What do Jamaican Kristina Knox and Canadian Stephanie Tien have in common? Firstly, both are passionate scientists, researchers and grad students. Secondly, their mission is to develop sustainable, innovative, and inclusive SPF products. Their debut product is a mineral-based SPF powder for the scalp.
Necessity is often deemed the mother of invention and it certainly was for Tien, who, after spending a gloriously sun-soaked weekend with friends, was left with a painfully sore and peeling scalp and not many available solutions. "There hasn't been a ton of innovation with traditional sunscreens; they are all the same brands, types and smells," Tien said. "So we want to provide a new option that caters to people's needs."
Knox underscores that anybody can get sunburnt making SPF products a necessity. "There's a huge myth that the darker your skin tone, the less you need sunscreen... but anyone can get sunburnt which can increase your risk of skin cancer," she noted.
What's next for the enterprising duo?
The product will be released in Canada in the spring of 2023, and available for purchase at their online shop. The duo is currently working on getting FDA approval for US and Caribbean markets. Their hope is that by 2024 Jamaicans will be able to source the product on the online store!