Supergoop is one of the most popular sunscreen brands in the U.S. The brand markets their products as “SPF Boosted Skincare” and claims that their products can “help prevent up to 90% of the signs of aging.”
But does Supergoop actually contain research-backed anti-aging ingredients or are these just marketing claims? Are the sunscreen ingredients in their products safe? How do real users rate Supergoop sunscreen?
In this article we’ll answer these questions and more as we review every ingredient in Supergoop’s two most popular sunscreens: Glowscreen and Unseen Sunscreen. We’ll provide our determination on whether these products are likely to be safe and effective for sun protection and anti-aging, and highlight some real user reviews.
Supergoop Glowscreen Review
Supergoop Glowscreen is a chemical sunscreen, which means that it contains active ingredients that absorb into the skin to absorb UV rays from the sun, and which ends up in the bloodstream.
Its active ingredients are octocrylene at a concentration of 10%, octisalate at 5% and avobenzone at 3%.
While these ingredients are effective for sun protection, we recommend avoiding them. A medical review published in the Chemical Research in Toxicology journal documented that octocrylene breaks down into a compound called benzophenone in the body, and that benzophenone levels accumulate over time due to sunscreen use.
The study authors described benzophenone as a carcinogen, which means it may cause cancer, and an endocrine-disruptor.
Avobenzone has been shown in clinical research to disrupt metabolism and cause obesogenic (increasing the risk of obesity) changes to human cells, as we documented in our review of Tula skincare (another brand using this ingredient).
We recommend avoiding chemical sunscreens entirely due to the questionable health effects, and sticking to physical sunscreens (our recommendations on that front later).
Another questionable ingredient in this formulation is chlorphenesin which is a preservative shown in a 2020 clinical trial to be toxic to human cells.
Glowscreen does contain some effective anti-aging ingredients. Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, which is clinically proven to reduce wrinkles. Niacinamide has also been shown to have a skin-brightening effect and to reduce visible signs of aging.
Overall, we consider Supergoop Glowscreen likely to provide sun protection and to have an anti-aging effect. However we cannot recommend the product overall due to health concerns over the endocrine-disrupting nature of chemical sunscreen ingredients, and due to the inclusion of an additive ingredient found toxic to human cells.
One of the most popular YouTube reviews of Supergoop Glowscreen comes from a creator called “Sincerely Miss Ash” and has over 25,000 views. The video focuses more on the functional benefits of the sunscreen (rather than the health effects that we focused on), and includes a product demo:
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Review
Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen has a similar formulation to Glowscreen. Three of its active ingredients are the same, but this product also contains homosalate at an 8% concentration as an active ingredient.
A medical review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found homosalate to be a “cytotoxic and genotoxic substance.” This means it may be toxic to human cells and potentially damaging to the genetic information in cells. We recommend avoiding all products containing this ingredient.
Unseen Sunscreen does not contain the two anti-aging ingredients we highlighted in the previous section: sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide. We cannot identify any ingredients in this formulation that we consider to have an anti-aging effect.
Overall we consider Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen to be likely effective for sun protection but likely ineffective for anti-aging effects. We consider it to be a worse formulation than Glowscreen which contained several anti-aging ingredients backed by clinical studies.
We do not recommend this product overall due to the questionable health effects of the chemical sunscreen ingredients.
A YouTube creator called “Glowish” published an unsponsored Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen review where she used the products for 14 days and shared her results:
Is Supergoop Reef Safe?
Consumers are often curious about whether Supergoop sunscreens are reef-safe given that some chemical sunscreen ingredients are proven to be harmful to reefs and other natural ecosystems.
As we documented in our review of Elta MD Sunscreen, a chemical sunscreen called octinoxate is so harmful to reef ecosystems that it’s banned in Hawaii.
We consider Supergoop sunscreens to be safer for reefs and other wildlife than Elta MD and other sunscreen brands that contain octinoxate, but we consider physical sunscreen brands to be potentially safer to reefs than Supergoop.
As we documented in the ingredient review, several active ingredients in Supergoop sunscreens are proven, at least in test tube studies, to be toxic to human cells. If a substance is toxic to human cells it may be toxic to the cells of other animals and ecosystems.
Physical sunscreens use metal oxides such as titanium dioxide and iron oxide that are much cleaner, safer and have more favorable toxicity data in our opinion than chemical sunscreens.
Supergoop has been sued in a class-action lawsuit alleging false advertising over their products being “reef-safe,” according to Class Actions Reporter. The complaints in the lawsuit are similar to those we raised in the previous section of this article: that some of the chemical sunscreen ingredients used by Supergoop may not be as healthy and safe as the brand claims.
The lawsuit claims the following: “By advertising ‘reef-sale’ and ‘cruelty-free,’ yet using active chemical ingredients that are known to cause reef and marine damage, [Supergoop!] is deceiving [its] customers who are relying on [its] representations.”
We consider this to be a red flag about the brand’s ethics.
Supergoop Real Customer Reviews
Supergoop is available for sale on Amazon, which is a more objective resource for real customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.
Their Unseen Sunscreen has been reviewed over 11,000 times at the time of writing this article, and has an average review rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. The sunscreen scores a “B” grade on Fakespot, which is a software tool that detects potentially fraudulent Amazon reviews. This suggests that the majority of the reviews are legitimate.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “J. Whitehead” who claims that the product applies easily and doesn’t leave a white cast on skin:
“I absolutely love how it spreads. A little bit just glides all over your face…No white cast. This one goes on clear. The other one had a white cast that you really had to rub in for a while to make it somewhat less obvious.”
The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “A. Hubler” who claims the product they received may have been illegitimate:
“I’ve ordered this sunscreen numerous times. I bought four packages this time because they were on sale. I guess that should have been a red flag because something is off with them. There is a strong smell and very sticky texture when normally has no odor and a very silky primer like feel. They are also smaller than normal compared to last product I purchased. They are not expired so that’s not it. I will order directly from Supergoop to compare - Possibly a formula/packing change. If it is a formulas change, will not purchase again.”
Our Sunscreen Recommendation
The sunscreen product we recommend is called MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense. It's a physical sunscreen free of questionable chemical sunscreen ingredients like octinoxate. Its active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide; both effective physical sunscreen ingredients backed by clinical research.
This sunscreen is also free of any questionable inactive ingredients like fragrance or artificial dye.
Elta MD Tinted Sunscreen costs $34.50 and contains 1.7 ounces, which equates to a price-per-ounce of $20.29. MDSolarSciences sunscreen costs $39 and contains 4 ounces, which equates to a price-per-ounce of $9.75.
Interested consumers can check out MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense at this Amazon link.