Name: Shontay Alexis Lundy
What city do you call home: Newburgh, New York
Occupation: Innovator and creator of Black Girl Sunscreen
What inspired you to create your company, Black Girl Sunscreen: BGS caters specifically to women of color. It was important to me to create Black Girl Sunscreen because I am a woman of color, and I saw there was an underwhelming lack of options for WOC when it involved protecting their skin from the sun.
Your products are made with natural ingredients like jojoba, carrot and avocado oils. When did you first discover green beauty: 2016, when I created the formula for Black Girl Sunscreen.
Why was it important for you not to include ingredients like Oxybenzone and parabens in your sunscreen: We live in a health-conscious society and creating a sunscreen that was not toxic to the environment was important to me. Oxybenzone is harmful to coral reef, so harmful that the state of Hawaii has banned all sunscreen that contains the ingredient. And both parabens and Oxybenzone are disruptive to hormones.
It’s a common misconception that people of color don’t need to wear sunscreen. How is your company helping to change that narrative: Dispelling the myth that POC don’t need sun protection is our everyday mission. We try to speak and get out in front of an audience every opportunity we can. Participating in trade shows, panels, appearing on radio shows, and podcasts. We have also teamed up with melanoma organizations, women running organizations, and the AIDS foundation to continue the conversation.
Did you always know you wanted to go into the beauty industry: No never, it was never on my radar.
It’s obvious that you have a love for beauty and fashion. Can you share with us one of your first beauty related memories: I was born with a fashion gene, I absolutely love love love fashion where it’s just second nature to me. And beauty —I am forever learning, growing, and keeping up with the trends.
As the founder and CEO of your own company, what career advice would you share with entrepreneurs who want to create their own beauty brand: If you have an idea, implement. Make it scalable so you can grow and expand it. Lastly, don’t let others get in your head. You should be the only voice that you are listening to.
What challenges do you think women of color encounter when searching for beauty products: The biggest challenge is the lack of products. Hair care, and foundations (make-up) have come a very long way, but we still struggle in other departments. I would also say finding affordable quality products. I know affordable is relative, but with the lack of options means that we have to take what we can get, and sometimes that means whatever price tag comes along with the product.
What advice would you share with someone who is interested in transitioning their beauty regime to include more natural products: Funny enough, I am big on reviews-and if a product has good reviews I am open to trying it. However, I am a creature of habit, and have used the same products for years. When it involves adding SPF to your care regime, my words of encouragement are it’s the last step in your skin regime-literally takes 30 seconds to apply and will maintain your youth! Don’t we all have 30 seconds?
Tell us about your beauty staples. What natural beauty products can’t you live with out: Honestly, I am still searching for more natural/clean products to incorporate into my skin care regime. However, since being in the beauty space, I have been introduced to some effective moisturizers, and toners that I like-I just don’t use them everyday.
Fave drugstore product: Illuminating radiance face mask
Fave luxury item: I wouldn’t call it natural, but my favorite luxury is a night serum.
Go-to shop for eco-friendly and ethical brands: Instagram, I love finding emerging natural beauty brands that have great market strategies on social media.
Favorite beauty secret with us: I have several, but my top beauty secret is that I put sunscreen on pimples after I pop them (I know that’s a no- no but I can’t help myself) and it actually works to bust pimples from becoming darker than the rest of my skin.
How do you practice self-care and why do you think it’s important: Self-care to me is more than good, clean, products but more about how you talk to yourself and how you treat yourself overall. My self-care routine includes positive affirmations to myself on a daily basis, eating clean food (eliminating greasy foods, even if I’m in a rush), focusing on my body 3x week (yoga, cycling, and working out), and having good, reinforcing energies in my circle of friends and people that I spend the most time with.
Who inspires you: The next generation of people inspire me because they represent change in every aspect.
What’s next for Black Girl Sunscreen: In February 2019, Black Girl Sunscreen will launch a new product for children (BGS kids)
Final thoughts: Black Girl Sunscreen wants women of color to walk away understanding the repercussions of not protecting their skin and knowing the benefits of protecting their skin. You can find more information at
and by doing a google search and read the online publications that have been written about Black Girl Sunscreen disrupting the sun care market.
Black Girl Sunscreen is available online at BlackGirlSunscreen.com <3