Diary / Beauty / Sep 26, 2022
Supergoop!’s Founder Shares Her Sunscreen Cheat Sheet
Written by: Holly Thaggard
When Bobbi asked me to write this article about sunscreen and what you should look for, I jumped. As the creator of Supergoop! SPF, it’s a topic I can’t get enough of, and for me to be able to give you - her readers - a little crash course on it is such an honor. Plus, wearing sunscreen is super important, because 90% of the signs of aging come from the sun and skin cancer currently impacts one in five Americans...and SPF is the number one thing you can do for your skin to stay protected.
PAY ATTENTION TO SPF
First things first, you should look for a sunscreen that’s between SPF 30 and SPF 50. Anything under or over these numbers isn’t sufficient - and here’s why: SPF 15 only protects you from 93 percent of the sun’s UVB (burning) rays, and anything above 50 gives people a false sense of all-day protection. Plus, it only protects you from less than one percent more of the sun’s UVB rays, while exposing your skin to a much higher concentration of chemicals that can be irritating in the process.
Secondly, you should always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen. The SPF numbers mentioned above are only tied to the amount of protection that you’re getting from the sun’s UVB (burning) rays. But there’s actually a whole other type of UV radiation coming from the sun - UVA (aging) rays - and these are the rays that cause damage like dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, all those little things we don’t like about our skin. Another not-so-fun fact about these rays is that they shine at about the same intensity all year round––even on cloudy days and even during the winter. So if a sunscreen isn’t labeled “broad spectrum,” then your skin isn’t safe from these rays (not good!).
Third, be sure you’re looking for a sunscreen with clean, effective ingredients. Formulating SPF is tricky business, and if it’s something you aren’t totally familiar with, then I really recommend finding a sunscreen brand that you can trust when it comes to the nuances here.
In terms of specific ingredients, one of the biggest red flags to look out for is oxybenzone, a sunscreen active that’s proven to be the number one skin irritant and aggressor to the coral reefs. Supergoop! was actually the first brand to formulate a clean chemical SPF without the use of this harmful ingredient back in 2007––we have never used it, and we never will. (At Supergoop! you’ll also find efficacy reports for each SPF formula we make on our website, as well as a No List that outlines over 100 ingredients we don’t use.)
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE
Finally, I’d like to emphasize that finding the perfect sunscreen is an extremely personal thing. Each and every person’s skin type and tone is totally unique to them, and that’s why I’ve always believed in creating both clean chemical and 100% mineral SPF options for people to choose from. Because what works for me might not work for you...and what works for you might not work for your mom, brother, sister, best friend or coworker.
That being said, here are some general rules of the road that you might find helpful…
For Oily or Acne-Prone Skin
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, I love our new Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 40 for everyday. It’s a gentle, lightweight lotion that you can use as the last step of your skincare routine, before makeup. I also love our Play 100% Mineral Lotion with SPF 50 for face and body on days when you’re more active at the beach or outside.
For Normal Skin
If you have normal skin, I love our invisible primer with SPF, Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40. And then our Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50 is a great formula for face and body if you happen to be swimming or sweating. It’s fast-absorbing on all skin tones and water-resistant for 80 minutes.
For Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, then I love our super hydrating daily moisturizer with SPF 40, Superscreen.
Now that you hopefully have a better idea of what to look for when it comes to SPF, Bobbi also asked me to tell y’all a little bit about how to wear it. Here are the big picture things to keep in mind:
Your whole body - from head to toe - needs about a shot-glass-full of SPF in order to stay adequately protected, every. single. day., all year long.
You should also be reapplying your SPF every two hours, because it can fade and degrade over time.
I love layering SPF on my face and my body––I like to call this “SPF wardrobing”––and it ensures that I cover spots with SPF that I might have missed before. For my face, I’ll wear a mix of Supergoop! products that are designed to layer beautifully on top of one another. I’ll apply Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 as a hydrating base layer first, then I’ll put on 100% Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40 as a makeup-gripping primer… I also love wearing our shimmery cream eyeshadow, Shimmershade SPF 30, on my eyelids, because your eyes need SPF too! Last, I’ll set the look with Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50, and also use that to reapply my SPF throughout the day. (It’s also important to note that layering SPF 40 on top of SPF 40 doesn’t equal SPF 80!)
I hope that this article serves as a nice little cheat sheet for you when it comes to all the SPF basics, and I also always love answering any SPF questions you might have… Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.