Salvatore Piazzolla, the East End’s reigning sun king, sheds light on what’s new with his chic luxury suncare range, Hampton Sun. Take it away, Sal!
How did you end up as a suncare guy?
Before Hampton Sun, I was doing real estate. One day I was sitting poolside in Southampton when my partner and I came up with the idea. We were inspired by our travels, especially a trip to St. Barths, which has a sunscreen line named after it. No one else was playing in the luxury sunscreen space, and nothing was really special—it either reeked of alcohol or smelled like a piña colada. It wasn’t glamorous. [Laughs] We wanted to come up with something that not only felt good and looked good but was really effective and used the best technology available. So we met with a world-renowned chemist and came up with some brilliant formulas. Michael Kors was the first person we ran the idea by, and he gave the thumbs-up!
That’s a great endorsement! More than a decade later, what’s new?
We’ve expanded our assortment in a much broader way. Over the past 11 years, science has evolved, and trends have changed. We’ve branched into mineral sunscreen, which is our new launch this season. It’s all natural and made with 100 percent zinc oxide. It has anti-acne benefits and a silky, mousse-like texture. It’s all natural and fragrance-free, but we elevated the experience by infusing it with natural pomegranate for a little citrus vibe.
What new products do you have lined up?
A lip gelée with SPF 30. It has a beautiful texture and is hydrating on the lip with a little satin finish. That brings us to 27 products.
What is the brand’s greatest claim to fame?
We are known to be called “liquid gold in a bottle.” We are also endorsed by NYC dermatologist Dr. Lance Brown, who was voted best in NYC. He chooses Hampton Sun as his favorite.
What’s happening in the prestige suncare space?
Trends have definitely shifted and the new generation is educated about the importance of wearing sunscreen every day. We offer sun protection for every sunbather, whether it’s the mist for the sporty adult, the gels or oils for the sunbather, or our baby and kids formulas. It’s all natural and 100 percent mineral. The kids’ is one of Dr. Lance Brown’s favorites. Then, of course, we have all the bronzers, which are really beautiful.
So, what are your summer plans?
We have a home in Southampton, and we plan to stay around here. We may travel to Greece and the South of France in August. But we love the Hamptons this time of year. Of course, I’m partial to the Hamptons beaches. [Laughs] Besides Coopers Beach, which is one of the top-rated in the country, we go to the Caribbean a lot. One of my favorite spots is Peter Island. We love to entertain, so we’re always doing some sort of cocktail party.
What kind of party do you throw?
We were quoted to once have thrown the best party of the season. They’re pretty extravagant! We usually have models in their little suits walking around with trays of Hampton Sun.
So, all in all, what were you most surprised to learn about the beauty industry?
How nice everyone is! Everybody is smiling and it’s a super friendly industry, which I love. I love what I do!
PLUS! Sal’s Summer Essentials
Aries. We love to be leaders, to get things done, and to be around people.
Getting my beach stickers and stocking the home with rosé. I spend a lot of time enjoying my gardens while getting the pool ready for the season. I love to entertain and have BBQs!
I love rosé, but if I turn to a cocktail, I’m obsessed with my Stoli Orange and ginger.
I never leave my home without moisturizing my face with SPF 15 Daily Super Hydrating Face Cream. I also love Aesop bath soaps, and I use a self-tanner year-round.
It’s a toss-up between Kelly Ripa and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Dockers on Dune Road in East Quogue or Westhampton.
BEST PARTY YOU’VE EVER ATTENDED
Oh…so many! The Parish Midsummer Night’s Dream and Taste of Two Forks are two favorites.
BEST PARTY YOU’VE HOSTED
Hampton Sun’s launch party. It was just magical! A clear summer night with lots of beautiful people roaming around, sipping champagne.
Very chill. I love reading up on all the Hamptons publications while listening to the sound of my fountain. But I’m a kid at heart, and I also love a good chicken fight.
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