Supergoop Founder Holly Thaggard Reveals the Best Way to Use Sunscreen
After a close friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, Holly Thaggard, the founder of Supergoop, made it her mission to advocate skin health and the importance of SPF sunscreen.
"I learned that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US but that it’s easily preventable with the use of daily SPF sunscreen," Thaggard says.
Established in 2007, Thaggard crafted a collection of ingredient-conscious, efficacious formulas that deliver broad spectrum protection in unique, user-friendly and feel-good ways, in an effort to end the skin cancer epidemic and change the way the world thinks about sunscreen.
"Supergoop is on a mission to change the way the world thinks about sunscreen. I've spent over 10 years challenging consumer myths about SPF and its perception as a seasonal product," Thaggard says. "Hence, I created clean, effective and feel-good formulas that make it easy to wear sunscreen every single day."
Why is SPF important?
Holly Thaggard (HT) Sun damage is responsible for 90 per cent of the signs of ageing as well as skin cancer. By applying Supergoop every single day, you're protecting your skin from UVA (ageing) and UVB (burning) rays.
UVA rays are present all year round and penetrate through clouds as well as glass. They are responsible for the skin damage such as wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and they are a major culprit in skin cancer.
What do the SPF numbers mean?
HT SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it measures protection against UVB rays. This is a rating that is calculated in a lab setting to measure how long you can be exposed to UV rays before getting sunburned. It's important to remember that the SPF rating is obtained via a very exact testing protocol in a lab setting and the level of protection can vary when you don't apply enough product.
The key is to apply generously and evenly to ensure the maximum level of protection.
How does sunscreen actually work for your skin?
HT There are two families of sunscreens: chemical and mineral. Clean chemical sunscreens protect you by absorbing the sun’s rays after you apply, while mineral SPF protects by physically blocking the sun’s rays—the particles lay on top of the skin.
Our 100 per cent mineral formulas are great for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin, or for children with sensitive skin.
We believe there’s a time and a place for both clean chemical and 100 per cent mineral SPF depending on your skin type, skincare concerns, lifestyle, and texture preference.
What’s the best way to apply sunscreen?
HT If you’re using a lotion or one of our primers such as our Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 or Mattescreen SPF 40, I recommend applying a generous amount to your skin with your hands. Our PLAY Mist SPF 40 allows you to spray SPF on before a day of play, and can even be used upside down for easy application
We recommend reapplying every two hours—if you’re wearing make-up, our 100 per cent Mineral Setting Powder is a great way to reapply SPF over your make-up, while helping to alleviate oily skin.
What’s the best sunscreen to use for when you’re indoors and outdoors?
HT For daily use, when you’re inside and out of the house, I love our Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, Mattescreen SPF 40, or Zincscreen SPF 40, all of which provide broad spectrum protection as well as protection against blue light damage.
For outdoor use, I always recommend our original formula, PLAY Lotion SPF 50, which can be used on the face and body, and is a hydrating lotion.
(Related: 5 Skincare Mistakes You Might Be Making, According To Dr Harold Lancer)
Could you tell us a little bit about the new CC Screen?
HT Our new CC Screen SPF 50 features an updated formula, higher SPF rating, and now comes in 15 blendable, flexible shades. It contains skin-nourishing, clean ingredients that cover imperfections and even out skin tone while also helping provide long-lasting protection and anti-aging powers. It’s great for all skin types as it has a super natural finish, and provides buildable coverage.
How would you incorporate the CC Screen into an everyday make-up routine?
HT I would recommend applying first a base layer of SPF, be it our Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, Glowscreen SPF 40, or another base layer, and then apply this on top of it. It’s buildable so if you need more coverage in some areas, you can layer more on. You can apply our CC Screen SPF 50 with your fingers, a make-up sponge, or brush after applying one of our beauty base layer products. After that apply your make-up like normal.
Would you recommend this product for those who have active acne breakouts?
HT Yes, CC Screen's super clean 100 per cent mineral formula is a great option for someone with acne-prone skin who is looking to cover up redness or blemishes. Zinc oxide (the sunscreen active in CC Screen) is a natural anti-inflammatory and the formula is non-comedogenic and oil free.
We recommend layering CC Screen over our most gentle formula, Zincscreen SPF 40, if you're having an active breakout. Wearing SPF is incredibly important if you are acne prone because it helps to prevent acne scarring.
How would you reapply sunscreen when you have make-up on?
HT We recommend reapplying with our 100 per cent Mineral Setting Powder SPF 40. It’s a setting powder that locks in make-up, allows you to reapply SPF throughout the day, and reduces oil and shine. Plus, the component allows you to throw it in your bag and go.
What other Supergoop! products would you recommend for Malaysians?
HT I love our Glowscreen SPF 40 as it provides broad spectrum protection while giving the skin a gorgeous, luminous glow. It works beautifully under make-up as well.
Do you have a favourite Supergoop! product?
HT It’s so hard to pick a favourite. I love our original formula, PLAY Lotion SPF 50, since it can be used on the face and body. Our Unseen Sunscreen SPF 50 is another favourite—it’s an entirely clear primer with SPF 40 that layers perfectly under make-up. I also love our Glowscreen SPF 40, and, of course, our new CC Screen SPF 50.
(Related: 7 Of The Best SPF Lip Balm And Treatments)