Beauty news: RAAIE calls for sun protection to be tax free, and I definitely concur

Launched less than two years ago but already a major player – and award winner – in the beauty space, RAAIE is an active skincare brand with the transformative power of New Zealand’s land, sea and alpine botanicals at its heart, and it is seriously impressive. It was founded by New Zealander Katey Mandy, who spent 11 years working in the fashion and beauty industries in London and New York on high-profile celebrity campaigns such as Katy Perry for ghd, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Ryan Reynolds for M&S, and renowned Hollywood stylist Kate Young for Target. Her attention to detail and eye for a seriously covetable aesthetic is immediate from the minute you lay eyes on RAAIE’s superlative product offering, and yes, that sublime packaging comes with serious formulas to back it up.
The name RAAIE refers to ‘Ra’, god of the sun, and ‘ray’, as in ray of light, and central to the brand’s ethos is an awareness of our complex relationship with the sun in this part of the world. While we celebrate it and love to be out in it, we are always aware that the Antipodean sun is incredibly harsh. Sun exposure is shown to be responsible for 80-90 percent of visible facial ageing, and an effective form of sun protection is always the top anti-ageing product named by dermatologists, cosmetic doctors and makeup artists the world over. Sun Milk Drops by RAAIE was the brand’s first true nod to the harshness of our sun, a tinted SPF50+ sunscreen that definitely takes things up a few notches when it comes to desirability, and its high performing to boot. 100 percent mineral, Sun Milk Drops are unlike many environmentally-friendly brands, with the sheer, silky feel of a chemical sunscreen that we all know and love, but in planet-friendly form.

RAAIE founder, Katey Mandy

Still on the topic of the sun, RAAIE’s inspiring founder has launched a petition to end what she calls “our most cancerous tax”, challenging the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on SPF sun protectant products in New Zealand. Melanoma poses a significant threat to New Zealanders, with over 350 preventable deaths annually. Sunscreen products have been scientifically proven to prevent melanoma, yet they have a GST levy. By 2025, skin cancer will cost the New Zealand health system around $300 million a year – yet the estimated revenue generated in GST from sunscreen sales is only $4.2 million. It’s a no-brainer, and RAAIE has kicked things off by pledging to “remove” GST from their sunscreen products by taking 15% off the retail price.
"Skin cancer doesn't discriminate, and neither should access to protection," says Katey. "It's hard to believe that in a country where the sun's rays pose such a grave threat to our health, we're effectively penalising citizens for safeguarding themselves against it. For example, Australia, who also have the highest rates of cutaneous malignant melanoma globally, do not have GST on sunscreen products and per capita experiences lower rates of deaths relating to melanoma."
“Whether you use a boutique facial sunscreen or an all body, everyday sunscreen, we can all benefit from making sunscreen more accessible. And we urge other sunscreen brands and consumers to join us in putting an end to this tax,” Mandy continues.
By eliminating this barrier, we can all pave the way for a healthier, more sun-safe Aotearoa. Join RAAIE in the fight against skin cancer by signing the petition today and provoking a tax-free future for sunscreen in New Zealand.


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