06.04.2014
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Banana Boat
Natural Reflect Sunscreen Lotion Baby SPF 50+
Rating
4 fl. oz. for $10.99
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > Kid's Sunscreen
Last Updated:06.04.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Overview

This sunscreen is identical to Banana Boat’s Natural Reflect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, save for it being marketed for use on babies. Otherwise, the same review applies: This thick, somewhat creamy sunscreen provides broad-spectrum sun protection with the gentle mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Another plus is the lack of fragrance, making this an excellent choice for use on children and adults with sensitive skin, including rosacea. You’ll notice when applying that this must be thoroughly blended to avoid a telltale white cast, but it leaves skin feeling smooth with a subtle, moist sheen rather than a greasy appearance or slick feel. We take issue with Banana Boat’s natural positioning for this sunscreen because it contains plenty of synthetic ingredients. None of the synthetic ingredients are bad for skin, but it does make the marketing slant of this line misleading (to its credit, though, the sunscreen actives are natural). Unless you were expecting an all-natural sunscreen, this is worth considering. It would’ve earned a Best product rating had Banana Boat included more than a token amount of vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) for an antioxidant boost.

Claims

Proven effective, natural sun protection! Banana Boat Natural Reflect sunscreen lotion uses naturally sourced sunscreen actives that deflect UVA and UVB rays.

Ingredients

Active: Titanium Dioxide (3.6%), Zinc Oxide (4%) Other: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecyl Citrate Crosspolymer, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-8 Dimethicone, Ozokerite, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, C30-38 Olefin/Isopropyl Maleate/MA Copolymer, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Capryl Glycol, PEG-8, Alumina, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phenoxythanol

Brand Overview

Banana Boat At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive and widely distributed; various textures to please a wide variety of skin types and preferences; great selection of self-tanning products; some good sunscreen options with avobenzone or titanium dioxide (check labels carefully); excellent lip balm.

Weaknesses: Several sunscreens lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; several sunscreens carry SPF ratings that are miserably low; clear spray sunscreen products include iritating alcohol; a selection of products that promote tanning; no sunscreens for sensitive skin; problematic sunscreens for kids and babies (due to their mild-as-water and gentleness claims).

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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