Consumer NZ Testing
My Sunshine was secretly tested by Consumer NZ & was 1 of only 8 sunscreens to meet SPF & Broad Spectrum claims.
Kia Ora Magazine article
Sarah Studd spent more than two years devising a moisturising SPF30 formulation that has the tick of the Australian New Zealand Sunscreen Standard.
“The skin is our largest organ and whatever we put on it is absorbed into our bodies,” says Studd.
As anyone in New Zealand knows, Kiwis are exposed to high levels of UV radiation during summer, which can often lead to skin cancer. “I’m a redhead so I burn easily,” says Studd, who created the My Sunshine brand of moisturising natural sunscreen in 2017. “I was lucky, but my father had some skin cancers cut out of his hand.”
Her father is one of the 70,000 New Zealanders diagnosed with skin cancer every year (around 500 die from it). “Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in New Zealand and more than 90 percent of cases are attributed to excess sun exposure.”
Back then, the importance of sunscreen in cancer prevention didn’t register with the business graduate, who was too busy working her way up the corporate ladder at companies such as Kellogg’s Mars, L’Oréal and Unilever, both here and in Australia.
In 2008, driven by a desire to work for herself, Studd founded two early childhood centres in Henderson and Stanmore Bay, building them up to around 150 children across both premises. Although the centres provided mass-produced sunscreen for the students, Studd noticed parents would bring their own.
“So many people, especially kids, have sensitive skin and allergies these days that it was a constant search for sunscreen that kept children safe from the sun but also used natural ingredients that didn’t harm their skin or the environment.”
Studd’s search coincided with the fertility issues she and her husband Darryl Aitchison, manager of a wine company, were having. “I had three miscarriages so my doctor advised me to see a naturopath. Even though we lived quite healthy lives, we needed to look at everything we were putting in our mouths and exposing our bodies to.”
Out went the sugar and potentially toxic cleaning and beauty products and in came natural and organic formulations. But Studd couldn’t ﬁnd sunscreen that didn’t contain “nasty chemicals” or were good for sensitive skin. “I started researching skincare from all over the world to ﬁnd ingredients that would be kind to the skin and the planet. That included zinc oxide, a natural mineral sunscreen that sits on top of the skin and creates a physical barrier that reﬂects both UVA and UVB rays, as well as red raspberry sea oil and sea buckthorn oils which are believed to help protect the skin naturally from UV radiation.
I started researching skincare from all over the world to ﬁnd ingredients that would be kind to the skin and the planet.
”Around 97 percent of Studd’s ingredients are from natural origin, and 30 percent are organic. She steered well clear of synthetic chemicals such as oxybenzone and sulphates, which are banned from sun protection in some countries because of their impact on ocean reefs.
While raising her two daughters and son Studd struggled to ﬁnd chemists to develop her vegan formulations. “Sunscreen is really hard to get right and no one wanted to take it on. I got rejection after rejection.”
She didn’t make it easy, wanting to combine sunscreen with moisturiser loaded with organic aloe vera, coconut oil and shea butter, as well as antioxidants from green tea, said to help ﬁght free-radicals and repair the skin.
“The skin is our largest organ and whatever we put on it is absorbed into our bodies. I wanted to make a product that was not only safe but also good for your skin.”
Studd eventually found a company in Auckland that was willing to take her on, then spent two years going back and forth with dierent formulations. That included taking it to Australia to have it approved SPF30 by the Australian New Zealand Sunscreen Standard, one of the highest standards in the world.
Last year, My Sunshine was one of only eight sunscreens on the market to pass Consumer magazine’s test of SPF and broad spectrum claims. It’s now sold online and in 100 stores around New Zealand, including health stores, beauticians and skincare specialists.
Although Studd has had queries from as far aﬁeld as the US and Singapore, she’s keen to keep it local for now. “We’re currently focusing on developing new products such as tinted sunscreen for the face, like a foundation, one for the lips and sun-care products containing vitamin C.”
The global pandemic put a dent in her business, but heading into summer it’s starting to pick up again.
“The message is people should wear sunscreen every day, even when it’s cloudy, because UVA rays can penetrate the clouds. If that sunscreen is combined with a gentle, safe moisturiser packed with natural oils and antioxidants to protect, nourish and repair skin, then that makes it easier to do so" www.mysunshine.co.nz
Radio interview with Carly Flynn on Radio Live
Click on this 'soundcloud' image to hear the interview
Auckland mum creates natural sunscreen after challenges with fertility
TOM DILLANE/FAIRFAX NZ
Sarah Studd at her Takapuna home with her three children from left: Lulu, Mac and Scarlett.
A challenging fertility effort made Sarah Studd evaluate all the chemicals that entered her body.
Everything was under scrutiny, and one unknown was the large amount of cheap mass-produced sunscreen she used living beside Takapuna Beach on Auckland's North Shore.
It set off a train of thought that, three years later, saw her bringing out her own brand of organic sunscreen called My Sunshine.
"I was going through fertility issues and that made me look at my whole lifestyle, what was going on in my skin, what I was eating, being healthy. I realised I wasn't the only one looking at chemicals in the house," Studd says.
Based on zinc, Studd's sunscreen is devoid of the synthetic chemicals, such as oxybenzone and the sulphates in most sunscreens.
"With the zinc, it's quite hard to get product that will rub in really nicely. That was my biggest mission to make it a beautiful product for people to wear that was transparent, so you couldn't see it when it rubs in," Studd says.
With no experience of making any kind of skincare product, Studd consulted with chemists.
"I went back and forth I don't know how many times trying to get a really lovely cream," Studd said
Studd also went to Australia to have My Sunshine approved SPF 30 by the Australian New Zealand Sunscreen Standard.
"In New Zealand, you don't actually have to pass that regulation to sell sunscreen, which I just can't believe when there's so many people dying of melanoma every year," Studd said.
"I've got fair skin, and in the climate that we live in, the amount of times that we're putting it on in summer, we should be using natural ingredients."
At the moment, Studd is chiefly selling her product online, with more details at www.mysunshine.co.nz.