The breakfast TV reporter turned beauty empire boss behind the TikTok viral sunscreen brand Naked Sundays has opened up about its not-so overnight success.

This week, the brand arrived on the shelves of more than 1000 Target and Urban Outfitters stores across the US – a major milestone for founder and chief executive Samantha Brett, who said the global expansion was always part of her grand plans for the product.

It’s the first time the brand’s loyal fans will be able to shop the product in store after three years of getting it shipped from Australia.

“It’s been such a warm welcome from our US customers, which is not something that I expected,” Ms Brett said.

“I have been inundated with DMs and messages from customers that are so excited they are to finally be able to go in a store and try (the product).

“I was surprised and overwhelmed and a little bit humbled to see the response that I received.”

Ms Brett is being incredibly modest about the brand’s success. Take a scroll through any beauty addict’s TikTok For You page and you’ll catch the flash of their unmistakable holographic packaging.

The products have sold out several times over and have been featured in the glam routine of red carpet stars including Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause and Barbie star Ariana Greenblatt.

The brand is described as “high performance SPF” that fuses skincare and make-up – a disruptive force in the sunscreen industry that has long battled against the labels: boring, greasy and sticky.

“My seven-year-old daughter takes (our sunscreen stick) to school and has given it to all her friends,” she said.

“They think it’s the most fun thing they’ve ever seen.”

It’s hard to comprehend that sunscreen is now considered cool, especially for Ms Brett who grew up in the era of tanning oils.

“When we brought out Naked Sundays, the aim was to make it sound really cool, fun and sexy for the millennial generation that hates sunscreen,” she said.

“When we first came onto the market, there was a lot of education to be done.”

While SPF is considered a staple of any skincare routine worth its salt, just three short years ago it could have been more different.

“I started to see the explosion on social of people wanting to share a sunscreen (recommendation) for probably the first time,” Ms Brett said.

“I think people have realised there’s no point in buying the most expensive skincare in the world, if you don’t want to use sunscreen, it’s so pointless.

“It’s validating that we got the message out there in a way that was digestible for that generation, and now influencers and brands have taken that on-board and it has exploded in the way that now make my job easier. “

In saying that, the obstacles have far from cleared for Ms Brett, who says the Therapeutic Goods Administration regulation of the sunscreen industry has proven to be an ongoing battle.

In 2022, the TGA updated its advertising code to prohibit people from publishing opinions on therapeutic goods if it has been incentivised by payment or gifted products.

“I think the TGA has come from a good place in the sense they want people to be responsible when they’re recommending drugs to other people, especially when influencers are recommending weight-loss supplements,” Ms Brett said.

“But we have a melanoma epidemic in this country. We should let everyone say how much they love wearing sunscreen.”

Ms Brett has been a huge advocate, along with Go-To founder Zoe Foster-Blake, for relaxing the rules to enable influencers to post about sunscreen online without fear of being fined.

“The Australian government have spent tens of millions of dollars on the Slip Slop Slap campaign over the last 30 years and here comes hot, cool, fun influencers saying sunscreen is in my skincare routine – for free! Let them do it,” she said.

Naked Sundays is now available in Australia, the UK and the US, with plans to launch in Canada later this year.

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By Rahul

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