We believe that the best ideas often come when you least expect them. A family holiday to a humid climate led to a constant battle with insects that simply wouldn’t stay away. Sprays and lotions were all tried, and the results were mixed to say the least. Constantly having to lug around bottles in our already heavy backpack was a nuisance and at times messy. And if we forgot to pack repellent — it was near impossible to find one that was safe for our whole family.
The closest we were able to get to a proper solution were insect sprays that we would constantly have to reapply throughout the day. And every time we went into the water, they’d have to be applied all over again, making sure not to miss a single spot of skin. Not only were they time-consuming to apply, they also weren’t safe or suitable in a lot of cases. Children, pregnant women and people with sensitive skin are all warned on the label to stay away (and that is if you were able to read the label!) Surely there had to be a better way?
When we got home to Canada we started working to get to the bottom of the problem and find a DEET-Free insect repellant everyone could use.
We searched right across North America and couldn’t find a thing, until a chance encounter changed everything…
A friend from Europe was visiting and heard about our search. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t just go and buy TotalSTOP like everyone else back home. You could use it for 12-hour protection, use it on children and infants 6+ months, and it was 100% waterproof! The only problem was no one in Canada has ever heard of it...
In that moment we spotted a gap in the market and never looked back.
Some research led us to a little corner of Finland and a skilled manufacturer who had already solved the DEET-Free insect repellant problem. He’d been selling Icaridin-based TotalSTOP all over the world (except North America) since 2009 and had always meant to find the time to enter the Canadian market. We also saw that he’d created large individually packaged wipes that were convenient, able to fit in a carry-on, and eliminated the need to carry more than one type of repellent for individual family members. Plus the wipes made application even easier!
The team at SurfaceScience were instantly impressed with the manufacturer’s commitment to reducing waste, sustainable manufacturing, and eco-responsibility — all of which aligned with our corporate values. We knew we had found the perfect partner to fill a large gap in the Canadian market for an eco-conscious insect repellant suitable for all ages that was easy to apply, waterproof and lasted all day.