As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” And nowhere is that truer than when it comes to skin health. Enter Sundaily.
A healthy, balanced diet is not a cure-all for skin woes, but paying as much attention — if not more — to what you’re putting into your body as what you’re putting on it can go a seriously long way. Luckily, Sundaily exists to help us out with the former.
Sundaily is a skincare company, but it’s also much more than that. Co-founded by Dr. Emilia Javorsky, a dermatology researcher who saw a serious lack of followthrough and overpromising from conventional, topical skincare, Sundaily aims to keep skin happy and healthy from the inside out. Recognizing that typical skin stressors like sun, smog and free radicals weren’t totally avoidable, Javorsky set out to create a line of products that didn’t just protect, but aimed to prevent and reverse damage.
To help us understand what that actually looks like, we chatted with Javorsky about the work she’s doing at Sundaily, why a daily gummy may just be the key to your best, healthiest skin ever, and why you really should think twice about the claims on most skincare product labels.
Free People: Let’s start at the beginning: How did Sundaily come to be? Why ingestibles and why now?
Dr. Emilia Javorsky: My background is as a dermatology researcher. Being in the skin innovation ecosystem, I was struck by the body of scientific evidence on certain plant-based ingredients for their skin benefits when taken orally. However, these ingredients were not mapping to the ingestibles products I was seeing in the market. So the goal of Sundaily was to bring these science-based botanical ingredients to customers in a format that’s easy to take, which is why we chose a daily gummy.
In terms of “why ingestibles” and “why now,” most of skincare focuses on what we put on our skin — not what we put inside our bodies. We need to think about skin more holistically. Many topical products do not penetrate the skin deeply where much of the damage from skin stress occurs. This is why the ingestible or “skincare from within” is such an important and complementary approach to topicals [since it] addresses skin stress at the source.
What is “skin stress”?
“Skin stress” refers to the toll our daily lives can take on our skin. UV-light, living in a city, lack of sleep and poor diet are all factors that have been associated with premature skin aging. These stressors in our environment age our skin by causing oxidative stress or “free radical damage.” One way we can help our skin fight back against these stressors is through using antioxidant-rich ingredients that help to neutralize the free radicals.
But what about my healthy diet and all the topical skincare I use religiously every day?!
Great skincare is a holistic approach; there is no magic bullet for healthy, glowing skin. It’s all of the above approach: a balanced diet, staying hydrated, limiting your exposure to environmental stressors, using sunscreen everyday, evidence-based topicals like retinol, and ingestible products like Sundaily.
What’s the best way to introduce Sundaily products into your wellness routine?
That’s what’s really nice about Sundaily gummies: they add skincare benefits without requiring you to change your daily wellness or skincare routine. This is why we chose the gummy format — we know that pills are hard to take and form habits around, and daily drink powders are a big commitment. Taking a single tasty gummy is something that is rewarding and easy to do.
For us, it was also important that our gummies be as compatible as possible with other wellness practices. Sundaily gummies are vegan, made with organic ingredients, use natural flavoring, and minimize the amount of added sugar. When we think about wellness [as a company], it’s not just about our individual bodies but how can we promote wellness in our broader community and environment, which is why Sundaily is a certified B Corp for its commitment to social responsibility and sustainability.
What makes Sundaily unique in a crowded space?
The products are both tasty and effective. Sundaily is unique in the ingestible beauty space given its commitment to starting with the science, being transparent about the ingredients we use, and the form factor of a tasty vegan gummy. Starting with the principle that each of our products will only use ingredients that have been studied for their skincare benefits in people means we create products that can deliver benefits to customers in a format you’ll actually use each day.
What would you tell people who are wary of supplements?
That they should be skeptical. Many of supplements we find on the shelf have never been studied for the benefits that are being claimed on the bottle. Additionally, product quality and purity can vary tremendously. At Sundaily, we work with premium suppliers and third-party testing to be certain of our ingredients’ identity and potency. That sounds intuitive but it is surprisingly unique in the space. People should always demand to know what’s in the products they’re buying and if the ingredients have been tested for the benefits being claimed.
How do you decide which ingredients to blend for a specific outcome?
Our product development is guided by science and our products are formulated for the skincare benefits tested in clinical studies, using the same dosing and route of delivery — by mouth, not topical — as the studies.
How can someone using Sundaily gummies support the products with other lifestyle choices?
We know people have skincare routines that work for them so as a company, we’re not asking you to switch out any of the skincare and beauty products you love. Sundaily gummies are additive and work to help complement the products you put on your skin by promoting healthy skin from within.
Talk to me about the Back Up gummies: What are the hero ingredients? How do they support healthy skin?
The hero ingredient in the Back Up gummy is called astaxanthin, which is derived from algae. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant that works by helping to reduce the impact of skin stress and protecting our skin’s structural components, like collagen. Astaxanthin has been best studied for its ability to visibly reduce signs of aging such as improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fading age spots and promoting more plump and hydrated skin. One way to think of The Back Up is as an ingestible version of repairing and anti-aging topical products.
What does “beauty” mean to you?
For me, beauty and skin health are two sides of the same coin. Many of the signs we associate with skin aging — wrinkles, dry skin — are signs that skin isn’t able to do its job as well as it used to because of cumulative damage from skin stress. So for me, it’s not really about “beauty” but more about how can we make sure our skin is healthy and can be a strong, protective barrier between our bodies and the environment.
What inspires you every day?
I’m inspired that I have the opportunity to work on problems that I am passionate about. I am very fortunate to be in a position that what I do professionally aligns with what I believe in and care about in the world.
What’s the single most important thing someone can do for the health of their skin?
Think about skin health from a year-round, holistic perspective and not just in terms of “creams with benefits.” For example, no amount of topical anti-aging cream is going to undo the damage of bad habits like inadequate sleep, not wearing a daily sunscreen, and not eating a well-balanced diet.