Supergoop! and their range of sunscreen has a reputable origin story and legacy. In 2006, a friend’s skin cancer diagnosis led Holly Thaggard to start a business plan and put the message of SPF in schools. They were the first brand to come up with an oxybenzone-free sunscreen formula. For those of you who spend a lot of time diving or in the waters, you might otherwise recognise it as reef-safe sunscreen.
So it’s no surprise that when Holly and Nam Vo, the Queen of ‘Dewy Dumpling Glow‘, came together to talk all things sunscreen, we took notes on these sunscreen tips.
Makeup Artist turned Instagram phenomenon, Nam Vo’s signature glow flooded the gates of the internet years back. Her three beauty tips are: SPF always, minimise the amount of stress in your life, and while people always tend to think her third and final tip is to drink plenty of water, it’s actually to cleanse. Even if she doesn’t wear makeup, she sticks to a religious regime of cleansing.
“My mom has melasma and sunspots. Growing up, she traumatised me enough about sun-care so I always knew the importance of wearing SPF. I love the sun, but trust me if my home is burning down I’m going to take my SPF and my Dyson hairdryer and run!”
As someone who’s been wearing sunscreen since she was three years old, it’s safe to say that Nam knows her fair share of tips and tricks when it comes to this skincare essential. Here are five sunscreen tips Holly and Nam shared with us:
Gone are the days where a single application of sunscreen is enough for your skin. Holly recommends layering your sunscreens, and layering often. “You can even layer chemical and mineral formulas to give your skin the broadest spectrum of protection. Find which sunscreens you love, there’s no sunscreen that’s right for everyone. But the key thing is re-application.”
“You really should be reapplying your sunscreen every 80 minutes when you’re exposed to sun damage.” For those who think they can skip this follow-up since we’re indoors, Holly suggests otherwise. “UVA rays come right through the windows, even on cloudy and rainy days” So if you’re working near natural light you should be reapplying your sunscreen.
And not that any of us are doing any travelling at the moment, but a study in 2015 showed that pilots flying for 56 minutes at 30,000 feet received the same amount of UVA radiation that is the equivalent of 20 minutes in a tanning bed. So next time you book a flight or sit next to the window, you might want to think about layering sunscreen on.
It’s not easy having anything stay on your face when you’re in a humid climate. But Nam recommends using it to your advantage. “Skin is skin and it’s always going to do what it does naturally.” So after using the Supergoop! Glow Screen, Nam likes to skip foundation and only wear concealer where she needs to.
Apply the sunscreen a little more generously in areas where she wants an extra highlight, and instead of powdering her entire face, she likes to use an eyeshadow brush for precision. Then she’ll only powder and blot the places that need it most: forehead, nose, and chin.
“Another tip I have, when it comes to putting on sunscreen or even serums, is to really take the time to massage it into the skin so it penetrates.”
With Singapore’s heat and humidity, it’s tempting to skip sunscreen especially when we’re planning to head out with a face mask. But Nam advises against it, “Fabric helps to block out sun rays but that is only with certain fabrics and the sun is still getting underneath that fabric.”
Holly elaborates, “Our clothing protects our skin, but it really depends on the material. It depends on the weave, tightness, and even the colour of the fabric. Say your face mask is black and tightly woven, it’s likely going to offer more SPF protection than if it were a white and loosely woven material. It really just depends. But the key is just to use sunscreen and use one that you love.”
This one might be obvious, but for those who only apply sunscreen to their face, you should consider the other parts of your skin that are exposed to the sun. Our neck is usually the first to show signs of ageing since the skin is thinner here, so don’t neglect it when you go through your routine.
As Nam says, “My friends, my friends, do not forget the neck, the chest, and the hands. I put sunscreen anywhere I can. Whatever residue that’s left, we don’t want to waste money or product!”
“For any male that has not embraced this message of SPF every single day, I recommend Unseen Sunscreen. This is the holy grail for boys, and it’s the one product that will help them realise how easy it is to incorporate sunscreen into your routine.”
Holly goes on to share, “It is also the one product that has caused the most argument in our household. This is my 12 year old’s favourite sunscreen and he’ll run out the door every morning and I can’t see or tell if he’s wearing sunscreen because Unseen Sunscreen is undetectable, and I’ll ask if he’s wearing it even though he is. So if you have a man in your life who has not embraced this message, introduce it to their life cause it’s a game-changer.”
For Nam, “My little trick to do with my boyfriend is I will take photos of him up close and macro. Then I’ll say “Honey, you’re so handsome! I don’t want you to get sun damage.” Then I show him the magnified photo and will tell him “Look! It’s starting already” It’s fear but it works and I make him put it on the back of his neck too because that’s often where men start showing signs of ageing first.”