“The one question I’m asked most on Instagram is, when are you coming to Canada?” says Holly Thaggard of her immensely popular sunscreen line, Supergoop!. The time is now. The 13-year-old prestige suncare line that managed to do the impossible – make sunscreen covetable – is finally entering the Canadian market.
“It’s been a long time coming,” says Thaggard. “Canada has just been a really tough one from a regulatory perspective, so we wanted to do it correctly and with the right retail partner.” That retail partner is Sephora, where Supergoop! currently holds the first, second and third spots for top-selling SPFs in its American stores.
Thaggard was a teacher when she began developing her sunscreen line back in 2007, after a close friend was diagnosed with melanoma. Thaggard was just beginning to understand the harmful cumulative effects of sun damage on the skin and set out on a mission to educate on the importance of sun safety, starting from a young age. “My original idea was to actually go into schools with the formula and have it available in the classroom,” she explains. “That was a total failure, because it’s thought of as an over-the-counter drug. You’d never have a Tylenol dispenser in the classroom. So I had to pivot and move my idea to retail.”
She developed a sunscreen formula free of parabens and propylene glycol (preservatives often used to stabilize cosmetic formulas) and oxybenzone (the chemical sunscreen filter that can cause itchy, watery eyes if they come in contact with sunblock), which Thaggard believe contribute to the bad rap sunscreen has for being uncomfortable to wear. Instead of oxybenzone, Supergoop! uses another chemical sunscreen filter, avobenzone, which absorbs the full spectrum of UVA rays without irritation. “We formulate with both mineral and chemical [filters],” says Thaggard, who says that the brand is trying to show that not all chemical filters should be demonized. “The way we think about SPF is what’s right for your skin may not be right for mine,” she adds. “We try to navigate what’s right for your skin and to be very inclusive of skin types and tones and people’s day-to-day activities.”
As many sunscreen brands that have tried to enter the Canadian market have discovered, the regulations around SPF in Canada are much tighter than in the U.S. One of Supergoop!’s star products, an SPF-spiked moisturizer known as Superscreen in the U.S., has been re-named Dailyscreen to meet Canadian standards. In addition to Dailyscreen, the products being launched in Canada also include Unseen Sunscreen, which doubles as a makeup-gripping primer, Zincscreen, a 100-percent mineral formula ideal for acne-prone skin and (Re)Setting 100% Mineral Powder, designed SPF touch-ups on the go.
The brand is working to bring more of the product lineup to the Canadian market as soon as possible. Thaggard is aware, she says, of the high demand for the Supergoop! Glow range, which promises SPF protection with the added bonus of dewy skin – stay tuned.
Shop the Canadian collection below:
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