This tiny, glide-on "stick" is a very good water-resistant sunscreen to ensure that the areas more prone to sunburn (bridge of nose, tops of ears, hairline) are protected. Suitable for children and adults, the fragrance-free formula combines the gentle, broad-spectrum mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide with skin-softening emollients. The combination of mineral actives does leave a slight white cast on medium to dark skin tones.
The waxes and thickeners in this product make it a potentially troublesome option for use in breakout-prone areas, but that's generally not a problem for children. Just keep in mind that it's best to use a sunscreen stick like this along with a sunscreen lotion or cream, as those are easier to apply and a more logical choice for applying to large areas.
Although this sunscreen stick provides ample sun protection and is good for sensitive skin, it missed a "BEST" rating because it lacks intriguing beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants. The teeny-tiny amount of oat kernel flour isn't likely enough to provide an anti-irritant boost, but for just sun protection, this is a great option.
See More Info to learn why this sunscreen's hypoallergenic claim is bogus.
- Fragrance-free formula is great for sensitive skin, including children's skin.
- Contains mineral actives for broad-spectrum protection.
- Great for adding extra sun protection to sunburn-prone areas (on kids or adults).
- Formula lacks antioxidants for additional environmental defense.
- Can leave a discernible white cast on medium to dark skin tones.
"Hypoallergenic" is little more than a nonsense word meant to make products sound safer or somehow better for sensitive skin. There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic. Any company can label any product "hypoallergenic" because there is no regulation that says they can't, no matter what proof they may point to—and what proof can they provide given there is no standard against which to measure? Given that there are no regulations governing this supposed category, which was made up by the cosmetics industry, there are plenty of products labeled "hypoallergenic" that actually contain problematic ingredients and that can indeed trigger allergic reactions, even for those with no previous history of skin sensitivity. The word "hypoallergenic" gives you no reliable understanding of what you are or aren't putting on your skin (Sources: www.fda.gov; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, May 2004, pages 325–327; and Ostomy and Wound Management, March 2003, pages 20–21).
Formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal and mineral ingredients (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide), this sunscreen forms a protective barrier on top of the skin that scatters UVA and UVB rays for superior sun protection. It ensures your baby’s delicate skin is protected, not irritated, and is oil free, fragrance free, hypoallergenic, and water resistant for 80 minutes.
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (8.09%) (Sunscreen), Zinc Oxide (6.8%) (Sunscreen), Inactive Ingredients: C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone, Paraffin, Ozokerite, Beeswax, Phenyl Trimethicone, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Polyethylene, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, BHT
Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).
Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.
Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin—just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.
The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!
For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.