Blue Lizard

Blue Lizard At-a-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; every sunscreen offers reliable broad-spectrum protection; the sunscreens have great aesthetics, especially for normal to dry skin; some excellent sunscreens for sensitive and/or rosacea-affected skin.

Weaknesses: None of significance, though some of the sunscreen formulas would be even better if they contained an array of antioxidants.

Most well-known drugstores in America carry this small collection of sunscreens. The brand’s name indicates an association with Australia, which is odd because these sunscreens are manufactured by Crown Laboratories, a U.S.-based company. As it turns out, the Blue Lizard brand isn't even sold in Australia, which the company confirmed. We suspect the Australia connection has to do with the facts that (1) all of these sunscreens provide high levels of sun protection and (2) that Australians now take sunscreen seriously because of the country's high rates of skin cancer (Source: www.health.gov.au). In this case, Blue Lizard is on the right track!

According to Blue Lizard, all of their sunscreens maintain "extreme water resistance after 240 minutes in whirlpool water." That test is not part of the FDA's water-resistance testing methodology, although it is part of the testing program for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is Australia's regulatory group. Given that Blue Lizard products aren't sold in Australia, there's no need for them to follow the TGA testing methodology in determining a sunscreen's water resistance.

In the United States, FDA regulation allows a "very water resistant" claim of no more than 80 minutes without needing to reapply (Source: www.fda.gov). Sunscreens labeled "water-resistant" must maintain sun protection for at least 40 minutes in water. Admittedly, it can be argued that Australia's method for determining a sunscreen's water resistance goes above and beyond what's required in the States. It does seem impressive that a sunscreen can last for 240 minutes (4 hours) in moving water, but legally and testing-wise, that's irrelevant for a sunscreen brand not sold in Australia. If anything, the United States' more conservative water-resistance timeframe is a stronger reminder to consumers that "water resistant" does not equal "waterproof," and so encourages consumers to be more diligent about reapplication. In summary, as long as you follow FDA guidelines for liberal application and reapplication after swimming or sweating for 80 minutes when the label says "very water resistant," you'll do fine with this brand.

The bottom line is that all of the Blue Lizard sunscreens are worth considering, regardless of where you live. They all provide impressive broad-spectrum sun protection and they're inexpensive. A few of them also are fragrance-free and contain only gentle mineral active ingredients, making them winners for those with sensitive skin. Although Blue Lizard isn’t the only sunscreen brand to consider, and the formulas aren't perfect (the texture and finish won't please everyone, especially those with oily skin), they are worth strong consideration for anyone spending time outdoors.

For more information about Blue Lizard, call (800) 877-8869 or visit www.bluelizard.net.

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