A Mangawhai medical herbalist and naturopath has become an international trailblazer in the world of all-natural sun protection.
Founder of Bright Earth Skincare, Jules Bright, has developed the world’s first certified non-chemical sunscreen under her new brand, Earth’s Kitchen.
Certification of the SPF 50 sunscreen makes the product a global leader, a process which has taken the former surgical nurse four years of full-time dedication to achieve.
“After years of development, jumping through certification hoops and achieving miracles, at last we’ve done it,” Bright says. “It's all natural – tested on humans, cruelty free – but it is also invisible and smells good, a luxurious sunscreen.”
A promotional campaign for the natural sunscreen’s two formulas, one for adults, one infants, was launched on entrepreneurial website IndieGoGo in mid-December and will run until February 3.
“We were initially focused on sales in New Zealand and Australia, but have also received orders from around the world including Japan, US and the UK.”
The cream’s protective powers derive from potent New Zealand native plants including Kawakawa, Tamanu and Moringa which have to pass rigorous testing before being deemed purely organic.
“The ingredients are tested across their entire life cycle, starting from a seed,” she says. “Given there are more than twenty ingredients, it takes a lot of time and money.”
Bright was motivated to develop a natural sunscreen 16 years ago after seeing family and friends struggle with skin cancer.
“There was a crazy amount of people being diagnosed around us at the time,” she says. “With two babies and my family being outdoors people, I took it personally. I just couldn’t tolerate what I was seeing.”
Ingredients for Bright’s products are wildcrafted from locally sourced plants in Mangawhai as well as other native forests around the country including Coromandel, Waitakere and Mana Island.
Bright says the way the elements are harvested, via delicate indigenous methods, is also an essential part of the product.
“I’m passionate about bringing mana back to New Zealand’s forest, and one of my main inspirations is bush regeneration. When we harvest we also sow seeds to help regrow the bush,” she says. “Our medicine is all around us – it makes sense to use the best nature has to offer.”
MOTHER EARTH: Jules Bright in her ‘work’ environment, the natural lush wilderness of New Zealand’s forest.