What is your background/job and how did you get interested in product development?
Product development was something I fell into. I was working as an advertising & marketing assistant at Marie Claire magazine here in Los Angeles and my boss was a great mentor who cared about my career trajectory. She kindly let me know about an opportunity in the marketing department at a prestige skincare brand. I interviewed not knowing exactly what the role entailed, but ended up getting the job and learning how to create new products while also managing existing ones. It really opened my eyes to how much work goes into making one single product.
When did Versed first want to create a sunscreen and what was the process like?
As soon as Versed launched in May 2019, one of the most frequently asked questions was whether we had sunscreen. Since then, it’s been a high priority on our product innovation list, but we took our time because we wanted it to be the best formula possible and because of all the testing that goes into making our products. All Versed formulas are tested by members of our community before they are approved to go into production; we held numerous testing focus groups with dozens of formulas. After receiving rave reviews on the final formula, we were happy and excited to move forward.
What was important for you in creating Guards Up?
The SPF (sun protection factor) level was, of course, the most important factor as this ensures the wearer gets the daily sun protection he or she needs; Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen has an SPF level of 35. Aside from that, we were committed to creating a clean, 100% mineral, non-nano zinc oxide formula that did not leave a white/purple cast on the skin after application. Versed is an inclusive brand and we want people from all over the world with all different skin tones to be able to wear our products. Historically, 100% mineral sunscreens have not been very flattering or wearable—especially for darker skin tones.
When did you first become aware of sun safety as an important part of beauty and health?
Admittedly, I didn’t grow up wearing sunscreen because it’s a common misconception that people with highly melanated skin don’t need to. When I started working in product development at a global “doctor” brand, there was a huge focus on education and skin health. I learned so much about the structure of the skin and why it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Not only can they physically burn your skin and increase your chances of getting skin cancer, they also cause accelerated skin aging. It’s much easier to delay skin damage before it occurs than to try to reverse it after the fact.
What are you most excited about with Guards Up and how is it unique?
There are so many things I love about the Guards Up formula. It provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, blue light from technology, and environmental stressors. It’s a really smooth and blendable formula that doesn’t feel heavy once applied. There’s a slight tint to help mask the zinc oxide but it’s translucent when applied, so it works well on everyone. The finish is non-oily and non-drying and it looks great alone or under makeup. It’s seriously one of my favorite Versed products and it really is the sunscreen you WANT to wear. The tube is also our first product made from PCR (post consumer recycled) plastic and the carton is made with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. So, we’ve introduced an amazing formula in our most sustainable packaging. I’m so happy that we were able to pull this off.
For more on Versed, go here.