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Why We’re Restoring The Nice Barrier Reef – Tropic Skincare

I sat down to talk to our founder and CEO, Susie Ma, and asked: “What does the deep blue mean to you?” Here’s her story…

“I grew up in Cairns in tropical North Queensland, Australia – right next to the beautiful Great Barrier Reef,” Susie tells me, a nostalgic smile spreading across her face. “As a little kid, I always dreamed of becoming a scuba diver. Of experiencing the ocean by becoming part of it, swaying with its movements as it breathes deeply in and out. I remember I’d jump around on the beach and giggle with delight as the foam tickled my toes.”

“Last year, I was finally able to do it. To get up close to what had been a mystery to me, sitting just beneath the surface of that blue sprawling blue sea. And what I saw there surpassed every childhood curiosity and adventure-hungry teen dream. What I saw there felt as if I was being welcomed into a whole new world. It felt like magic.”



“The moment you submerge in the deep, indigo waters – everything changes,” she explains. “It becomes quiet, tranquil. You feel completely weightless and relaxed. As you journey deeper into the ocean, among a landscape of huge rocks, you see a colourful, vibrant city. An ancient coral metropolis.”

“It’s busy there, like the centre of New York City. You see shoals of colourful tropical fish swimming around with bright, eccentric patterns. And just like people living in a city, the residents living in this coral reef grow up there and raise their families around it.”

She tells me about her dives, about how on everyone she became more familiar with a section of coral, but each time she’d still discover something new. It’s the perfect place for someone with an endless supply of curiosity.

“Coral reefs support 25% of all marine life,” Susie tells me. Her face is animated with wide-eyed wonder whenever she speaks of life under the sea. “Not everyone knows that coral are living, breathing animals in their own right! We can only see the outside of their hard coral exterior, but there are living creatures inside that skeletal shell, in the form of thousands of tiny soft-tissue polyps that have bodies, mouths and tentacles. These creatures are the beating hearts of our oceans.”


“Heartbreakingly, our beautiful coral cities could be gone by 2050. Global warming has already destroyed 50% of coral reefs over the last 30 years, and in the next 30 years, a terrifying 90% of our coral reefs are set to die.”

“Global warming is affecting all areas of our climate, but the ocean takes a huge hit. The water absorbs 93% of the heat caused by rising carbon dioxide levels – otherwise, our global temperature would be 36 degrees higher!”

“Coral bleaching is a direct consequence of rising temperatures and pollution. When the sea gets too hot, the fragile plankton living inside the coral get sick and stop producing food. It’s like when our body temperature rises – we get a fever, we can’t function as normal. Except unlike us, coral can’t just cool themselves down! Out of stress, they expel the sick plankton from their bodies, leaving behind a white skeleton. We call this coral bleaching. As the coral expelled its main source of food, it starves to death.”

“When a coral reef dies, it’s unable to supply food and shelter for the little fish that live there, so they die too. This means that bigger fish also have nothing to eat, and the effects ripple all the way to the top of the food chain – affecting the big guys, like sharks, dolphins and whales.”


“But it doesn’t have to be this way – there’s something we can do to create a healthier, greener, more empowered world. The biggest fight is against global warming. But scientists have found a way to grow more climate-resilient coral. And I want you and I to be a part of that.”

“That’s why, 10% of all the profits of our 2022 festive collection will be donated to the Reef Restoration Foundation in Australia. Every gift helps to grow a Tropic nursery of climate-resilient baby coral on the Great Barrier Reef. To learn exactly how they revive coral, I urge you to watch our interview with Ryan, the foundation’s CEO. The non-profit organisation is actually based in my hometown of Cairns, which makes me feel especially proud.” 

“I wanted to shine a light on the world beneath the waves with these collections and raise awareness of the hidden beauty that lies beneath the surface, both of the ocean and ourselves. Our talented designers have outdone themselves with these tins. They’ve hand-designed seven limited-edition treasure troves that celebrate seven gorgeous creatures. From Radiance Revealed – our ode to the adorable Christmas Tree Worm – to Silent Night – a celebration of the sleepy Feather Star. Each illustrated tin is brimming with self-care treats, best-selling skincare, and natural beauty. The best part? This gift is guaranteed to make you feel good inside and out.” 

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