Local couple, Kari and Shannon Kenner, started their energy bar company with inspiration from something most Floridians wouldn’t give a second thought about — sunburns.

To most of us, sunburns just come with the territory. Slathering on sunscreen has become second nature to most beach-goers. We give skin protection a good shot, but aren’t stressing over a little redness. Because let’s face it, sunburns happen in the sunshine state.

Kari Keener doesn’t believe that Coppertone is the end-all-be-all of sun defense. In fact, she started her company, Waxhead, with the belief that the right nutrition can contribute to keeping our skin burn free. Now, the Waxhead energy bars that are designed with sun-defense inspired nutrition have recently become the official snack of the Jacksonville Armada.

Recently, we talked to Keener about her product.


How does the product work?

Our energy bars are meant to work in conjunction with good sunscreen. The bars give your body the vitamins and antioxidants needed to protect your skin from the inside out, as nature intended. Each bar contains 500 percent of your daily allowance of Vitamin C and E. These strong antioxidants reduce sunburn reaction, oxidative stress and free radical damage caused by the sun’s UV rays — the benefit never washes off your skin when in the water.

What type of person is your customer base?

We love living in Florida, and our products are targeted at that Floridian lifestyle. Our customers are surfers, fishermen, stand-up paddlers, kayakers, beach-goers, golfers and runners — anyone who likes playing outside and is concerned about reducing the chemicals they put on their skin, into their bodies and into our oceans.

How should the product best be used?

To help defend your skin in the sun, you should eat about one Waxhead bar a day. After a week, the skin on your entire body will neutralize about 80 percent of the sun’s rays, in addition to repairing existing cell damage and ridding your system of free radicals. We are in the process of field testing these benefits with surfers and fishermen in Florida and Southern California, and our first results are all positive. Users not wearing sunscreen, who spent four to six hours in the sun, noticed significantly less short-term effects (sun burn) after eating the bars for six days then spending the same amount of unprotected time in the sun.

One Waxhead bar delivers 500 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins C and E, along with a proprietary blend of natural nutrients and antioxidants. An average-size adult can get short-term sun protection by eating one to two bars during the day, and a kid can gain that benefit from eating one bar. As part of an ongoing diet, Waxhead bars provide long-term skin benefits to those of us who spend a lot of time on water and in the sun. Antioxidants in the bars reduce the risk of DNA damage and skin cancer. Study after study shows the effectiveness of adding such levels of these ingredients to your diet.

How does the product compare to sunscreen?

Our energy bars are a complement to sunscreens, repairing existing cell damage, as well as boosting the protection from new UV damage.

To try a free sample of Waxhead nutrient bars, go here.