicin is harmless topically unless a person is allergic to it.
“It isn’t a toxic compound,” he said. “Whether it’s going to work is a different question.”
According to Lesar, there are no data that suggest capsaicin can be used to cure skin irritations. However, he said, there is “a lot of potential for a drug like this.”
“There is a lot that we don’t know,” he said, “But I think you’ll see more about these things.”