Earthy appeal: Aussie sun care brand tapping on regional sustainable beauty concerns with waterless ocean-safe sunscreen
The Kind Sunscreen was founded by Emma Corrie, a former Pilates instructor who saw a demand in the Australian market for planet-safe sun care products.
“Particularly here in Australia there is a lot of interest in ocean-friendly products. There are concerns about the damage done to the coral reefs in Australia so there's a real trend towards making sure your ingredients are clean and safe for the ocean,” said Corrie.
She added that recent events, such as the documentary David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet was fuelling this trend, which she believed will only continue to grow.
In addition, the preference for natural products is also causing consumers to shift towards mineral sunscreens.
The formula’s main ultraviolet (UV) ray protector is zinc oxide which was chosen also because it is considered skin-friendly for all skin types, even more delicate baby skin.
“The only issue with zinc was that it gives a white cast on the skin. That's why our product has SPF30, if we went to SPF50, the more zinc we needed to have and that’s how you get that white cast. It was a real balancing act, real difficult to get right.”
The formula also does not contain any water in order to avoid the use of preservatives and give it a long shelf-life of three years.
The development of the sunscreen formula began in 2018 in an Australian laboratory approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The Kind Sunscreen was unveiled this year in July, in the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Despite this, Corrie told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the brand has seen healthy growth in the past few months.
“It’s really interesting because when we first launched, most of the sales were coming from the state of Victoria, which was under lockdown at the time. I guess the consumer just had more time on their hands to go online and search for new products.”
Since the launch, the company is now retailing with 40 stockists across Australia. Abroad, it is available in New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
Corrie also credited the rapid expansion to the growing awareness on the benefits of wearing sun protection in general.
“People are much more aware of sun damage is real and that you need to wear it all year round – that it’s not just a summer or beach thing. It’s becoming a daily part of everybody's routine,” said Corrie.
Furthermore, Corrie believes its branding has helped to draw consumer interest.
“Many of the products in the market have bright-coloured packaging and I wanted to have something different, more earthy to convey that the product is kind to our skin and our environment,” said Corrie.
The brand also uses tubes are manufactured from existing recyclable plastic and paper cartons made from 100% recycled card.
“We’ve done our very best to create a product that is kind in every way. People are attracted to it, then they try the product and really like it. I think that’s what’s getting us out there,” said Corrie.
A sun protection brand
As the summer season begins in the Southern hemisphere, the company intends to build on it by educating more consumers on the need for daily sunscreen application and reapplication.
“We hope to drive broader awareness about the importance of using sunscreen as well as what goes into the formulation and how it can affect the ocean.”
As part of its education strategy, the products are packaged in 50ml tubes to make it more convenient and portable.
“It’s important to reapply your sunscreen. You can easily incorporate a 50ml tube into your daily life. You can have it in the care, in your handbag,” said Corrie.
Moving forward, the company intends to expand into more markets.
The company believes there’s an opportunity to tap into the baby care market in Asia and intends to find the right partners for new markets like the US or UK.
However, Corrie said the firm would approach any expansion with caution due to the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In terms of product development, Corrie said the firm intended to remain a sun protection-focused brand.
“I wouldn't go down the skin care route because there are so many brands out there doing it so well. I’ve gotten requests for a tinted version and maybe we’ll do a fake tan. We will just focus on products that will focus on sun protection.”