May is Melanoma Awareness Month, so b-glowing chatted with Supergoop Founder Holly Thaggard about taking complete care of your skin.
What is Melanoma?
HT: Melanoma is the most deadly of skin cancers. It develops when a cell becomes damaged—usually from UV radiation—and then reproduces without any order or control, eventually becoming a malignant tumor. Melanoma can spread very quickly to other parts of the body if not caught early, which is why it’s so important to check your skin regularly. In fact, when diagnosed and treated early, the survival rate is nearly 100%.
How can you prevent Melanoma?
HT: A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they have had more than five sunburns at any age, so it’s important to protect yourself from the sun every single day. The most sun damage occurs just by day-to-day exposure, so even if you are walking to the office or driving in your car, you are being exposed to the sun. There are four simple steps you can take to ensure you are always protected: cover up, seek shade, apply sunscreen, and then reapply. And make sure your sun protection is broad-spectrum, which ensures it protects from both UVA-aging rays and UVB-burning rays.
What inspired you to become an advocate for sun protection?
HT: I have a dear friend that was diagnosed with Melanoma in our late twenties, and I couldn’t believe someone so young and healthy could actually get skin cancer. After learning that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and that more than 90% of the signs of aging are caused by the sun, I made it my mission to raise awareness to these two key facts. Since starting Supergoop! it has amazed me how little people still know about sun protection. I am determined to help shed light on sun education and encourage sun protection as part of people’s daily healthy habits.
What should people be looking for on their skin?
HT: One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, so it is incredibly important to be diligent in checking your skin. While going to the dermatologist for a yearly skin checkup is a must, it is also essential that you check your own skin once a month. The most important things to look for when evaluating your moles are asymmetry, irregular borders, difference in color, and size of the mole. It’s a good idea to keep track of your moles because aesthetic change over time can be a red flag. It’s important to scan your whole body, even places like between your toes and behind your ears, because Melanoma can appear anywhere.
Also be sure to check your lips and under eyes, which are the first place dermatologists look for signs of skin cancer. Our Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream SPF 37 and Fusion Lip Balms with SPF 30 are simple, easy ways to get the protection you need in these hot-spot areas.
How do you know how much sunscreen to apply, and how often you should be reapplying?
HT: What I do is cover my entire body so I see white everywhere, and then rub it in until the white fully disappears. This is actually how labs test sunscreen for efficacy. It can take awhile to rub everything in, which is why it’s good to find a sunscreen that absorbs well. We went through rounds and rounds of product testing to make sure all of our products absorb quickly because we know people hate that sticky feeling when sunscreen just sits on your skin.
Reapplication is just as important as the initial application. Sunscreen by nature breaks down after two hours in direct sunlight, so if you don’t reapply you aren’t receiving protection. In fact, most sunburns actually occur when people don’t reapply. A great idea is to set the stopwatch on your phone for every 2 hours to remind yourself. One of the main reasons people don’t reapply is because they don’t have any sunscreen on them when they think about it. Most of our products are travel size so they are perfect for tossing in all your pockets and bags so you have sunscreen on you wherever you go!
What is Supergoop! doing to raise awareness about Melanoma?
HT: The foundation of our company is based on educating people about sun protection. We are constantly sharing facts, tips and creating new products so people can seamlessly incorporate sun protection into their daily lives. One of our goals is to make Melanoma Awareness acknowledged as much as Breast Cancer Awareness. In the month of October you can’t go anywhere without seeing pink, and that’s what we hope to happen for Melanoma Awareness Month. We are also planning on some exciting new initiatives for the fall, which is when people typically put their sunscreen away. UVA rays have the same intensity throughout the year, so even though it’s not as warm, you can still get sun damage. We want people to make wearing sunscreen a daily habit, 365 days a year.
What is in store for the future of Supergoop!?
HT: Supergoop! is in the midst of some very exciting things. Most recently, we welcomed Maria Sharapova as our new co-owner and ambassador of “suncare as skincare.” We have some amazing upcoming campaigns and events involving Maria to educate the world with our message of sun protection everyday! We are also developing some incredible new products to add to the Supergoop! lineup, so definitely stay tuned for that!
Heading into summer and one of the busiest seasons of the year (but hey, we’re not complaining), we’re returning to our favorite mask: Hydra Therapy Skin Vitality Mask from the one-and-only Erno Laszlo.
Designed and formulated by stylist Garrett Markenson, who was trained at the prestigious Sassoon Academy, and later, in 2008, took his dream and opened a namesake salon—Garrett Markenson Coiffure in LA—comes Reverie. Dedicated to providing the beauty world with organic products that deliver and excite, MILK is an anti-frizz, leave-in nourishing treatment that goes above and beyond to give back to your hair...which is exactly why we love it!