The Founder of Honeyshield, Anton Kruger, on Earth & Human Friendly Suncream
Innovator and producer Anton Kruger. Bee farmer, kite surfer and now, sun screen producer.
Having spent many years in direct sunlight amidst the accompanying ocean glare, the natural question of "what am I lathering on my face every day" came up. Upon inspection and research the results ranged from mildly unpleasant to downright "WTF". This was the catalyst for the development of HONEY SHIELD.
TGS: Howzit Anton, tell us a bit about your ocean connection?
Anton Kruger: About 10 years ago I started my own kitesurfing school. It was a small business and I did most of the teaching myself.This meant I was spending 8 to 10 hours per day standing in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. I was starting to feel like a Simba Chippie... Crispy, brown and full of crinkles. Also, every time I went into the water, my eyes would burn horribly when the sunscreen washed into them.
TGS: So this was where you sought a friendlier solution...
AK: Yes. I started looking for a healthy alternative but could find none. After doing some research, I decided to try and make my own product. I am also a bee farmer so it is only natural that the base of my sunscreen came from honey and other bee products. Since then I never looked back.
TGS: Classic. So let's hear about the product itself?
AK: It took about 5 years to perfect the formula but I think it was all worth it. Our current product does not wash off in the surf, is non-toxic, tastes and smells lovely, does not burn the eyes, is very closely matched to skin colour and gives long lasting protection in and out of the water.
TGS: Any other positive effects?
AK: Another special thing about Honey Shield is that you can apply it on small cuts and grazes when you go into the water. Honey is a natural disinfectant and helps to keep the baddies out. And of course, it won't wash off. Just make sure you clean the wound properly before you do since you don't want to seal the bad stuff in.
TGS: Multi use suncream - what more do you need! When did it become a commercial possibility?
AK: Earlier this year I went on a surf trip and reunited with an old school surf buddy at Jbay. He had a look at the stuff and immediately said we should market it. So here we are. It has been very much a team effort. It is all about friends working together and having fun while doing so. The whole process seems to flow. It is almost as if it has got a life of its own by now. It is amazing what interest people are showing in our products. We have definitely hit a sympathetic nerve in the general public.
It is amazing the interest people are showing in our products. We have definitely hit a sympathetic nerve in the general public.
TGS: Epic. Well deserved. We're being cheeky here but give us a hint of the basic ingredients...
AK: For obvious reasons I am not going to spell out the recipe over here but all I can say is it contains only good stuff. Nothing you have to wonder about or never heard about before in your life. Good, honest ingredients like honey, beeswax and coconut oil. Do I need to say anything about the rejuvenating and healing effects of Raw Cape Honey? All our products are hand mixed from only choice ingredients. (And we are proud to say that all our current staff happens to be surfers!)
TGS: Finally, give us the product range and where you foresee Honey Shield going in the future?
AK: Our sun mask is called Honey Shield and is sold in 50ml cosmetic jars for R170 each. It comes in two tints, Fair and Tan, to match your own skin colour as closely as possible.
Our lip shield is called Honey Lips and is sold in 10ml jars for R80 each. The colour is matched to your natural lip colour.
Where are we going with it? Like I said the product seems to have taken on a life of its own. Currently we are happy to just go along for the ride and see where it takes us.
MEET THE HONEYSHIELD CREW
Anton and sons.
Anton taking product testing to the next level. The inventor and test driver of Honeyshield
Ernst Ohlhoff. Crack photographer (he has had shots published in the ZigZag),general funny guy, lateral thinker and computer wizard. He is busy with our website at the moment.
Miranda Kruger: Graphic designer and Anton's wife, she is the reason for their awesome branding. She loves to kiteboard but currently the twins are keeping her out of the water.
JJ - Anything practical and he is your man. His greatest virtue is working out how you can do something with maximum efficiency and minimum effort. He is in charge of product mixing, labeling, distribution and surfing as much as possible.
More product testing - JJ in the drivers seat this time
Tanya spearheads the marketing and advertising dept like a pro.
The lip shield looks delicious!
Sun mask ready to be applied to your face!