We chat with Rhiannon Hall and Maddy Balderson, co-founders of Luna Bronze, the beautiful, natural looking sunless tans
How did you both get your start in the industry and why did Luna Bronze come about?
Maddy: Rhi and I don’t come from beauty backgrounds so it’s been a lot of learning along the way! Luna Bronze was created after I had a run in with an infiltrating Basal Cell Carcinoma (skin cancer) on my throat/jaw area. Having this experience woke me up to the damage that I was doing to my skin by sun baking and I completely swore off it. After this we began innocently trialling a few different self-tanning products, only to realise that they were drying our skin out, smelling awful and loaded with unpronounceable ingredients. From there, we knew that there was a gap in the market so the idea of creating our own product became a reality and the Luna Bronze journey began.
What sets Luna Bronze apart?
Rhi: There are a few aspects where I would say that Luna Bronze differs, but I think that there are two significant items that set the brand apart. The first being our focus on skin conditioning ingredients. Rather than simply tanning the skin, we wanted our products to nourish, hydrate and improve your skin at the same time. The second is that Luna Bronze was born from a real-life experience with skin cancer and the knowledge of the long-lasting damage that a sun tan can do to your skin. We are driven by a real and genuine desire to change the way people tan and we do this by presenting a natural and healthier alternative to sun baking through our products.
Which product are you most proud of?
Maddy: It’s hard to pick one, but it’d have to be the O.G. – Glow Gradual Tanning Moisturiser. As a lazy girl, this is the ideal product as it’s super simple to apply and provides such a natural, beautiful bronzed glow. This was our first product and it’s been loved by all ages, so much so our customers demanded that we gave them a bigger bottle! This product has sold out numerous times and for good reason.
When developing a new product, what are the most important things you take into account?
Rhi: The most important aspects of a Luna Bronze product comes down to ensuring that it achieves a natural and organic concentration of at least 98%, that it provides a natural looking tan and that it delivers plenty of hydration to the skin to ensure an even fade. It also must be easy to apply to encourage customers to make the switch to sunless tanning.
What does clean beauty mean to you both?
Maddy: For us, it’s about striving to use the most effective, safe and naturally conscious ingredients. We know that our skin is our biggest organ and that we already consume and come into contact with enough unavoidable chemicals and toxins in our day to day life, so where we can find an organic or natural alternative ingredient, we’ll use it.
What’s the best thing about working with your best friend?
Rhi: The best thing is really that we’re able to be open and honest with each other. We’re not worried that if one disagrees with the others opinion that it’s going to be taken personally. It’s also great that Maddy is the yin to my yang. Our skills complement each other’s. I have my strengths and she has hers.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching your own range?
Maddy: There’s too many to list here! We’ve been on a constant learning curve since launching Luna Bronze but it’s been fun (most of the time). The biggest challenge that we’ve faced – and from conversations with other brand owners, it’s a very common challenge in the industry- would be sourcing quality recycled packaging. We had some issues with our tube packaging earlier in 2019 which had a knock-on effect everywhere and really disrupted things for a while. This major headache ended up being a blessing in disguise and led to us finding a new packaging supplier that is now manufacturing our tubes in Australia, from sugar cane material, using solar power.
What’s next for Luna Bronze?
Rhi: 2020 looks to be shaping up to be one of our most important years yet. We’ll be continuing to roll out sustainable packaging for our products, embedding further efficiencies along our distribution chain, finalising new product formulations along with some other exciting projects and collaborations!