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San Diego skin care company develops hand sanitizer to fight coronavirus

Posted at 9:42 PM, Apr 01, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - "We feel like it's the right thing to do to participate," says Ursula Wagstaff.

She's the owner of CA Botana, an organic skincare manufacturer based in San Diego's Sorrento Valley area. Years ago, her husband Dieter Kuster, a scientist, developed a formula for an FDA approved hand sanitizer that, until now, didn't have much of a need and was shelved.

"One morning, I woke up and I said, 'Oh my God, I need to look for this hand sanitizer.' And so we brought it back and added the ingredients we needed," says Wagstaff.

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The company, of less than 25 people, got to work immediately redeveloping the hand sanitizer formula. At first, they just gave out bottles to friends and family in need.

"The first round we gave out for free," adds Wagstaff. "And the hospitals were calling, and the nurses were calling, so we decided just to keep on going."

But the challenge was getting all the raw materials together. Once they found everything, they produced thousands of bottles and delivered them to San Diego hospitals.

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"So we could run five thousand bottles to begin with. We distributed all of them, and we ran another few thousand, and today we shipped them out to the Salvation Army to all the people there," says Wagstaff.

And they plan to produce 15,000 more bottles in the coming days.

Less than two years ago, Ursula lost her husband Dieter. And yet, of all the skincare products he developed over the years, this may be his lasting legacy.

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"We are very fortunate to utilize his formulation and bring it out for a cause," says Wagstaff with a smile. "So he's still impacting people, and we're very blessed to be able to do that."