When Kari and Shannon Kenner moved to Amelia Island, they didn’t plan on changing the way people stay safe in the sun.
They’d moved here in late spring of 2013, realizing their dream of living on the coast and opting into a sunny open-spaced world where they could raise their two young boys on boats, tides and surfing. The family jumped into its new life, with regular beach trips, spending more and more time in sunshine… and buying multipacks of sunscreen every month.
Suspecting this constant use called for a really good sunscreen, Kari started looking for options. She soon realized most were actually pretty bad for you, doing arguably as much damage as they prevented.
“What we found in most sunscreens was eye-opening,” Kari explains, “I’d wrongly thought they were safe, but they used some pretty nasty chemicals and didn’t block all the harmful rays. And they did nothing to remove dangerous free radicals caused by sun exposure.”
When a family member who’d used sunscreen for years got skin cancer, Kari thought, “There has to be a better way.”
The better way she found was a steady diet rich in antioxidants, especially certain combinations of vitamins and nutrients which fuel the body’s natural sun defense mechanisms that block harmful sun rays while removing free radicals and repairing skin damage. Scientific evidence had been building for over ten years, showing such an approach could produce a safer method of sun protection.
“To me, the dietary method was better for several reasons. It avoided the chemicals, it worked over the entire body, it worked constantly instead of getting washed away, and most vitally, it repaired ongoing skin damage,” Kari says.
Problem was, there was no commercially available sun defense food product. The only practical option was to buy the vitamins and nutrients and take them every day.
“We were going to go that route, but then Shannon asked, ‘What if we made the product ourselves?’ I couldn’t think of a good answer why not.”
Within the month, they founded Waxhead Sun Defense Foods, researching more than forty U.S. bar manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and vitamin producers before selecting several boutique companies to supply and produce their first product – a line of all-natural, whole food energy bars that would deliver the necessary sun defense ingredients. They launched their website, gowaxhead.com, and then released their first product line in May.
“We wanted to create a product we’d be proud to sell, and I think we’ve done that. Our ingredients are all sourced in the U.S., and they deliver exactly what they promise – good whole foods that supply lasting energy and most importantly, natural sun defense without harmful junk or chemicals,” Kari says.
The founders are eager to tell others.
“Our bars are an evolution in how active people can support their outdoor lifestyles,” Shannon says. “We’re excited to launch right here on Amelia Island, then spread the word throughout Florida and beyond.”
Waxhead Sun Defense Foods is a Florida-based company that makes a new kind of energy bar to help protect skin from the sun. Made of all-natural whole foods, Waxhead bars deliver a proprietary mix of powerful antioxidants and vitamins that increase the body’s ability to remove free radicals and improve skin function, reducing sunburn and long term skin damage. For more information, visit gowaxhead.com.
HOW DOES EATING A BAR PROTECT SKIN FROM THE SUN?
“Each bar delivers 500% of the recommended daily value of Vitamins C and E, along with a proprietary blend of natural nutrients and antioxidants,” explains Kari. “An average-size adult can get sun protection by eating 2 bars during the day, and a 50-75 pound kid can gain that benefit from eating 1 bar. Study after study shows the effectiveness of adding such ingredients to your diet.”
“Let me add that our bars do help lessen the short term effects of the sun, such as tight skin and sunburn,” Shannon says. “But another important thing they do is lessen the LONG TERM effects over time. A 25-year-old surfer who eats 2 Waxhead bars every day will have skin that’s in much better shape at 50. And people who spend a lot of time in the sun and who appreciate what the sun can do to their skin, they are absolutely our target market: surfers, fishermen, golfers, anyone who likes to have fun outside.”
AND THESE BARS CONTAIN ORGANIC, NON-GMO AND GLUTEN-FREE INGREDIENTS?
“Right now, all our bars are gluten-free and contain some organic ingredients,” says Kari. “As we grow, we will become certified gluten-free and fully non-GMO. I am very passionate about the food we put into our bodies and our children’s bodies, and Waxhead is going to do all it can to build products that do not contain any ‘science experiment’ food elements or preservatives.”
WHERE CAN I BUY THEM?
You can purchase a case of 12 bars at gowaxhead.com, and over time, you’ll be able to buy single bars in your local surf shop, golf pro shop, resort gift shops and fishing shops. As Waxhead’s distribution continues to spread, if you don’t see them where you want to buy them, tell the store manager to either call Waxhead or go to gowaxhead.com/wholesale to get set up.