How a Pandemic-Era Subway Ride Inspired a Sustainable Seaweed Suncare Line

Growing up in Southern California, Mark Drew often found himself with his toes buried in the warm sand and his skin kissed by the relentless sun. Skin health, however, was never top of mind as a child. The outdoors exposed him to the ocean’s soothing vibrations and the birds’ natural sounds, rather than the dangers of the sun.

Seeing beauty in the moments led him to a career in fashion and product photography, beginning in Florida and then to New York City, until the pandemic when opportunities dwindled and the deep-rooted desire for something more meaningful began to emerge, both on a professional and personal level.

One afternoon, an unexpected entrepreneurial prospect emerged amidst the commotion of a typical Manhattan subway journey. During the deafening train noises and the incomprehensible announcements of the conductor, Drew shared his daydream of a day at the beach with two fellow commuters. In the pandemic-induced fear that permeated subway rides, characterized by masked faces concealing any semblance of joy, the notion of enjoying the sun and sand seemed far more appealing than the reality of the subway’s atmosphere. The three began to discuss their childhoods at the beach, far away from the cold and hardness of the present moment commute.

Drew noticed the couple’s love for the ocean was not just appreciative but deep with valuable insight, sharing a therapy harnessing the properties of the sea referred to as thalassotherapy. This alternative therapy is speculated to have been developed in the seaside towns of Brittany, France in the 19th century. It was a French tie that Drew felt deeply connected to as his grandmother was born in the south of France.

Thalassotherapy uses seawater, sea products, and an ocean climate to heal the skin and revitalize the soul. The discussion grew into more than just ocean preservation, specifically the health benefits of seaweed and the ecological benefits of sustainable seaweed farming.

This one subway conversation planted the seed for Le Bronzage™, a reef-safe suncare line using seawater, marine algae, and seaweed harvested from Brittany, to protect and heal the skin. The are two products, an SPF moisturizer for the daytime and a sunset serum to repair the skin. Marine algae and seaweed are loaded with high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to restore and repair cells, which protect against environmental attackers such as ultraviolet radiation, pollution, smoking, and deficient nutrition.

Drew and his family moved back down to Florida during the pandemic where he began to set the vision for his new ocean-friendly suncare line, found exclusively at

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