Sally and I started our love affair with Supergoop! years ago. I want to say that we've been using it for as long as this blog has been active (which is nearly seven years). It all started with the Everyday Sunscreen - the first SPF we had tried that didn't feel like sunscreen but protected like no other for both face and body. Don't be confused by the name - there's nothing "goopy" about this stuff. We easily got our family hooked on Supergoop! and what began as an answer to our beach and exposed summer skin prayers turned into daily use. As the brand evolved, so did our knowledge of sun damage and the desire to protect our skin as much as possible with the best products possible. Being that Supergoop! is the first and only skincare brand completely dedicated to UV protection, we've continued to fall back on their formulas...experimenting with different SPF formulas for face and body but never being let down in the coverage protection.
What makes Supergoop! super special - besides the fact it's made with healthy ingredients and free of the controversial ones (the main reason we discovered it all those years ago) - is their broad-spectrum technology that protects against all types of skin-damaging rays with feel-good formulas. Sunscreen, sun protection, SPF - no matter what you call it, the truth is that it's necessary every single day. For me that calls for varying degrees of coverage and relying on a range of Supergoop! products. Given that Sally and I are at the beach this week with family I thought it would be the perfect time to dish out some sun protection lingo and a few tips while also sharing my current Supergoop! faves. I'll walk through the three options I love for daily face use (all perfect for incorporating into a beauty routine) and what I've been using at the beach for tip-to-toe coverage.
Knowledge is power no matter what you’re buying but it’s incredibly important when it comes to sun protection!
UVA and UVB and IRA:
- The sun’s rays that are damaging to the skin are known as Ultra Violent (UV) rays.
- UVA rays are known as “aging rays.” They penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer, and play a greater role in premature skin aging changes including wrinkle formation (photo aging). These rays have no varying degree of intensity – they’re always there and can penetrate clouds and glass.
- UVB rays are known as “burning rays.” They burn the superficial layers of your skin and are the ones responsible for producing sunburn. They also play the greatest role in causing skin cancers.
- Historically, There are approximately 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB rays. Therefore, in addition to protecting your skin from the effects of UVB rays, it is also very important to protect from the damaging effects of the more numerous UVA rays.
- IRA, or Infrared-A (IRA) Radiation comes from anything that emits heat…the sun, heat lamps, hair dryers, nail lamps, etc. Like UVA rays, IRA is the other aspect of sun exposure that contributes to skin aging. IRA penetrates the skin even better than UVA rays with about 50% of IRA reaching the dermis – that deeper layer of the skin where wrinkles form. The biggest difference between UV rays and IRA is that IRA does not directly break chemical bonds like UV does, but it does deliver enough energy deep into the skin to contribute to skin aging over time.
- Traditional chemical sunscreen products have been more successful at blocking UVB rays than UVA rays. Broad-spectrum sunscreens are designed to protect against both UVB, and UVA rays. Supergoop! infuses all their products with antioxidants to protect against free radical damage caused by IRA rays.
Chemical vs. Physical/Mineral Sunscreen:
- Chemical sunscreens contain organic (carbon-based) compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. These ingredients create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin.
- Physical/Mineral sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and work by sitting on the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. Think of them as a mirror, physically reflecting away rays from the body.
- There are pros and cons to both (in terms of look and feel during and after application, waterproof factor, etc.) but both types will protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays, as long as you are applying them correctly and re-applying as needed in direct sunlight.
- SPF stands for sun protection factor. Most all sunscreens are classified by an SPF number which refers to their ability to deflect UVB rays.
- The SPF rating is calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to burn sunscreen-protected skin vs. unprotected skin. For example, SPF 15 means that 1/15th of the burning radiation will reach the skin.
- Sunscreens with higher SPF don’t last or remain effective on the skin any longer than lower SPF – they just provide a lower level of protection – and must be continually reapplied, usually every two hours.
- SPF indicates the level of protection from UVB rays, PA indicates the level of protection from UVA rays. PA means Protection Grade of UVA rays and is a Japanese measurement ranking system used to measure the sun protection factor (SPF) of a sunscreen and based on the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) reaction reading at 2-4 hours of sun exposure. The simple explanation is that the more plus sign the more protection from UVA rays. PA+++ is designed for normal skin with exposure to very strong UV radiation and has the highest level of protection against pigment darkening
- A little usually goes a long way…but don’t skimp on coverage. Just like when you’re putting on lotion after a shower, you know if you’ve missed a spot or are running low on getting every inch covered. When it comes to SPF, you don’t want to wimp out. It’s not like sunless tanner where too much = a crazy-colored mistake. Just make sure your exposed skin is totally treated – especially if you’re doing beach time or other fun-sun activities – even if that mean getting totally nude and covering tip to toe then getting dressed (which is what I do before putting on a bikini).
- Put on the sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you know you’ll be exposed to sun. Give the good UV protection time to adapt to your skin and prepare for those harsh rays. Do it when you’re dry (re: ideally inside), and ask a friend (or complete stranger) to get the spots you can’t reach on your back, then give it time to dry before you get all sweaty/sandy/wet.
- Be mindful of the activities you’re doing and keep a timer on when your next SPF re-application needs to be. Swimming or sweating? Re-apply every 80 minutes to be safe. Just lounging on the beach, enjoying a hike, or strolling your city? You’ll need to apply another layer at least every 2 hours, if not before. It sounds like a hassle but trust me (and any other person who has suffered a sunburn before) and just do it. Set a timer on your phone and cary some sort of Supergoop! (the best formulas for quick absorption and non-greasy, no-stick residue) to make sure you have what your skin needs to fight the harsh sun.
Have you made it with me this far? I hope so…understanding the above lingo might seem like a boring exercise but it’s made me SO aware of what the sun is physically capable of and given me serious knowledge power when it comes to knowing what my skin needs to stay protected in the best, most healthy ways possible. As promised, below are the “beauty” and “beach” Supergoop! products keeping my fair skin happy and free of burns!
City Sunscreen Serum, SPF 30+ PA+++: If you’re looking for an SPF formula that can be the last step in your daily skincare routine, let this be it. Designed to deliver incredible broad-spectrum UV protection (so you’re covered on both the the anti aging and the sun burning factors) as well as moisture it’s ideal for everyday, year-round use and perfect for wearing alone or layering under makeup. I love how thin and and silky the formula is…it feels no different than any other hydrating morning moisturizer I’ve used but I love knowing that it’s packed with sun protection and skin protecting antioxidants from Vitamins E and B5. *Apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure. Use a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating. Reapply at least every 2 hours if and when in direct sunlight.
Invincible Setting Powder, SPF 45: Setting powder is my savior in the spring and summer months. When the humidity is at an all time high and the temperatures are raging, my skin just needs a dusting of powder to control shine and keep my face makeup (foundation, under-eye stuff, and concealer) from melting off. When I started using the Invincible Setting Powder, I knew I had found my holy grail. I like to use an invisible setting powder after my face makeup but before my bronzer and blush (because they’re more of a dusting than full coverage) and I love how the Supergoop! does everything I need while being 100% mineral based (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide). It’s sweat resistant – a total must in the summer and in life – completely translucent, and provides environmental protection in addition to UV protection. The matte finish helps soothe the appearance of pores which is just the icing on the cake. And the very best part is that unlike other setting powers where you have to dip a brush into loose powder, this design allows you to twist the brush up out of the base, tap/tap/tap the brush against your wrist to load the brush bristles with powder, then apply and go…no mess or wasted powder – just easy, complete and flawless coverage. And the brush head can be removed for washing and the mineral powder can be bought separately to refill the brush and base. *
Defense Refresh Setting Mist, SPF 50: There’s kind of no better feeling than doing your makeup perfectly then locking everything up with a few generous mists of setting spray. It just makes you feel like you can conquer the day and keep your face in place. But did you know that that by noon, any previously applied UV protection you’ve slathered on earlier in the morning is likely no longer? Kind of…unsettling considering how much sun hits you through office and car windows, during street side strolling, and all the activities during the day. This setting mist is wonderful because you can use it in the morning to set all that makeup goodness you slaved over and then keep it with you to do your re-applications of UV defense during the day. Aside from checking your sun protection box (with SPF 50, no less!) the mist also has a great matte finish (ideal for summer) because of optical diffusing silica silicate which controls oil and scatters light to reduce shine. Antioxidant rich rosemary – which helps improve complexion – is just the icing on the cake. *Shake. Then shake, shake again to make sure all that UV protection is evenly distributed. Close your eyes and spray 4-5 mists working in a circle around the entire face. To lock make-up in place, apply Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 as a finishing to your make-up regimen, then re-apply consistently throughout the day.
Super Power Sunscreen Mousse, SPF 50: I’ve never experienced sunscreen like this…the mousse is literally lighter than air and absorbs so quickly. A little goes a long way and there’s o greasy, sticky, or slick residue or white cast (because it’s a chemical formula). I can totally see moms and kids loving this because it’s so fun to use…my little bother let me have a little fun when I was re-applying a layer on his back and everyone and my family loved the way it felt compared to traditional sunscreen lotion. In addition to being water resistant for up to 80 minutes, ingredients like blue sea kale provides antioxidant protection, while a blend of shea butter, olive and avocado oils keep skin nourished and moisturized. And, it’s broad-spectrum which means you get coverage from both those UVA and UVB rays. *Apply 15 minutes before sun and reapply at least every 2 hours when in direct sun.
100% Mineral Sunscreen Mist, SPF 30: If you like a spray sunscreen you’ll love this stuff…with a continuous 360 degree spray that’s non-aerosol (it has a bag dispense design on the inside) it’s beyond easy to mist all over then rub in for a sheer, dry finish. If you’re looking for a physical/mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen I really love this one because the mist makes for quick, full-coverage application that doesn’t leave a white cast thanks to the lightweight zinc oxide formula. Along with the great protection, Marigold, Safflower, and Sunflower antioxidants defend against infrared and UV-induced free radical damage while Aloe Vera soothes the skin. *Shake well to activate – if the mist looks clear, keep shaking till it sprays white. Apply 15 minutes before sun and reapply after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating or immediately after towel drying and at least every 2 hours when exposed to sunlight.
.More Daily Protection Supergoop! Favorites.
Everyday Sunscreen, SPF 50: The O.G. Supergoop! Product that my family and I still love, love, love. It’s not fancy – just a lotion-type formula – but the moisturizing non-greasy formula is what got Sally and I hooked originally and we still always carry some of it with us on every beach trip. When friends/people tell me that they hate sunscreen I immediately start singing about Supergoop! and mostly in praise of this original formula. It absorbs like a lotion, lets your skin breathe, has no stinging affect, and has no white veil (even on darker skin tones).
Shine On Lip Screen, SPF 50: Traditional lipsticks and lip glosses magnify UV rays. Truth, scary truth. This genius stuff can be worn on top of your favorite lip color as a clear coat that has a powerful UV shield. I love wearing the shine on its own – because it’s just so glossy, hydrating and wonderful – but it’s the perfect water-resistant and non-sticky gloss to top over your daily lip hue. Best part, the inclusion of grape seed extract – which is rich in resveratrol – delivers antioxidant defense against UV rays preventing premature signs of age.
Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn, SPF 40: Sally and I are both completely freaked about how quickly and severely hands can show age…mostly due to sun damage. What’s the point of taking great care when it comes to the premature aging of your face if your hands look like they belong to a much older person?! To combat our fears while also hydrating our hands, we use this Forever Young Hand Cream. Feels like a moisturizing lotion while doing the work of of a broad-spectrum