Is Supergoop Sunscreen Good Or Bad For You? Is It Safe?

Supergoop! sunscreen

Not wearing sunscreen can be risky, but wearing a bad one can be even more so. Supergoop is a 15-year old brand that gained immense popularity for its revolutionary, lightweight sunscreens.

Is it safe? Is it any good for you? No, it is not good or safe for the skin. The sunscreen gained increased fandom because of its new formula that is non-greasy and glowy. But the ingredients used in Supergoop either have a negative or an unknown impact on skin and health. Even when it is used in moderation, Supergoop carries several risks that are spelled out in the upcoming segments.

Ingredients used in Supergoop sunscreen 

Here are some ingredients present in Supergoop sunscreen. 

  • Avobenzone – a chemical that needs to be stabilized to prevent it from breaking down under sun exposure and producing free radicals. 
  • Homosalate – a chemical recommended to be used under 1.4 percent by the European Union. Supergoop uses this chemical from 9%-10% concentrations in its sunscreens.
  • Octisalate – a powerful UVB filter that can potentially penetrate the skin. Sunscreens with this chemical are banned in Australia and Hawaii for bleaching coral reefs.
  • Octocrylene – a chemical stabilizer that affects coral health and causes allergies to the skin.
  • Titanium dioxide – an inorganic mineral used to deflect both UVA and UVB rays of the sun. 
  • Zinc oxide – a healing component that forms a protective layer on the skin.

Supergoop also contains silicones, alcohols, cellulose, oils, fruit extracts, inorganic minerals, and petroleum derivatives.

Is Supergoop sunscreen chemical or physical?

Supergoop has both physical and chemical sunscreens with different formulations. Chemical sunscreens use ingredients like Avobenzone, Octisalate, and Homosalate to provide sun protection. Of late, consumers have started moving away from chemical sunscreens due to their undisclosed or undiscovered health impacts.

The mineral sunscreen contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as its main protective agents. Mineral sunscreen is increasingly preferred and recommended by dermatologists as it is proven to be substantially safe and effective. 

Does Supergoop sunscreen have Zinc Oxide?

Yes, the mineral-based variants of Supergoop contain Zinc Oxide up to a concentration of 17%. It forms a protective layer on top of the skin and blocks UV rays and pollutants.

This mineral is widely used in facial creams and OTC drugs for its cosmetic benefits. It has antimicrobial properties and is known to soothe dry skin. It is also widely used to treat diaper rashes in infants; so you can rest assured of its safety on the skin.

Rarely, this inorganic substance is found to be allergic to the skin, causing mild itching and redness. Zinc-based sunscreens can leave a white cast, making the skin look blotchy.

Does Supergoop sunscreen have Benzene?

No, Supergoop does not contain Benzene in its products. Benzene is a hydrocarbon used in the production of plastics, dyes, detergents, and pesticides. Exposure to liquid or vapor forms of benzene can cause skin irritation and high levels of toxicity. 

Although the brand does not contain Benzene, it contains a similar hydrocarbon called Isododecane. This chemical can cause dizziness and may be fatal when swallowed or inhaled. This makes Supergoop lip balms and mist sunscreens quite a risky option.

Does Supergoop sunscreen have silicone?

Yes, Supergoop sunscreens do contain silicone. Silicones are used to reduce the thick and oily texture of sunscreens and make them water-resistant. Due to its water-resistant nature, silicone is tough to remove once applied to the skin. 

Since they are too large to penetrate the skin, they are considered safe and non-sensitizing. While the brand is marketed to be reef-safe, silicones are known to cause oceanic pollution. They also do not interact well with makeup, making the face look cakey. 

Do Supergoop sunscreens have fragrances?

Yes, Supergoop sunscreens do have fragrances. Instead of synthetic fragrance, the brand claims to use natural fragrance extracted from flowers and aromatic oils. The product contains strong aromatics like Rosemary, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, and Spearmint Oil that can be allergic and cause sneezing when inhaled.

Some of the variants like Supergoop Glow Stick are aroma-free. People looking for fragrance-free products and people sensitive to aroma are advised to thoroughly check the ingredient list and do a smell test before buying.

Does Supergoop sunscreen have alcohol?

Yes, Supergoop sunscreen does contain alcohol. Alcohol is used in Supergoop to maintain its consistency and preserve the product quality. The brand uses several synthetic as well as natural alcohols to formulate its sunscreens. 

The denatured alcohol used in the mist and water-based sunscreens can cause extreme dryness and disrupt the skin barrier. The fatty alcohols derived from nuts can irritate the skin and cause pimples. Spearmint and peppermint oil can cause a burning sensation and redness.

Alcohol when used on lips can lead to cold sores and cause discoloration of lips. When used on skin regularly, alcohol can cause permanent damage like scarring and blackheads. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and causes premature aging.

Is Supergoop sunscreen safe?

When we take a close look at the ingredients and their impact, Supergoop may be considered unsafe. The main concern is the lack of evidence proving the safety of its active ingredients like Avobenzone under regular use.

Having said that, the FDA has approved the product as there is not enough scientific evidence to deem the chemicals unsafe. 

The brand claims to be safe for coral reefs but uses bleaching agents like Octocrylene and Octisalate. It contains Diatomaceous Earth, silica that is used in insecticides. Allergens like Triglycerides and Silicones are also used in the product.

Supergoop contains petroleum byproducts like Isoparaffins, which can be highly contaminated with carcinogens. Benzoates found in the formula react negatively when mixed with Vitamin C and exposed to direct sunlight. 

Does Supergoop sunscreen clog pores?

Yes, some Supergoop sunscreens can potentially clog pores. Although the brand states that its sunscreens are non-comedogenic, they react negatively and clog the skin when used with other products.

The mineral variants with Titanium Dioxide and chemical variants with Silicone are not comedogenic but can be occlusive, forming a filmy layer on top of the skin. This layer does not allow atmospheric oxygen or hydrogen to pass through, causing the pores to clog. 

The fatty alcohols can lead to oil buildup on the skin and eventually clog pores. Chemicals with water-resistant properties can block the pores, if not cleaned properly. Petroleum derivatives can stick to the skin and accumulate dust and debris.

Does Supergoop sunscreen cause breakouts?

Yes, some ingredients present in Supergoop are known to cause breakouts. Heavy and large chemical compounds like silicones can create an impenetrable layer on top of the skin, trapping other skincare or makeup particles, and leading to breakouts.

Synthetically produced humectants like Caprylyl Alcohol can be irritating for those sensitive to coconut oil. Alcohol can make the skin flaky and accelerate the natural aging process. Cross Polymers can be abrasive and irritate the skin when used frequently.

Natural ingredients like orange peel oil and citric acid can burn the skin and irritate the eyes. Mint oils aggravate skin conditions like acne and redness. Maltodextrin and Sorbitol can purge the skin and cause active breakouts.

Does Supergoop cause cancer?

There is no substantial evidence linking Supergoop to cancer. Main actives used in the formula like Avobenzone and Octocrylene are often suspected to be carcinogenic. Due to a lack of proven data, the chemicals are used without any strict constraints.

Scientific tests run on animals proved that ingredients like Octocrylene can penetrate the skin and cause cancer. Although the tests administered higher concentrations of the chemical to animals like mice, the results cannot be ignored. Similar effects can be expected in the human body when the chemical is used for a long time.

Avobenzone can degrade under sun exposure and form free radicals that cause cancer. This chemical only remains photostable for two hours after which it lets the UV rays pass through and affect the skin. These chemicals also carry a risk of carcinogenic contamination.

Can you use Supergoop sunscreen during pregnancy?

No, Supergoop is considered to be harmful to pregnant women. Studies conducted on pregnant women detected the presence of chemical compounds like Homosalate and Octisalate in breast milk. Women are susceptible to dehydration during pregnancy and Supergoop contains alcohol that can dry out the skin.

Choosing mineral sunscreen variants of Supergoop may be safe during pregnancy as inorganic particles do not enter the bloodstream. However, it is mandatory to consult with a gynecologist before choosing Supergoop.

Does Supergoop sunscreen leave a white cast?

Yes, some variants of Supergoop leave a white cast on the skin. The chemical sunscreens of Supergoop blend well and do not leave a white residue. Products like Unseen Sunscreen and Supergoop Glow Stick do not leave a white tint and make the skin look natural.

Sunscreens made with powdered minerals like titanium and zinc are known to leave a white shade due to their thick consistency. However, Supergoop is not made of nanoparticles which ensures no or minimal accumulation of white particles on the skin. Water and oil-based sunscreens also look subtle and keep the skin fresh and dewy. 

Is Supergoop good for acne-prone skin?

Supergoop sunscreens can cause a breakout of acne. The need to wear sunscreen applies to everyone, regardless of their skin type. But choosing a non-comedogenic product is important to not sensitize the skin.

Fatty alcohols used in Supergoop can widen the pores and cause cystic acne. The sunscreen has water-sealing properties that can prevent sweat from evaporating. This leads to salt deposits on the skin which ultimately cause acne.

Mineral sunscreens containing titanium dioxide can clog pores and worsen acne. Supergoop contains a form of powdered rock that can cause a severe onset of acne in people with sensitive skin. Octisalate traps makeup and sweat, leading to the active breakout of acne.

Is Supergoop good for sensitive skin?

No, Supergoop is not completely safe for sensitive skin. The brand states that only mineral-based sunscreens are suited for people with sensitive skin. Supergoop contains chemicals like polymers and synthetic alcohols that are not prescribed for sensitive skin.

The fragrance is also known to be a potential irritant to sensitive skin. Natural peppermint extracts used in the formula can cause instant allergic reactions like itchiness and rashes. Essential oils like lemon oil are photo-toxic and can burn the skin and cause blisters.

Is Supergoop good for oily skin?

Supergoop contains natural oils that lead to excessive production of sebum, making the skin more oily and sweaty. Matte finish sunscreens of Supergoop are considered to be safe for people with oily skin.

Dermatologists recommend using sunscreens that are labeled to be non-comedogenic. Mineral sunscreens can also be used as it sits on top of the skin and does affect the sebaceous gland.

Is Supergoop good for dark skin tones?

Yes, Supergoop sunscreens can be used on darker complexions as well. The chemical sunscreens do not leave a white mist on the skin, making them a perfect choice for people of color. 

Supergoop also produces tinted mineral-based sunscreens to suit dark skin tones. The Unseen Sunscreen and Supergoop Glow Stick blends into the skin and leaves a glowy and natural finish that suits every skin color. 

How long does Supergoop sunscreen last?

Based on efficacy, Supergoop sunscreens provide 2 hours of active sun protection after application. The product needs to be reapplied every two hours to keep the skin safe from sun damage. Supergoop sunscreens are efficient only under certain conditions.

The sunscreen loses its effect faster when used on a beach day or a windy car ride. Chlorine in pool water can degrade the sunscreen faster, requiring it to be reapplied immediately after swimming. Mist sunscreens are advised to be sprayed for at least 6 seconds in one area for reliable sun defense.

Do Supergoop sunscreens expire?

Yes, Supergoop sunscreens come with a shelf life of 2 years after which the formula starts to degenerate. Once the product expires, the oils split apart and the chemicals start to discolor. Some of the ingredients may even become toxic after their expiration.

Expired sunscreens lose their SPF potency and cause severe allergies to the skin. They can also damage the natural skin barrier and lead to prolonged skin conditions like eczema. Without effective stabilizers, Avobenzone creates and multiplies free radicals, causing cancer.


Anand Srinivasan
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