There are two beauty quests I'm on and probably always will be: to declutter the ever-growing pile of (often superfluous) products dominating an entire corner of my apartment, and to undo some of the damage I did back when I thought "safe sun" just meant wearing shades on the beach. If Supergoop! keeps at it, though, I'll be down to five products and a completely freckle-free face by the end of the year.
Perhaps the best product in their SPF-meets-skincare collection, the Supergoop! Daily Dose Vitamin C + SPF 40 ($46) serum is, as the name would suggest, a combination of powerfully protective chemical SPF and tone-evening vitamin C. Considering sunscreen and vitamin C are both crucial steps in a well-developed skincare routine, this adorably round bottle easily does the duties of both, saving some time, money, and crucial counter space. But to understand why Daily Dose is so great, we have to take a quick look at why it was made.
Why Vitamin C?
Since its founding 13 years ago, Supergoop! managed to rehab sunscreen's image from sticky, white summertime staple (goop) to arguably the most important part of skincare (super!). Since then, they've launched dozens of SPF-packed products including every possible form of straight-up sunscreen, makeup, skin serums and creams, body care, a kid's line, and even apparel. Daily Dose is the line's first vitamin C-centric product and developed to combat the hyperpigmentation and discoloration that often accompany rampant UV exposure, Supergoop! founder Holly Thaggard, tells Byrdie. Using vitamin C to try to combat darker scars and uneven tone isn't revolutionary, but pairing it with SPF is.
"In our research, we found that many people aren’t aware that without the protection of an SPF, vitamin C actives can be rendered ineffective," Thaggard explains. "With this product, we wanted to create a formula that could solve both problems by helping prevent future pigmentation while also correcting and evening out skin tone."
It's not just the combination of vitamin C and SPF that make Daily Dose so effective, according to the brand. Haggard claims this particular blend of vitamin C is extra-potent and highly concentrated, made to apply right after cleansing or toner. While the serum's other star actives like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid are familiar classics, they join more unexpected ingredients like Kakadu plum (a powerhouse antioxidant).
Kakadu plum is a powerful, natural antioxidant (like vitamin C) native to Australia that's often used in products meant to combat acne scars and general dullness.
The more inextricable screens become, the more important it is to integrate products with the kind of blue light protection found in Daily Dose. According to Sofia Gracia, Supergoop!'s Vice President of Product Development, screens can cause some of the same damage we see from the sun.
Studies have shown that blue light can lead to premature skin aging. "It’s important to note that while HEVL (high-energy visible light, i.e. blue light) is emitted by the sun, it is also emitted by most electronic devices with a screen," Gracia explains.
A cheerful orange sticker on the bottle's lid is the Supergoop! mantra: every single day. Frankly, I could use the reminder. My face is basically a rap sheet of crimes committed against it: some dark marks here and there from picking at blemishes, a few errant freckles leftover from my college tanning bed days, and two very persistent melasma patches from birth control-induced hormone fluctuations. I'm looking to fade all of them eventually, but my immediate focus is on dark marks.
For around two weeks, I've been patting two pumps of the serum into my skin immediately after cleansing in the morning and noticed two things: the skin under my discoloration is looking more luminous as a whole; and some of the lighter marks themselves, mostly on my forehead, are vanishing. The changes are pretty subtle so far, they don't really show up in photographs yet but they're there—I made the mistake of buying a magnifying mirror which makes me all too familiar with my face's fluctuations. It should be noted, however, that I was doubling up on the sunscreen by chasing the serum with a coat of Supergoop!'s Unseen Sunscreen ($36), my holy grail sunscreen obsession. While the serum's SPF is technically adequate on its own, Thaggard recommends "a full SPF wardrobe" for maximum protection.
As an added bonus, the serum wasn't sticky and didn't smell like a spray tan, two of the most off-putting elements of other vitamin C serums I've tried. Supergoop!'s Daily Dose is also non-comedogenic and, thanks to the number of natural ingredients, is gentle enough for daily use even on sensitive skin, according to the brand.
Al-Niaimi F, Chiang NYZ. Topical vitamin C and the skin: mechanisms of action and clinical applications. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(7):14-17.
Arjmandi N, Mortazavi G, Zarei S, Faraz M, Mortazavi SAR. Can light emitted from smartphone screens and taking selfies cause premature aging and wrinkles? J Biomed Phys Eng. 2018;8(4):447-452.