This Banana Boat Ultra Defense sunscreen fortunately does not contain the same sensitizing preservative system as a few of their other products, and that’s good news. It also contains the maximum amount of avobenzone for excellent UVA protection—but SPF 80? It is highly doubtful that anyone’s skin sees that much daylight. Even someone whose skin turns pink in 10 minutes would be protected for 800 minutes (over 13 hours), which is overkill to say the least. There’s also an issue with the amount of active ingredients required to claim SPF 80—that high a concentration poses a risk of irritating skin—and over 30% of the ingredients in this sunscreen are actives, so a sensitized reaction is much more likely. Still, this will provide longer broad-spectrum protection than several other sunscreens—it’s just that the trade-off may not be worth it. By the way, “sunblock” is a term that should have gone away a long time ago because that’s not how sunscreens work; they don’t block the sun’s rays, they reflect the rays, but companies still use the term sunblock anyway.
Get maximum protection when the sun is at its strongest with Banana Boat Ultra Defense Lotion SPF 80. Waterproof.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2.4%), Oxybenzone (6%), Other: Water, Styrene Acrylate Copolymer, Polyester-7, Glycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, C14-22 Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Paraffin, Steareth-20, Steareth-2, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Polysorbate 60, Triethanolamine, Fragrance, Propylparaben, Methylparaben
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.