A WOMAN WITH A SUPER MISSION: TO CHANGE THE WAY THE WORLD THINKS ABOUT SUNSCREEN, OUNCE BY OUNCE.
By: Lilia Davis
When Holly Thaggard discovered that her close friend had been diagnosed with skin cancer, she knew she had to do something about it. Although she had a BS in Education from LSU, she emerged herself in a mission: a rigorous research about the causes of skin cancer which ended up in funding her own sun care company years later: Supergoop! But she did not stop there, she also started the Ounce by Ounce program designed to protect children from sun damage donating SPF to schools across the nation.
Holly Thaggard has received a AAD Golden Triangle Award by the American Academy of Dermatology, and Supergoop!, has been included in Allure’s “Best of Beauty” list four years in a row and won a 2012 CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) Beauty Award for “Best Indie Beauty Brand’, and a 2018 CEW Award for “Best Sun Product.” and she has not stopped innovating ever since!
Sometimes life brings you sad events and to your best friends. This was the case of Holly when her closest friend was diagnosed with skin cancer. Along the way she also realized that it can start during your childhood. Being a teacher and a mother this was of great concern to her. But how did she put all this researched information to a good cause? We contacted Holly Thaggard founder of Supegoop! in San Antonio and this is what she shared with us:
Nowadays there are so many SPF products and awareness about sun-care, why do you think people still don’t want to wear sun protection?
Through early-on research I learned that the main reason people don’t wear sunscreen daily is because it doesn’t feel good on their skin, so I set out to create an SPF that felt so good, people would actually want to wear it every day.
Why the name Supergoop!?
When I was testing lab samples for our first formula, I referred to the samples as “goop”. And once we got the formula exactly right, I called it “Supergoop”. It ended up having a nice, fun ring to it, and we added the exclamation mark as a way to complement the more serious side and mission of the brand. Just try not to smile when you say it!
FOCUS ON CHILDREN OUNCE BY OUNCE
What kind of response did you have when you started the Once by Ounce program?
When I first started Supergoop! in 2007, I wanted to teach kids the importance of using SPF every single day by putting it in schools across the country. But when I found out that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated it as an over-the-counter drug and wouldn’t allow it in public schools without a doctor’s note, I had to move onto plan B, which was launching feel-good SPF that people would actually want to wear.
How is the Ounce by Ounce program doing today?
Fast forward to today, 14 states now allow SPF in schools without a note. But as we work to change the rules in all states, we’re committed to donating it—for free—to anyone who wants it in their classroom through our giving program, Ounce by Ounce. All you have to do is ask for it by email through firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll donate a 64-ounce pump of mineral SPF to your school. Our goal is to donate SPF to at least 10,000 Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms over the next five years.
SUN CARE EDUCATION
How is it teaching kids the importance of wearing sunscreen daily?
Education is important because it is there where the real change happens. After my long research I realized that the sun damage we experience every day can lead to skin cancer later in life, so it’s critical to teach the importance of daily SPF at an early age. With our Ounce by Ounce giving program in schools, we are teaching the importance of SPF every single day. I always say it should be a habit like brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
Do you involve your children in your company?
My kids play a big part in what I do. My first mineral formula was actually inspired by my daughter Emery’s sensitive skin. In addition to wearing (and loving!) SPF every day, my kids have begun to take an interest in the company. This summer, I brought Emery (now 13) with me on a Sephora Road Trip that I did in the NYC area, and she had the best time talking to the staff about all our products.
Where are your future plans now, is make up one of them?
Our entire product lineup is built off of the question “how can we do SPF in a way that hasn’t been done before?”. Over the next few years, we want to continue to build off this question, creating incredible and innovative products that make SPF easier and even more fun to wear – and slipping SPF into even more of everyone’s favorite, tried-and-true beauty products.
What product do you recommend for us this fall?
We just presented a product called “Meet Your Mate”, our new Smooth & Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40, is makeup combined with sunscreen, which has been very successful since it came on the market.
What has been your greatest satisfaction since you started your business?
I think one of the best parts of building this business has been bringing SPF awareness to consumers. Daily SPF is the most important thing you can do for your skin, and I’m thankful to be able to work with the best team in the business to create clean, feel-good formulas that people truly want to wear every day. UVA rays are just present not only in the summer, but also in winter, spring, and fall!
Seeing as you are based in San Antonio, do you have any favorite S.A. spots?
Although I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, San Antonio is home for my family, and my husband and his family are also from here. I feel lucky to do what I love in a place I love. One of my favorites is Hotel Emma at The Pearl. In addition to being a wonderful hotel, they also have great food & drink options. Supper is one of my favorite lunch spots, and Larder is perfect for an iced coffee on-the-go.
What would be your best advice to a woman who leaves one profession and starts another in order to make a positive change like you do?
My biggest piece of advice would be to follow your gut. I taught school for a year and loved it, but I wasn’t quite sure the classroom was right for me so I listened to my instincts, and they eventually led me to creating Supergoop!, the mission of which has always been very close to my heart, to stop the epidemic of skin cancer by changing the way the world thinks about sunscreen.
To my surprise, our staff in Revista Mujer were already using Supergoop! One of them always carries the powder SPF 50 in her purse and our online editor uses it on her one year old son. Mission accomplished!
More information about Supergoop!