St. Augustine woman makes, sells natural sunblock

The woman said she made it after she became frustrated that the natural sunblocks she would buy never worked.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. --  Lauren Estes needed something that she couldn't find in the stores: a natural sunblock that worked.

She didn't want to buy commercial sunscreen because she said it has "chemicals, toxins and potentially hazardous ingredients." So, she bought natural sunblock.

However, she said a lot of the natural sunblock she would buy for her husband, Dustin Estes wouldn't stay on in the water.

"I would come home at the end of the day super sunburned, pretty much everyday after Surf Camp," Dustin Estes said. Both Lauren and Dustin Estes run Surf Camp in St. Augustine every summer.

Frustrated, Lauren Estes came up with a natural sunblock of her own. (She has made other kinds of natural body care products for years."

"It took a few batches to get it the right consistency," she said.

Her husband was the guinea pig. She said after some uses, they discovered that the sunblock worked!

Happy with the product, she started bringing her sunblock to Surf Camp, and people started to notice.

"Instructors and kids were curious," she said. "They would ask, 'What is that white stuff in the mason jar you're putting on your face?'"

"Then all of the instructors would say, 'Can I buy one?,'" Dustin Estes added.

Surf Instructor Devin Schooley wears it.

"It works so much better than anything else," Schooley said. "It actually stays on your face. I'm instructing, so always wiping my face and [the sunblock] never comes off."

Dustin said, parents started asking for them at Surf Camp.

Jodi Battle's son attended Surf Camp this week, and she chose to buy some of the sunblock because she saw it was effective.

"It's awesome," Battle said. "No sunburns. Nothing."

Now, Lauren has a home company called Tribe Apothecary and she makes the sunblock in her house, "abiding by good manufacturing practices," she said.

Lauren sells the tins of natural sunblock for $12 online and in three St. Augustine stores.

It's not approved by the FDA, but she says she trusts it for her husband and three daughters and so do others.

"Really it just started with wanting to make something that was safe and effective for my family and loved ones," Lauren said.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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