After her close friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, Holly Thaggard made it her mission to formulate easy-to-use SPF while addressing everyone’s skin types and needs. Her vision led to many notable innovations, including the newly launched – Daily Dose. Last week, we were able to chat with the Supergoop! CEO herself, and it was truly captivating; it opened up our eyes to issues and concerns we didn’t even know existed! Go on this journey with us as we unfold all the deets behind the multi-million dollar brand!
Q: Can you tell us your story behind Supergoop! and how it all started?
A: I became obsessed with SPF. It was almost sixteen years ago when a close friend of mine was diagnosed with skin cancer. And I learned from a college roommate, who was going through her residency and dermatology… it’s not a seasonal thing. It’s about that little bit of every single day exposure that’s cumulative.
I looked at the industry and found chemical formulas full of very controversial and irritating ingredients. I found mineral formulas were often thick and heavy on the skin and didn’t feel great. How will we get the world to wear SPF every day when there’s no product option(s) out there to make it a beautiful, luxurious experience? And that was really my inspiration to change the way the world thinks about sunscreen. I knew it could only come through product innovation; I knew it could only happen if we created beautiful ways to get SPF onto your skin.
Q: How do you come up with all these innovations and formulas of sunscreen?
A: I literally dream about SPF! Some of my ideas come from conversations I’ve had in this world with real people that have a problem. In some cases, we’re solving the consumer’s concern that they didn’t even know existed. And those are the real fun, challenging launches for me. It truly is about solving a problem that I think very few people even realize exists.
Q: Can you tell us more about the brilliant formulation that is Daily Dose?
A: Very few people realize that vitamin C, when exposed to sunlight without UV protection, gets completely photo-incinerated. So, it’s 100% rendered ineffective when you walk outside the front door. But when it’s combined with SPF, the antioxidant capacity is just super boosted to provide this superior level of protection from both the UV-induced free radical damage and the UV damage that just happens from being outside. Outdoors or sitting by a window.
So as Supergoop! loves to simplify routines and make things just super easy for everyone, we created Daily Dose. We’re so excited to get it out into the world so that people have an option for getting the benefits of vitamin C, along with the protection that we not only need for our skin but the protection that the vitamin C needs from the sun.
Q: What were some of the challenges when developing Daily Dose?
A: Not all forms of vitamin C work well with SPF. I think that’s why it took close to three years to develop this. They’re actually notoriously hard to formulate together. As it turns out, SPF and vitamin C require specific pH environments to stabilize both the vitamin C and the active ingredients for sun protection. With SPF being an over-the-counter drug, you are subject to quite a few testing environments in high heat over multiple months. And that’s why it can be so time-consuming. We had to do extensive research and development on this.
Q: When should you apply Daily Dose and your other SPF products in a skincare routine?
A: What’s key here is to cleanse. Use your favorite toner… and that sort of changes your pH level to be compatible with Daily Dose. [The Daily Dose] would be your very next step. And then, after that point, if your skin is not very dry, you might not even need a moisturizer because of the hyaluronic acid. But for anyone with drier skin types, then I would layer on Superscreen, your moisturizer, which also has a blue light, pollution, SPF, UVA/UVB protection in it.
[For oilier skin types], we recommend going the route of Zincscreen, which is a little bit drier of a formula. Then from there, after Superscreen, I would choose one of our beauty-base layers. So, you’re either on team Unseen, team Mattescreen, or team Glowscreen, depending on what finish you like. Far too many people are applying their SPF very sparingly, and they are not using enough to actually get the benefit of the full broad-spectrum range of protection. So, by layering many products, you’re able to really ensure that you’re getting what’s needed for protection from the sun.
Q: What are some tips for selecting the best sunscreen for your skin type?
A: Our products are formulated to be all incredibly forgiving on many different skin types. So a lot of times, people choose our products based on what they prefer. It’s really about finding a texture or a feel and recognizing that not all SPFs are created equally.
We have a product finder on supergoop.com that helps navigate the consumer what’s right for them. I think our biggest challenge as a brand is to help people figure out what is right. And not give up on this notion that they can’t wear SPF. We can’t give up because we know that we can do SPF in ways that have just never been done before to appeal to everyone. I mean, if you want to change the way the world thinks about sunscreen, you have to think about everybody’s individual needs.
Q: What does ‘Beauty Within’ mean to you?
A: Wellness. It all goes back to taking the time to take care of your body, which goes beyond SPF. It’s that commitment to that daily Pilates session, for me anyway. And I think taking that time because it helps your mental clarity too. It should not be something you feel guilty about. Part of being beautiful within is taking care of our bodies and minds and modeling that behavior for our children. I like to think that that behavior is going to trickle down into their lives too. And it will be a beautiful way for them to respect their bodies and stay healthy and hydrated and wear sunscreen.
If you want to learn more about Supergoop! and Holly’s mission, check out the full interview:
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