Mara Is Launching an Oil-based Sunscreen

After two decades of wanting an oil-based sunscreen, Mara founder Allison McNamara decided to make one herself. 

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“Making SPF is not for the faint of heart,” McNamara said. “I definitely see something for the body, for the lip area, and maybe at one point even a tinted formulation in our future, but I’m really excited about delivering a body sunscreen at some point.”

The sunscreen serum retails for $52 and will be available on, as well as several online retailers, including Credo, Revolve and Cult Beauty. It is expected to do $1.2 million in sales its first year, according to industry sources.

Mara’s sunscreen is the first 100 percent oil-based SPF product to hit the market, according to the brand. Oil-based sunscreens are not common, though indie beauty brand Kari Gran also makes one.

McNamara said she believes these types of products will continue to grow in popularity, and that the Sunscreen Serum fits in well with her product line, which is almost entirely oil based, aside from the Volcanic Sea Clay Detox Masque. 

“Mara formulas take about four to five years on average to formulate because they’re completely custom formulas that are built from scratch,” McNamara said. “We go through a rigorous R&D process to make sure all of the ingredients have amazing synergy and are truly active and beneficial for the skin.”

McNamara, a former beauty and style journalist, founded Mara in 2018 using nutrients and active ingredients from the ocean including the brand’s proprietary algae blend. The brand has been promoted by celebrities including Chrissy Teigen, Olivia Munn and Hailey Bieber. 

Mara’s ingredients are sustainably harvested from the ocean using tactics similar to wildcrafting. The brand offers repeat customers the option to recycle their empty containers for a 10 percent discount. When making a purchase, customers may also opt for carbon neutral shipping at an additional cost. 


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