Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen with Mica Minerals SPF 20 is questionable for use as a sunscreen because if you apply it liberally, as you must to get the rated protection, then the warm gold finish is really dramatic, probably too much for daytime (and who needs sunscreen at night?). Aside from the shimmer, the formula is mostly thickening agents, film-formers, and a few emollients at levels that are beneficial for combination to slightly dry skin not prone to breakouts.
While this does contain broad-spectrum sunscreen ingredients, they are present at lower-than-usual levels than we typically see in other products with SPF 20 ratings.
This also contains a potentially irritating mix of synthetic fragrance, a fragrant flower extract, and papaya extract. Fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, is a problem for the skin, and papaya can be irritating for those with latex allergies (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).
Just in case you're curious, this isn't a quality highlighter option product for the body. The finish is more obviously glittery than luminous, which probably is not what you're going for.
Given this formula's shortcomings, it's best avoided in lieu of the much more advanced sunscreen alternatives on our list of Best Sunscreens (including Kids).
- Contains broad-spectrum sunscreen ingredients (albeit at lower levels than we typically see in similar formulas rated SPF 20).
- Contains multiple fragrant ingredients and papaya extract.
- The glittering shimmer can be too obvious for daytime use.
Irritation from Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Indulge and protect your skin with our line of Sun Protection products. Rich, luxurious formulas infused with an exotic blend of flora and fruit extracts provide your skin with optimal coverage. With our signature tropical coconut scent!
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (2%), Octocrylene (3%), Oxybenzone (3%); Inactive Ingredients: Water, Diisobutyl Adipate, Ethylhexyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate, Acrylates/C12 22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Glycerin, Hydrated Silica, Mica, Polyglyceryl 3 Methylglucose Distearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Titanium Dioxide, Chlorphenesin, Silica, Paraffin, Disodium EDTA, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Colocasia Antiquorum Root Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata (Passionflower) Fruit Extract, Plumeria Acutifolia (Plumeria) Flower Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Octyldodecanol, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance
Founded in 1969, Hawaiian Tropic remains one of the oldest brands in the sun-care aisle at the drugstore, and it seems they’re short on innovation. Overwhelmingly, this tropical-themed brand lacks the advancements in sunscreen formulas that other drugstore options (including product lines like Neutrogena and Coppertone) have long ago adopted.
Even more mind numbing is the number of sunscreens Hawaiian Tropic sells with an SPF 15 or less. At the time of this review, some of their SPF 14 (and even lower-rated) sunscreens still claim to provide broad-spectrum sun protection. This is a significant step outside of regulations, as the FDA no longer allows sunscreen products to be marketed as broad-spectrum sunscreens if they have an SPF rating of less than 15; some countries have even higher mandatory SPF rating regulations.
In the United States, when a brand chooses to sell a sunscreen with an SPF rating of less than 15, they are required to display the following warning as part of their Drug Fact Labeling:
Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.
At the time of this review, none of the Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens we tested (with ratings of less than SPF 15) bore this required label. As disappointing as it is for us to see such products still on the market, they are relatively easy to avoid by sticking to those we recommend in the Best Sunscreens (including Kids) section of Beautypedia.
Adding to the pain in our brain about this line, Hawaiian Tropic is one of the few brands that still sells tanning oils and creams; in other words, they’re selling products that actually encourage unprotected sun exposure to get a deeper tan. You might as well hand someone a cigarette at the same time—it is that bad for your skin (and your health) to tan.
They even sell "after-sun" products, which might confuse consumers if they believe any of these after-sun options can reverse or counter the sun damage. Obviously, Hawaiian Tropic knows the sun is damaging; otherwise, why would they sell products to counter the damage? In truth, the research is clear: If the skin is tan after exposure to the sun, there is harm to skin cells (and your DNA), and it’s immediate. Such damage can be partially repaired, but only to a certain extent, and only over time—and your skin has a long memory (in terms of damage) from each time it was exposed to damaging UV light, whether the sun was shining or not.
Those with sensitive skin take note: Hawaiian Tropic products are extensively fragranced—every sunscreen, body oil, and lip balm we tested contained a potent array of perfumes (including papaya extract, which can be problematic for those with latex allergies). Also worth mentioning is that there are no mineral sunscreen options available from Hawaiian Tropic, so those who are sensitive to synthetic sunscreen actives are out of luck shopping this line.
Ultimately, the Hawaiian Tropic brand is no vacation for your skin. They offer some reliable, affordable options, but sun-care products from neighboring brands on the drugstore shelves are more desirable—in more ways than one!
For more information about Hawaiian Tropic, visit www.hawaiiantropic.com .