Via Laguna Beach Independent
By Barbara McMurray, Special to the Independent
Gena Griffin, a north Laguna resident and mother, had it with trying to keep sunscreen on her three young children when they went to the beach or park. Commenting to a fellow mom about constantly reapplying sunscreen to her daughter’s face, only to watch her rub it off, she struck upon an idea: what if there was a comfortable, wearable, skin-like sun protection that didn’t have to be reapplied? What if it came in kicky colors?
The idea made her an entrepreneur and, three years later, the CEO of a company called Sun Patch, a “sunblock assist.”
Griffin’s product is an alternative to messy sunblock and works just like Zinka, the popular, colorful zinc oxide sunscreen that still must be applied. The patches work as a soft second layer of skin, protecting sensitive under-eye areas prone to burning. Sun Patches are entirely waterproof and can be worn all day for sun protection. Offered in bright colors, they are reusable and hypoallergenic.
“Sun Patch is an easy-to-use accessory to sunscreen,” she said. “We took high-quality, medical-grade silicone and infused it with a UPF 50+ UV blocking formula.”
UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a new FTC-approved standard used to measure sunburn protection, especially sun-protective fabrics and now, materials like Sun Patch. A UPF of 50 blocks out 98 percent of all ultraviolet rays when worn.
As Griffin began developing her idea three years ago, she searched for a material that felt like a second skin when worn. She soon realized such a material didn’t exist. So, working with a medical materials company in San Juan Capistrano, she invented and patented it.
“I thought, ‘why doesn’t anyone have anything like this?’ Working with scientists, we came up with a latex-free material that’s infused with the UV blocking component, long-wearing, and completely reusable when applied to clean, dry skin. It is nontoxic and was not tested on animals,” Griffin said.
“We tested them in mountains, deserts, and on and around the ocean for three years, collecting and processing feedback from a wide spectrum of active, sun-loving people,” Griffin noted.
She added they’re ideal for wearing to the beach, to hike, bike, ski, boat, surf, and paddle.
Sun Patch boosts an everyday skincare routine. Wearing them on clean, dry skin in combination with sunscreen is an effective one-two punch for protection, Griffin said.
“Sun Patch is the missing element needed for hours of play under UV rays. It gives the under-eye and cheek areas – where many people are often susceptible to sunburn – extra protection. We will soon have other shapes for nose and forehead,” she said.