I'm with the brand: Supergoop

I'm with the brand: Supergoop

Sun's out

Text: Renée Batchelor

Are all sunscreens created equal? Supergoop founder and CEO Holly E. Thaggard doesn't think so, which is why she decided to create a brand focussing on sun protection for all needs and preferences

We don't put a lot of thought into sunscreen, but really we should. After all, Singapore's location, one degree north of the equator, puts us at a particularly vulnerable position when it comes to our exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays. Most of us are happy to slap on some SPF25 sunscreen with our moisturisers before we leave our houses in the morning, but how many of us can reapply — what we often think is thick and goopy sunscreen — over our makeup. And how many remember to apply it on the lips, one of the most vulnerable and thinnest parts of the skin on the face? With skin cancer on the rise, sun protection for the face and body is not just about looking good — UVA exposure literally ages your skin by years — but being healthy and cancer-free as well. This is a lesson Supergoop's founder Holly E. Thaggard learnt firsthand when a close friend contracted melanoma at a young age.

Thaggard thought of these factors when she created her brand Supergoop, and sees the brand as the leader in sunscreen innovation, especially when it comes to delivering high-performance products with quality ingredients and breathable textures. This is the basis of every Supergoop product the brand puts out. She says, "Most skincare lines have one or two SPF SKUs, but for Supergoop, every single one of our products is built on this foundation." And whether it's developing innovative textures like sprays, mousses, and oils for the face and body, or thinking of products no one else has, Thaggard is determined to change the name of the sunscreen game. We speak to her before the island-wide launch of Supergoop at Sephora stores this June. Psst... we hear the brand is bringing all of its products in.

What is the concept of Supergoop, and how is it different from other brands?
When I created this brand, my vision for this company was to inspire healthy habits. Just like people brush their teeth and put their seatbelt on, I feel like skin protection should be part of this healthy habit. I knew if I wanted people to incorporate a healthy skin regimen, the formulas needed to feel good. Many times people have tried an SPF that irritated their skin or hurts their eyes, so what really sets Supergoop apart — and what we're known for — is delivering on very feel-good formulas that are highly effacacious. We are not sacrificing the quality of the product for this comfort and we also we are very mindful of ingredient choices. Before I launched this brand, I looked at the suncare market, I saw the chemical sunscreens and how they're not very careful with their formula — many have parabelns and possible carcinogens. When I looked at the mineral formulas, they felt bad on the skin and they were heavy and left a chalky residue. So what we set out to do was to improve on the textures and the feel of the mineral sunscreens and to take the chemical formulas and get rid of all the things that are irritating to the skin and that are controversial.

Why the name Supergoop?
I was looking for a really fun and playful name that will make people immediately smile. If we're going to teach people to change habits, we need to start them at a young age. I needed a name that would appeal to the youngest of kids. I was looking for a name that was not specific to babies or children, but 'kiddos'. So it was really the name that would really describe how fabulous and super our formulas are, but one that's also tongue-in-cheek and playful and hard to say without smiling.

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen SPF50
Why was suncare, and specifically luxury skincare with heavy suncare benefits an untapped market in your opinion?
The joke around my house is that I had to do SPF. It's hard, it's challenging. It's regulated by the government — and each country has different rules — and that's part of the reason it's hard for it to be accessed internationally. It's not easy. Because of that, there have been very few brands that have made it their sole purpose to be outside of the drugstore.

The way I see it, that was a big opportunity because no one else is bringing innovation to the suncare category. We're not that sunscreen that's just an SPF30 lotion or gel. For example with our newest launch, it has an SPF50 for the skin; it is beautiful with hydrating avocado oil and shea butter. It feels great and its not sticky or tacky. There's no heaviness, and it works on all skin colours. We're trying to find new ways to deliver it to the skin which make it unique.With our sunscreen oil, and yet it has 80 minutes of water resistancy and an SPF50. I'm always looking for ways for people to reapply sunscreen which is a challenge many women have, which is why they don't re-apply sunscreen even though they should. We're also launching a powder that has SPF, and is water-resistant and oil-resistant and that can be brushed on to reapply. We have 30 years worth of products in the works; there isn't enough time to launch these products every day. In my head, I'm wondering why before we even fix wrinkles and hydration, we aren't preventing the very thing which causes ageing in the first place? After that, what else can we layer in to make it a true, multi-functional product?

What are you top three, bestselling products?
The Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF50, which was sold out at Sephora. It was so obvious that women needed something to reapply with over the makeup. It was shocking to us how fast we sold out. This is something which is still our number one. It's a new category and definitely after working out, there's something refreshing about it. Our number two is City Sunscreen Serum SPF30, which is a light, multi-functional, anti-ageing product. Our number three is our Daily Correct CC Cream SPF35; this delivers and and colour-corrects the skin tone and reduces inflammation. I'm not sure if this colour is the right match [for you] but it's self-adjusting. It makes your skin look so much younger.
Supergoop Lip Screen
Tell us about your Lip Screen as it's a very interesting concept. 
Most lipsticks don't have SPF in them and wearing lip colour actually increases your risk to sun exposure and causes more ageing on your lips. This thin coat really makes your lip colour pop when applied over it and changes it to an SPF with protection. Why doesn't lip colour have SPF? I don't understand why it's not built-in protection [with our colours].

Are there any famous fans of Supergoop?
Sun protection is so important for Maria Sharapova. She said she can play tennis for hours and hours with our sunscreen and it doesn't hurt her eyes. She found it at Sephora and told her agent she'd love to talk to this company. When we sat down in LA, she said she was not looking for money or an endorsement, and she wanted to be a big megaphone to our message instead... so she actually invested in our company. We have a great relationship, we're very tight. She works a lot with me on the formulations and she puts them to the true test.

Jessica Chastain is a big fan of ours, Khloe Kardashian has been writing to us a lot lately. She's had skin cancer so this is very important to her. We have quite a big celebrity following. Gwyneth Paltrow... we didn't even know she was ordering it. The second year she bought it from us directly, so we realised who was ordering it. We're very flattered, I mean this is a brand that's easy to love. We just want to help, and help people love to protect their skin.

Supergoop will be available at Sephora stores from June 2017. In the meantime, you can purchase it online here