Mom earns millions after tanning horror

A Melbourne mum who was fed up with the ‘horror’ reaction to tanning products decided to make her own – and it’s gone global.

Liz Agresta was so fed up with her skin’s reaction to some tanning products that she decided to create one herself.

In the three years since launching Australian Glow, the mother-of-one’s business has achieved $4 million in sales.

Liz has always been a religious self-tanner, but at the age of 30 her skin began to suffer reactions on her face from the harsh chemicals in other tanning products.

She said it got to a point where instead of feeling confident, it made her feel embarrassed.

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“I was doing this to look good, but it had the opposite effect,” Liz told

“I had very sensitive skin, so anything I used on my body often made me react.

“My skin was breaking out, I had redness, pimples and just horrible reactions and it was the same with my tanning regimen.

“I was very aware of sun damage so I resorted to self-tanning products, but again my skin was still reacting.”

That’s when Liz had a light bulb moment and started looking for a solution.

“I looked at the products on the market and realized there were a lot of things,” she said.

“The ingredients are often all the same and that’s when I attended trade shows and started getting more into the beauty industry.”

Liz contacted a local manufacturer in Melbourne who also had a chemist and from there they developed 1 Hour Express Dark Self Tanning Mousse.

It is a natural, organic and nourishing self-tanning lotion that is “super moisturizing”.

“I wanted a product that didn’t have any harmful chemicals,” Liz said.

You will find ingredients such as Kakadu plum, Goji berry, aloe vera and avocado oil.

“At the same time, I never wanted to have a product that wouldn’t give you that gorgeous bronzed look, so it had to be super hydrating and great for your skin.”

The product also includes DHA, the color ingredient in tanning products.

“All the tanning brands use DHS, but it’s all the other things they put in that make the difference.”

Australian Glow’s Instagram page has 238,000 followers, however, if you haven’t heard much about it yet, there’s a reason.

Liz decided to launch the brand overseas for the first time in 2019 following the huge interest she received at Cosmoprof, one of the world’s biggest beauty shows in Bologna, Italy.

“I couldn’t compete with what was happening here in Australia – the market was saturated with tan lines,” Liz told

“I decided to go overseas for a trade show and that’s where we got a lot of interest from big retailers who wanted to sell our products.”

Liz launched the 1 Hour Express Dark Self Tan Mousse and refill products, the latter being the big point of difference that shoppers went crazy for – mainly in the Nordic countries where sustainability is a huge thing.

“Instead of buying a new bottle, customers would just go to a retailer and buy a refill pouch – it uses 80% less plastic than a standard tan bottle. And it was a big hit overseas.

Following her success overseas, she launched the Down Under brand in 2019, with Priceline being the first major retailer to launch.

It has also expanded to the United States, which now accounts for more than 75% of sales. Some of the major retailers around the world include Macys, Revolve, Douglas, Urban Outfitters and Anthropology.

Liz and her eight-person team are also in the final stages of locking down a large US pharmacy with more than 8,000 locations.

This deal alone will bring in $7 million a year to Australian Glow’s bottom line.

Liz invested $25,000 in the company and since its inception, 300,000 units have been sold.

But the journey hasn’t been easy, with Liz saying she faced many challenges along the way.

“It’s been a big roller coaster – I’ve made so many mistakes. It’s the first time I’ve done something like this and on top of that there are so many beauty product export rules there. stranger whom I did not know.

Despite the obstacles, Liz said it has been an incredible experience and she often cannot believe the rapid success of her small business, which is valued at $15 million.

In keeping with her ethos of changing the industry for good, the 37-year-old made a bold move to provide a completely transparent ingredient list.

The first global initiative aims to empower customers to make informed choices when it comes to their skin.

Each ingredient is listed and explained in detail why it was used.

And of course, Liz hasn’t had any horror reactions since using her own products, with 15 more to launch by the end of 2022.

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