Skin cancer is scary stuff. More than two in three Aussies will be diagnosed with skin cancer before age 70, and a whopping 750,000 of us are treated for at least one non-melanoma skin cancer each year.

Thankfully, there are plenty of safe (and stylish) ways to save your skin – Sunbella is just one of them.

Founded by Registered Nurse Jillian Intini in 2012, Sunbella makes parasols you’d be happy to carry around with you. Inspired by a skin care patient who was undergoing multiple skin cancer surgeries to the top of her head, Jillian found that the sun protection options available just weren’t cutting the mustard.

“Skin graft, upon skin graft, the medical staff were working to rid her of the disease,” says Jillian. “Whilst chatting with her in the post-operative recovery room, she divulged to me that she had spent her entire life outdoors and she despised wearing hats because they gave her hat-hair. She told me how she wore only a visor to avoid squashing her hair.

“Up until this point, sun protection was always an afterthought in my daily routine. If I wore sunscreen under my makeup, I couldn’t reapply it like I should. If I wore a hat, it was a small visor that wouldn’t give me hat hair. All existing sun protection options were hot, uncomfortable, impractical or unattractive. Keen to avoid the harrowing results that I was treating, I knew I needed an elegant, effective and easy option.”

After Jillian’s many Google searches for sun umbrellas turned up only lacy parasols or ostentatious umbrellas, she realised she needed to take matters into her own hands.

“I bought a couple of old rain umbrellas from the local swap-meet and dismantled and reassembled them, hand-sewed a canopy using curtain blockout fabric from Spotlight and had a handle turned from wood by a lovely gentleman at the Mens Shed,” says Jillian. “I straightened the spokes so it looked more elegant and added a frilly wind-vent to help it cope in the summer sea breeze. The result was an elegant and effective sun parasol.”

The compliments started flooding in. It didn’t take long for Jillian to realise the demand for her stylish parasol and in 2012, with her daughter’s marketing help, Sunbella was born. 

Now, eight years later, Jillian’s parasols have made their way into the hands of celebrities and literal royalty – Duchess Camila has even been seen toting her very own Sunbella.

But Jillian isn’t the only one changing the sun protection game. Check out some of our favourite sun savers that we’ll be rocking over summer!

  1. Sunbella Cosmopolitan sun parasol, $64.95, www.sunbella.com.au 
  2. Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF serum, $47, www.adorebeauty.com.au 
  3. Vehla Willow sunglasses, $170, www.vehlaeyewear.com 
  4. Une Piece Original Sexie Rashie in Botanical Pink, $229, www.unepiece.com 
  5. Lack of Color Cosmic Boater in navy, $199, www.lackofcolor.com.au 
  6. Sunday Supply Co. Salt Vintage umbrella, $249, www.sundaysupply.co 
  7. Sunbella SunStyle wrap, $89.95, www.sunbella.com.au 
  8. Shade Swim Kindred nursing one piece, $209, www.shadeswim.com.au
  9. We Are Feel Good Inc. Sensitive Suncreen SPF 50+, $49.95, www.wearefeelgoodinc.com.au


haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.