If you are like me, you hate sunscreen⸺despise it, actually. I hate how it feels on my skin. It never blends in well, and when I sweat, it gets in my eyes, and I feel the need to rip out my contacts to make the irritation stop. I’m also a bald guy who likes to be outdoors, and my wife is an oncology nurse that works with Melanoma patients. Needless to say, I’m constantly reminded to “put your sunscreen on.” While I did grow up in Newfoundland (not known for its sunshine), I had significant sun exposure the 14 years I lived in California and recently during my summers in Oregon, where I now live. There had to be a solution for me, and I think I found it. Today I will be reviewing Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. Let’s dive in…
SuperGoop Unseen Sunscreen Review
SuperGoop feels excellent on the skin; it is non-toxic, using reef-safe ingredients while balancing actual effectiveness in protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. It is a little pricey however.
How does the Sun Cause Skin Damage?
Ultraviolet light from the sun is the primary cause of skin cancer. Tanning beds also use UV light and are just as bad. It’s not just summertime that you have to worry about either—yes, the rays are more direct—but you need to be vigilant every day of the year because UV rays are present in daylight. UV light damages the DNA in your skin cells which can lead to genetic defects or mutations. These mutations can lead to premature aging or, even worse, skin cancer. Also damaged are the eyes (eyelid cancer and cataracts).
Your lifetime sun exposure causes basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer; severe sunburns that happened before the age of 18 are a major risk factor for melanoma
Who invented Sunscreen and What is SPF?
Ancient Greeks and Egyptians tried many naturally occurring ingredients, from olive oil to jasmine rice, to protect them from the sun. Zinc Oxide paste is one of these ingredients that can still be found in sunscreens today.
Australia is a country I think we all associate with sunshine. When I was there over Christmas of 2019, my friends bought sunscreen in giant containers that looked like the Ketchup dispensers you’d see in a fast-food restaurant. It seems fitting that a South Australian chemist H.A. Milton Blake in the 1930s, first started experimenting with producing a sunburn cream. By 1936, chemist Eugene Schueller, the founder of L’Oreal, developed a viable sunscreen formula. The first big commercially available product came from Austrian chemist Franz Greiter who had been sunburnt while on a glacier. This inspired him to create “Glacier Cream.”
Fast forward to 1962, sunscreens evolved continuously since the 30s, but there was no standardized way to measure effectiveness. Franz Greiter came up with the SPF rating (Sun Protection Factor). For example, an SPF of 30 would allow only 1/30th the amount of burning radiation to reach the skin when applied to the skin evenly at a dosage of 2 milligrams per square centimeter (laying it on thick). If you burn in 10 minutes with no sunscreen, you could go 300 minutes with an SPF 30 sunscreen.
It should be noted that in the real world, applying the product unevenly, sweating, and playing in the water will all diminish this effectiveness.
Bellis, Mary. “A History of Sunscreen.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/suncreen-history-1992440.
So What is SuperGoop?
It is a company that started over 15 years ago because the founder Holly Thaggard, saw a need. Beachgoers knew about SPF but still didn’t wear sunscreen because it was goopy and sticky. Holly set out to change the way the world thinks about sunscreen. Her goal was to create a clean product and felt good to wear and effectively protect skin from harmful UV rays.
Supergoop Review – Unseen Sunscreen 40 SPF
From the Supergoop website…
According to Supergoop…
The original, totally invisible, weightless, scentless sunscreen with SPF 40 that leaves a velvety finish. This innovative, antioxidant-rich multitasker has a unique oil-free formula that glides onto skin while providing broad spectrum SPF 40 protection. Use it as a makeup-gripping primer under foundation when you want a little more coverage, or on its own if you want a more natural look. It’s a totally game-changing way to wear sunscreen every day, and it will have you SPF-Obsessed™.
I must say I have to agree. I first tried this product this past weekend in Portland. Temperatures outside were record-breaking between 110-116 °F. Yes, I know that UV rays are present anytime there is daylight, but it was so hot I felt like I was in a microwave. I applied this sunscreen before I went outside for about 30 minutes, and it went on smoothly. Almost immediately, I felt like it was blended in, unlike traditional sunscreens, where I feel like a layer of cream is on my face that never really dries and leaves me feeling gross and sticky. On top of that, I wear contacts often, and when I sweat with traditional sunscreens, it gets in my eyes, and I end up having to take them out and put on my glasses. It definitely passed the “it’s hot as hell, and I’m sweating buckets test.” Most importantly, I didn’t burn.
So how good is it really? EWG rates all sunscreens. Here is the blurb from their website.
The EWG Guide to Sunscreens rates the hazards and efficacy of recreational sunscreens, in addition to daily-use products and lip balms with sun protection factor, or SPF, ratings. We launched the guide in 2007, because the Food and Drug Administration had failed to set modern safety standards for sunscreens. Without EWG’s guide, consumers would have to sift through misleading market claims and complex ingredient lists to determine whether their favorite sunscreens would protect them from sun-related skin damage.
Through its research, EWG has discovered that products are not all the same when it comes to UV protection and ingredient hazards, and some sunscreens have serious problems. We continue to press the FDA to issue rules that address these deficiencies. In the meantime, EWG’s Sunscreen Guide aims to help consumers make good choices and avoid sun damage and cancer.https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/about/
This rating system provides a score in which ⅔ of the weight is on how effective the sunscreen is at blocking UV light, and ⅓ is based on the toxicity of the ingredients. Supergoop Unseen sunscreen gets a rating of 2, whereas a product like Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 50, gets a rating of 7. Coppertone scores are high mainly because of health hazards and only mediocre UVA/UVB protection. So while it only costs about $12 for a 2 pack on Amazon, you might want to rethink the purchase. Supergoop gets a 2 because it is much lower for health risks while offering a similar level of protection as Coppertone.
What it Means?
Active Ingredient List
- Avobenzone 3%
- Homosalate 8%
- Octisalate 5%
- Octocrylene 4%
These chemicals are reef-safe (no Oxybenzone), non-irritating, not derived from animals (vegan), and there is no synthetic fragrance.
Why I’ll Keep Buying This Product
Sure there are cheaper sunscreens, but as you can see from the Coppertone example, cheaper often means more toxic and unpleasant sticky residue on your skin. So I think it is better to spend more on a product you will actually use every day (no matter the season) to prevent premature aging and skin cancer than to spend less on a product you only occasionally use when it is sunny out and walk around unprotected the rest of the time. Cancer is an expensive diagnosis, after all, and often doesn’t end well.
Other products offered by Supergoop that might interest you are:
- PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract
- Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40
- Daily Dose Vitamin C + SPF 40 Serum
Check out their website for more…
I give SuperGoop 4.3/5 stars. It’s a great product but a little pricey. Are you ready this summer to protect your skin? If not this is a great product.