Can you please share with the AILLEA audience a little background about yourself, both personally and professionally?
I started my career as a CPA and then became a recruiter for accounting and finance professionals. After several years of recruiting, I opened a recruiting firm downtown LA with some co-workers from a previous firm.
I've always been interested in self-help and personal development and after 9 years of working as a recruiter, I lost my passion for it and knew it was time to embark on a career path that called more to my heart. I decided to go back to school and study things that interested me. I got my esthetician license, as well as a Master's degree in Spiritual Psychology with an Emphasis in Consciousness, Health, and Healing from the University of Santa Monica.
In the third year of my Master's program, my final project focused on the healing of grief related to losing my Mom to skin cancer and it culminated in the development of Suntegrity which launched in September 2010.
What was your inspiration when initially launching Suntegrity?
My mom passed away from melanoma skin cancer, which left me with a lot of grief that I didn't know how to process at the time. Part of my goal with my final project at school was really to heal the grief that stemmed from my mom's passing.
When I began working on Suntegrity, I put the same quote on each product and signed it: "Suntegrity was made in honor of my Mom and all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer. May you use this product and smile in their memory." The quote was meant to be like one of those wristbands that people wear to bring awareness to different causes. The goal was for people to have more awareness about skin cancer so it can be prevented. Also, every time someone applies their sunscreen, I wanted them to remember someone they love. Every time I put it on, I think of my mom.
What are some of the hero ingredients featured in the Suntegrity line?
Zinc oxide (non-nano) is our main hero ingredient. It has a reputation for being the best physical block ingredient that protects against the full UVA/UVB spectrum, so it not only helps protect you from burning, but it also helps protect you from the sun’s damaging rays that cause wrinkles and skin cancer.
Additionally, we use several high-powered antioxidants in our products like red algae extract (which reduces irregular pigmentation and is rich in antioxidants, minerals, enzymes, phyto-hormones, and essential fatty acids), astaxanthin (which is a carotenoid found in algae and a powerful antioxidant with up to 500 times higher efficacy than vitamin E), Green Tea Extract & Pomegranate Seed Oil (which are rich in polyphenols that help manage inflammation and help prevent solar induced skin damage), and Hyaluronic acid (which is great at hydrating the skin).
Can you tell us more about the name 'Suntegrity'?
Suntegrity has a double meaning: Sunscreen made with integrity & sunscreen that maintains the integrity of your skin.
Can you explain why Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection is so important?
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicates how long you can stay in the sun without burning from UVB light. SPF does not indicate any protection from the damaging UVA rays which cause skin cancer. This is why it’s important to look for a sunscreen with the words “Broad Spectrum” on it because that term means the sunscreen also protects you from sun damage and photoaging caused by UVA rays.
Are you planning to launch any new products in the near future? If so, can you share and details?
We just launched a Milky Mineral Sun Serum Spray SPF 50 in May. It’s a vegan, cruelty-free serum and sunscreen all wrapped into one convenient spray. It contains Argan, Grape Seed and Karanja Oils which are exceptionally strong antioxidants that moisturize, protect and nourish the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and it uses the active ingredients zincoxide and titanium dioxide to provide Broad Spectrum SPF 50 protection. It comes in a recyclable; TSA friendly aluminum bottle and the product can be used on both your face and body, so it’s the perfect tropical holiday companion. We are also re-launching our Mineral Sport Sun StickSPF 30 which is NSF certified organic and in a new 50% PCR container and new size (33g).
What is your personal favorite Suntegrity product?
I’m obsessed with our new Milky Mineral Sun Serum Spray. It smells delicious and I love how easy it is to spray onto my neck, chest and arms. I also like to layer it under Impeccable Skin on my face. Plus, it rubs in super easy without any white cast and it nourishes my skin & gives it a little shimmer.
What are your favorite non-Suntegrity products or brands at AILLEA?
Vapour-Eyeshadow Quad & Rahua-Color Full Shampoo.