I’m a firm believer that summer ends on September 30th. That said, I thought it would be interesting to talk about sunscreen now that, according to the school system, the official summer season is coming to an end. I’m the type of person who is good about wearing SPF June-August when I can feel the sun on my face, but I can be a slacker the rest of year. So, I gave Holly Thaggard from Supergoop! a call to get her tips on how to be better at applying it religiously. My motivation: I’ve started noticing a lot of skin discoloration and fine lines on my skin this year and all of the research I’ve done has said that an SPF is the best way to protect against these woes. Supergoop! is my most favorite sunscreen brand because they really know what they’re doing (so they’re trustworthy), their formulations are clean, and they have fantastic mineral options that apply beautifully. Holly founded Supergoop! with the mission to make sunscreen a daily part of our routine, and since that is my new goal for 2018, I figured she was the best person to talk to!
Laney: Sunscreen isn’t just for the summer- it’s an everyday thing, right? When did you find that out and how do you stick with it?
Holly: When a close friend of mine was diagnosed with skin cancer in our early 30s, I set out to learn everything there was to know about sun exposure. What I learned was that skin cancer was the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and that it was primarily preventable with daily SPF. And yet very few people wore it because it didn’t feel good on their skin. With Supergoop!, I wanted to create products that not only protect against the sun’s rays, but feel so good everyone would want to wear it every single day.
Laney: When, where, and what kinds of sunscreen should we be using?
Holly: Rain or shine, winter or summer, you should be wearing sunscreen every single day! There are two different kinds of sunscreen, mineral and chemical, and both have wonderful benefits. Whether you choose one or the other depends on your personal preferences, but no matter what you wear, SPF 30 is the minimum needed for daily protection. For a day outdoors, we recommend SPF 50 (and don’t forget to reapply!).
Laney: How much sunscreen should we be applying? And how often?
Holly: You need ¼ teaspoon (a nickel-sized dollop) for your face, and 1 oz (or a shot glass full) of sunscreen to cover your entire body, but I say you can never have too much! I’m all about an SPF wardrobe in order to make sure I’m protecting areas that may have been missed, so I layer a variety of products on top of one another. It’s also important to reapply at least every two hours!
Laney: What’s the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreen? Can chemical ever be cleaner than mineral?
Holly: Chemical sunscreens absorb UV light (so your skin doesn’t), and they allow for weightless, sometimes clear formulas. We love them for every day, beaching it or working out. Mineral ones are made up of tiny white, UV-protecting particles (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or both) and are more gentle and less likely to cause irritation. We love them for anyone with sensitive or acne-prone skin. And it’s important to know that all of Supergoop!’s products use the perfect balance of the cleanest, most efficacious ingredients out there, whether they’re chemical or mineral.
Laney: There have been complications with other mineral sunscreens due to their poor formulation. When choosing a sunscreen, how can we know that it will be truly effective?
Holly: Unfortunately you can’t always trust labels, but you can take extra steps to make sure the formulas are truly effective when you use them… For mineral SPF, if you see that the formula has separated and isn’t white when you squeeze it out of the tube, then that’s not good. For chemical SPF, you can’t visibly tell whether or not it’s effective, so we suggest applying more than you think is necessary and reapplying often. That being said, we are the ONLY company out there that posts its efficacy reports online, so you’ll always have peace of mind knowing that our products live up to their protection claims.
Laney: Speaking of mineral, there are a lot of sunscreen terms out there: UVA, UVB, Broad-spectrum, chemical, mineral, oxybenzone… Honestly, it’s confusing. What does all of that mean to us? And, what should we look for?
Holly: When choosing a sunscreen, it’s important to choose one that has broad spectrum protection, meaning it will guard your skin from both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. All of our products are broad spectrum, and they also all have antioxidants in them that help protect your skin from free radical damage, too.
Laney: What about people who never burn in the sun? Should they be wearing sunscreen everyday?
Holly: All skin tones need SPF, even those who rarely burn. When it comes to sun protection, most people tend to think only about sunburns, which are only caused by the sun’s UVB (burning) rays. But the truth is, you’re forgetting an entirely different type of sun damage that impacts your skin no matter what color it is… UVA (aging) rays attack an even deeper layer of the skin, and they can contribute to skin cancer and also cause all those little things about our skin we don’t like (wrinkles, dark spots, etc.).
Laney: What are some of the beauty benefits you get from wearing sunscreen everyday?
Holly: Many people don’t know that 90% of the signs of aging are actually caused by the sun, so wearing SPF daily is the #1 thing you can do to benefit your skin’s beauty and health!
Laney: Is there any reason to not wear SPF every day? Isn’t it good to get some Vitamin D?
Holly: Studies actually show that it only takes 10-15 minutes of sun exposure a day to get an adequate amount of Vitamin D, and regular sunscreen usage shouldn’t inhibit your Vitamin D production. It’s also good to remember that you can get Vitamin D from food like salmon, mushroom and eggs!
Laney: If you had to recommend 2-3 Supergoop! products for us to have in our makeup cabinet, which ones would they be?
Holly: I’m loving our brand-new Smooth & Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40, which acts as a daily makeup-gripping primer that also helps protect against blue light (the light that comes from your phone and computer). It also has a non-whitening tint that’s highly blendable, and it blurs pores and mattifies your skin… Kind of like an Instagram filter for your face!
Right now I’m also not leaving the house without our Glow Stick SPF 50 in tow – I’ve been on-the-go a lot this summer, and it’s so easy to throw in my bag and use whenever I need to reapply my SPF (or just whenever I feel like my skin needs a little pick-me-up).
And last but not least, another favorite of mine for the past 3+ years has been our Forever Young Body Butter SPF 40 – I put this on every single day, right after I get out of the shower, to lock in moisture and to give me a base layer of SPF. The texture’s great and it smells amazing too!
Special thanks to Holly!