Tested on animals:No
MDSolarSciences Quick Dry Body Spray with SolSci-X SPF 40 is a lightweight, fragrance-free aerosol sunscreen that dries exceptionally fast. Unfortunately, this aesthetic lightness is provided via its alcohol-based formula. If MDSolarSciences had chosen an alternative ingredient that didn’t have alcohol’s damaging impact on skin, this would have easily earned a higher rating! See More Info for details on why alcohol is such a problem for skin.
Unlike most MDSolarSciences mineral-based sunscreens, Quick Dry Body Spray with SolSci-X SPF 40 contains non-mineral actives. In this case, they rely on a combination of the actives avobenzone and octisalate, which ordinarily would give us pause given that there seems to be no apparent stabilizer for these ingredients. However, MDSolarSciences did include the butyloctyl salicylate, an ingredient that stabilizes avobenzone, thus assuring broad-spectrum protection. It’s also likely that’s what they’re referring to with their “SolSci-X,” which is just a marketing name they’ve given to this stabilizer.
This is also water-resistant up to 80 minutes, and as it relies on non-mineral actives, you won’t face the same challenge removing it as you do with the other MDSolarSciences sunscreens. There’s also the added benefit of antioxidants to help offset free-radical damage; there isn’t a comprehensive array of them, but what’s included is good.
This isn’t the ideal spray-on sunscreen, but if you’re caught on a beach without sun protection and the question is: “Shall I use this or skip sun protection altogether?” The answer: “Yes, use it, because any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen.” However, this is absolutely not a good option for daily use, especially when there are so many excellent alternatives on our list of Best Sunscreens (Including Kids) in Beautypedia.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Lightweight, easy-to-use formula.
- Alcohol-based, which is damaging to skin over the long term.
Alcohol-Based Skincare or Makeup Products: A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
For more on alcohol's (as in, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and ethyl alcohol) effects on skin, see the Paula’s Choice Research Team’s Expert Advice article on the topic, Alcohol in Skin Care: The Facts.