Sun protection in Australia is always a hot topic.

The UV rays from the sun can’t be seen by humans, but they can have a big impact on our health and environment. It’s estimated that two in three Australians will develop skin cancer in their lives, so the conversation about how to be sun safe has never been more relevant.

Larissa Bright wanted to find a more natural product to protect her family after finding out her son was allergic to commercially available sunscreens. To do this she looked to nature.

Larissa was by inspired a chance encounter with a marine scientist who shared with her that corals create their own method of protecting themselves from UV rays at low tide. Combining her expertise in natural skin care products and enthusiasm for science-based innovation Larissa started the company Coral Sunscreen to change the conversation about sun protection.

Over millions of years coral have evolved natural, sunscreen-like properties to protect themselves from UV damage. Research suggests that the ‘sunscreen’ produced by coral can also protect other inhabitants on the reef where they live.

Larissa and her team worked with CSIRO to investigate how coral protect themselves and develop a unique product that mimics the corals’ natural solution. Their product absorbs the harmful UV, where many traditional sunscreens tend to reflect the UV.

Larissa is now ready to go global with her coral-inspired sunscreen. She is in the process of making her product available all over the world, sharing the power of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

This development in sunscreen is much needed. The coral inspired sunscreen will better protect our skin and is likely to be much safer for our oceans too! Hawaii is set to ban sunscreens that contain some chemicals to protect the fragile reefs. What could be safer for the world’s reefs than a sunscreen they designed?

Red coral

While Larissa’s inspiration was to protect people, it’s not only our bodies that are affected by UV rays. The materials we use in our garments, homes and yards can also be damaged over time. Coral Sunscreen is now exploring other products that could benefit from using the protective pigments they have developed. Pretty soon you might be seeing this cool Australian technology in your glasses, paints and plastics as well.

Starting a business seems like a daunting task, but starting Coral Sunscreen was a no-brainer for Larissa. She believes in working on something you’re passionate about. She knows she can make the most difference working on Coral Sunscreen and producing products inspired by nature to benefit everyone.

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