This spray-on sunscreen deserves credit for its broad-spectrum blend of sunscreen actives that includes avobenzone, but the amount of alcohol it contains will prove too irritating and drying to skin. Far from being a suitable option for kids, this isn’t recommended for adults, either. Admittedly, the spray-on format is a convenience for parents who want to get their kid’s skin protected quickly, but there are options which omit the alcohol and, for use on children’s skin, contain gentler active ingredients. Another strike against this product is its high amount of fragrance, which can be a source of irritation.
One more comment: the SPF rating for this product is overkill. There isn’t enough daylight in any part of the world to warrant this level of protection, so unless you know you’re really going to under-apply sunscreen, there’s no need to go higher than SPF 50. Remember, super-high SPF ratings do not provide better protection, just longer protection. And even with SPF ratings over 100, you still need to reapply routinely when skin is exposed to sunlight for several hours. Products like this are not “apply once and forget about it” deals.
Gives active kids the highest level of protection in a convenient easy-to-apply continuous spray.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), Oxybenzone (6%), Other: SD Alcohol-40, Isobutane, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Retinyl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica, Octyldodecanol
As the summer months approach, Banana Boat's sunscreens are often seen lining drugstore and supermarket shelves along with those from Coppertone and Neutrogena. It's puzzling how many retailers choose to spotlight sunscreen during the few warmest months of the year even though the need for daily, year-round sun protection is well-established. Yes, people do spend more time outdoors and at the beach when the weather is sunny and warm, but if your goal is to avoid wrinkles, discolorations, and the potential for skin cancer, daily sun protection is a must, because sun damage occurs whenever skin is exposed to daylight and the sun’s cancer-causing rays travel right through windows.
That said, does Banana Boat have you covered? Despite the fact that the majority of their products were reformulated in late 2006 with ongoing reformulations throughout the next two years, the answer is "No." It is shocking to me that cosmetics companies (especially those whose entire marketing angle is sun protection) are still launching new sunscreens without suitable UVA-protecting ingredients. Many of Banana Boat's sunscreens include avobenzone (and, to a lesser extent, titanium dioxide) for sufficient UVA protection—but why not follow suit with all of them? As is, the company's mantra of "Celebrate the Sun" will leave your skin vulnerable to cumulative damage unless you choose their products very carefully. Several of the sunscreens that get the critical issue of UVA protection right suffer from a drying alcohol base or problematic preservatives. Then there's the fact that Banana Boat believes that part of celebrating the sun involves promoting products that encourage you to tan. When it comes to a making a clear statement on safety under the sun, these products really miss the boat by trying to appeal to sun worshippers and those who take sun protection for themselves and their children seriously!
Note: All Banana Boat products contain fragrance unless listed otherwise.
For more information about Banana Boat, call (800) 723-3786 or visit www.bananaboat.com.