Sunscreen Reviews

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Nivea Children Sun Spray SPF 50

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Nivea Children Sun Spray SPF 50

Actives: Homosalate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Tinosorb S, Octisalate, Iscotrizinol, Ensulizole, Titanium Dioxide, Octinoxate. 4 Stars. PPD 17+

Complete Ingredients: Aqua, Homosalate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane,Octocrylene, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Diethylhexyl Butamido Triazone, Sodium Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonate, Titanium Dioxide, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Ceteareth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trimethoxycaprylylsilane, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene, Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamyl, Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Parfum, CI 42090

Pros:

UVA Protection: 3/5 Since this product conforms to EU guidelines on UVA protection as indicated by the UVA sign enclosed in a circle on the lid, its UVA protection can be expected to be greater than 17 PPD. A very respectable figure. Avobenzone combined with Octocrylene for stabilization, Tinosorb S to reinforce protection, Titanium Dioxide for partial UVA shield, Iscotrizinol is an unfamiliar absorber though.

Price: 3/5 A 200 ml goes for about 22 bucks, acceptable if it’s a well-rounded product. (But… it is not.)

Cons:

Transparency: 2/5 Squirts out fun moss green fluid, the green tint fades shortly after application, the oily slick however, does not. Sometimes it creates an illusion of sweating.

Texture: 1/5 Slimy and grimy, obviously unsuited for facial use, tried it on legs, the sticky feeling did not fade away. This is a perfect substitute for glue. Probably due to the choke-full of UV absorbers in the bottle, do consumers really need SPF 50+ protection? SPF 30 is more than enough to please me. No similar compromise for UVA absorption though. :-)

Overall: This product is similar to Ambre Solaire Kids spray SPF 50+, lovely protection, acceptable price, but applying it is an entirely different experience: The sooner one uses it up, the better.Why don’t the formulators try the products they come up with and ask themselves: “Do people actually enjoy slathering it on everyday?” In my case the answer is no. Won’t buy again.

Written by ssreview

January 29, 2010 at 5:15 am

Banana Boat Sports Dri-Blok SPF 30

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Banan Boat Sprots Dri-Block SPF 30

Banana Boat Sports Dri-Block SPF 30

Actives: Avobenzone 2.5%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2%, Oxybenzone 4%. Est. PPD 9

Inactives: water, silica, caprylyl glycol, glyceryl oleate, citrate, caprylic triglyceride, adipic acid/diethylene glycol/glycerin, crosspolymer, acrylates/vinyl isodecanoate, crosspolymer, xanthan gum, retinyl palmitate (Vitmain E), aloe barbandensis leaf extract (aloe vera), triethanolamine disodium EDTA, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, fragrance

Pros:
Texture: 5/5 “Goes on like a lotion, dries like a powder” is no exaggeration, after slathering on a generous one finger’s worth of sunscreen, it feels as if nothing is on at all after a few minutes. Very matte and light, not sticky at all, this is the best finish I have encountered.

Transparency: 5/5 No shine like one just put on grease, no white residue where there is crease, no theatrical white cast, this sunscreen is invisible. As far as cosmetics department goes, it’s second to none.

Price: 5/5 A 6 fl oz bottle costs a little more than 8 dollars. And for such a cosmetically elegant sunscreen? It’s a steal.

Cons:
UVA protection: It’s well-known that Avobenzone, a UVA absorber, breaks down rapidly when exposed to UV radiation, unless it’s stabilized, this is usually done by adding Octocrylene to the mix. In addition, the solvents of photoprotective agents influence the protection of the said agents.

AvoTriplex (Patent # 7014842) are optimizing agents that enhance UVA and UVB protection of the sunscreen. According to the patent, UVB protection with the inclusion of the optimizing agent(s) can be boosted up to 25%, and UVA protection (measured by PFA) up to 85%. Though personally I would take the UVA claim with a big grain of salt. Disregarding the enhancing effects offered by caprylyl glycol in this sunscreen, the PPD rating of this sunscreen should be about 6. With the enhanced rating computed in, the PPD could reach 9.

Overall: Sports Dri-Blok has a flawless finish, with an affordable price to boot. However, it’s a shame that the UVA protection is rather lacking. This economical sun lotion makes a good body sunscreen. The fragrance is fortunately pretty subtle.

There is also  Kids Dri-Blok, with overpoweringly cloying odor mislabeled as “fragrance”. So stay awwwway from the Kids version with bright yellow bottle. Aside from those, Kids version and Sports version are identical.  As for the Sports version: Likely to buy again.

Written by ssreview

April 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Ambre Solaire Kids spray SPF 50+

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Ambre Solaire Kids spray SPF 50+

Ambre Solaire Kids spray SPF 50+

Actives: Octisalate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Tinosorb S, Titanium dioxide, Uvinul T 150, Mexoryl XL, Mexoryl SX. 5 stars. Est. PPD 18ish.

Complete ingredients: Aqua/water, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, propylene glycol, glycerin, ethylhexyl salicylate, alcohol denat, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, octocrylene, bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, titanium dioxide, ethylhexyl triazone, polyester-5, drometrizole trisiloxane, poly c10-30 alkyl acrylate, tocopherol, ethylhexylglycerin, triethanolamine, polyacrylate-3, pentasodium ethylenediamine tetramethylene phosphonate, terephthalylidene dicamphor sulfonic acid, sorbitol, opuntia coccinellifera, opuntia coccinellifera flower extract, glycine soja/soybean oil.

Pros:
UVA protection: 3/5 The sunscreen conforms to European Union guidelines which requires PPD be at least a third of SPF. Broad-spectrum UVA filters Avobenzone, Tinosorb and Mexoryl XL combined provide powerful protection.

Price: 5/5 1.8 dollars per price unit. This 200 ml spray can be purchased for around 15 dollars on ebay.co.uk.

Cons:
Texture: 2/5 White viscous cream that doesn’t dry into a nice matte finish, it stays tacky on skin, And balls off on touch, a line of white demarcation would appear on my neck wearing this sunscreen, a downgrade from its cousin Spray SPF 40.

Transparency: 2/5 Felt like a light bulb wearing this, I look like I’m either sweating up a storm or had my head in a transparent plastic bag, it’s that shiny. The lack of white cast is its only redeeming feature.

Overall: This sunscreen offers upgraded reliable protection on a budget, but the sheer cosmetic inelegance is quite dissapointing, especially when compared with its close cousin Spray SPF 40. Fragrance free. Unlikely to buy again.

Written by ssreview

December 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Avene Lotion for Children SPF 40

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Avene Lotion for Children SPF 40

Avene Lotion for Children SPF 40

Active ingredients: Octinoxate, Tinosorb M, Tinosorb S, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Est. PPD 15

Complete ingredients: Avène Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Water (Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Glycerin, C-12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Stearyl Alcohol, PVP/Eicosene Copolymer, Butylparaben, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Decyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, o-Cymen-5-OL, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Glucoside, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Trimethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Oxide.

Pros:
UVA protection: 3/5 Tinosrob M and S are highly photostable and effective filters of UVA I, II and UVB rays. Combined, they should filter out more than 90% of UVA rays. The presence of both Tinosorbs and the absence of Avobenzone and alcohol are the main selling points of this sunscreen. The physical sunscreen filters are present in such minute amount that I doubt they do anything other than angel dusting.

Transparency: 3/5 Doesn’t leave too conspicuous of a white cast, the most frustrating part is the white streaks that are really hard to even out due to the texture.

Cons:
Texture: 2/5 It is like liquidy white milk that drips easily. It congeals from liquid milk to a sticky mask a few minutes after application. Once it is solidified, it becomes very hard to even out any white streaks. The stickiness of this sunscreen makes me feel as if I just covered my face with honey.

Price: 1/5 I shelled out 20 dollars for an 100 mL (3.4 oz) tube of this. Am I buying elixir or what? Exorbitant.

Overall: I did not enjoy wearing this sunscreen, no not at all. The stickiness and the white streaks negate whatever benefits this expensive mediocre sunscreen confers. Fragrance free. Won’t buy again.

Written by ssreview

May 27, 2008 at 6:43 pm

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Fluide Extreme Corps SPF 50+

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La Roche-Posay Anthelios Fluide Extreme Corps SPF 50+

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Fluide Extreme Corps SPF 50+

Active Ingredients: Octocrylene, Titanium Dioxide, Avobenzone, Mexoryl XL, Uvinul® T 150, Tinosorb B, Mexoryl SX. PPD 32

Complete Ingredients: Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octocrylene, Alcohol Denat, Isononyl Isononanoate, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, cyclohexasiloxane, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone, Silica, Propylene Glycol, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Nylon-12, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Polymethylsilsesouioxane, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Dodecene, Glycine Soja/Soybean Oil, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Methylparaben, Pentasodium Ethylenendiamine Tetramethylene Phosphonate, Phenoxyethanol, Poloxamer 407, Terephthalylidenedicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine.

Pros:
UVA protection: 5/5 The PPD value stated on the back of the bottle is 32. This is one of the most UVA protective sunscreens on the market. Fine for heavy duty uses like biking, hiking or beach going.

Texture: 3.5/5 Creamy white lotion, it is pretty  moisturizing when applied liberally, suitable to those with dry skin. It doesn’t have the dry matt finish, but it is not greasy and sticky either. Doesn’t ball up.

Cons:
Transparency: 2/5 Thanks to the relatively high concentration of titanium dioxide in the sunscreen, it does leave a rather obvious white cast when applied properly. I had to mix it with a tinted concealer with tone down the white cast. Unsuitable for those with tanned skin or skin that flushes easily.

Price: 2/5 Expensive. I paid 20 dollars for a 125 ml bottle. That comes to 4 dollars per price unit, a rather steep price tag.

Overall: An average sunscreen that features top notch UVA protection, I would be more inclined to re-purchase if the white cast were minimal, but seeing that I had to mix it with a concealer to make the sunscreen presentable, the transparency department is sadly a failure. Fragrance-free. Might buy again.

Written by ssreview

May 27, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Vichy Capital Soleil For Children Milk SPF 50+

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Vichy Capital Soleil For Children Milk SPF 50+

Vichy Capital Soleil For Children Milk SPF 50+

Actives: Octisalate, Titanium dioxide, Tinosorb S, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Mexoryl SX, Uvinul T 150, Mexoryl XL. PPD 22

Complete ingredients: Water, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, cyclohexasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, alcohol denat, isohexadecane, ethylhexyl salicylate, propylene glycol, titanium dioxide, bis-ethylexyloxyphenol methoxphenyl triazine, octocrylene, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, peg-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, glycerin, lauryl peg/ppg-18/18 methicone, terephthalylidene dicamphor sulfonic acid, ethylhexyl triazone, butylparaben, dimethicone, drometrizole trisiloxane, ethylparaben, glycine soja/soybean oil, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, pentasodium ethylene diamine tetramethylene phosphonate, phenoxyethanol, propylparaben, silica, tocopherol, triethanolamine.

Pros:

UVA protection: 4/5 The PPD value of 22 is clearly printed on the side of the box, very refreshing and reassuring indeed. Vichy is brand under the L’oreal group, so are Ambre Solaire and La Roche Posay, so their sun filters are boil down to the same ingredients in different concentrations. Vichy children milk’s protection is more than sufficient for day wear as well as extended exposures.

Cons:
Texture: 2/5 Very drippy and slippery milk. I broke out during using this sunscreen, which never happened before. Dries to a somewhat sticky finish. Performs poorly in this department.

Transparency: 3/5 Initial application produces a rather horrendous white mask what with the milk sticking to the tiniest facial hairs, rendering them very much visible, and it takes at least half an hour for the mask to even out, leaving some white cast, not much shine.

Price: 1/5 It’s packaged in a standard 3.4 oz (100 ml) tube, sells for around 18 dollars. Exorbitant, which European sunscreen isn’t come to think of it? *dry laughter*

Overall: A below average performer with the sole saving grace being its superior UVA protection. Since sunscreen choices are endless, there is no need to return to this one. Fragrance-free. Unlikely to buy again.

Written by ssreview

May 27, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Ambre Solaire UV Sensitive spray SPF 40:

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Ambre Solaire UV Sensitive spray SPF 40

Ambre Solaire UV Sensitive spray SPF 40:

Actives: Ethylhexyl salicylate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Titanium dioxide, Uvinul T 150, Tinosorb S, Mexoryl XL, Mexoryl SX. 4 stars. Est PPD 15ish

Complete ingredients: Aqua/Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl salicylate, Alcohol denat., Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl triazone, Glycerin, Polyster-5, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, Drometrizole trisiloxane, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Triethanolamine, Polyacrylate-3, Pentasodium ethylenediamine tetramethylene phosphonate, Terephthalylidene dicamphor sulfonic acid, glycine soja/soybean oil.

Pros:
Texture: 5/5 White rather viscous cream that dries to a completely matt and non-sticky finish. It feel like nothing on skin, and I’m pleasantly surprised that there is no balling-up issue either. Hooray!

Transparency: 4/5 Virtually white cast free even when applied heavily, however, there is some slight completely socially acceptable sheen.

UVA protection
: 3/5 In ordre to estimate a PPD value, first let’s examine a very similar (and much more expensive) sunscreen: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics Spray SPF 40 PPD 18.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics Spray SPF 40 PPD 18.

Actives: Ethylhexyl salicylate, Titanium dioxide, Tinosorb S, Mexoryl XL, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Uvinul T 150, Mexoryl SX.

Complete ingredients: Aqua/Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ethylhexyl salicylate, C12-15 Alkyl benzoate, Alcohol denat, Titanium dioxide, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, Drometrizole trixiloxane, Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, glycerin, Diglycol/Chdm/Isophthalates, Sip Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl triazone, Silica, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Glycine soja/ Soybean oil, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Pentasodium ethylenediamine tetramethylene phosphanate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate-3, Propylparaben, Terephthalylidene dicamphor sulfonic acid, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine.

Both sunscreens are manufactured by the cosmetic mega-giant L’Oreal group, and it’s not unusual at all for a company to use the same technology across the board, the main UVA filters in Anthelios spray are Tinosorb S, Mexoryl XL, Avobenzone, and in Ambre Solaire, Avobenzone, with some Tinosorb S and both Mexoryls thrown in for extra protection.

Protection wise, I think it’s pretty safe to conclude that the PPD value for Ambre Solaire is definitely less than 18, however, it is most likely more than 13, so I think it’s safe to tentatively put down Ambre Solaire UVA protection value at around 15 range, which is adequate protection for daily wear, but more is preferred for intense sun shine.

Price: 5/5 It comes in a generous 200 mL bottle, costs around 15 bucks for a bottle, very much affordable.

Overall: An all-around rock-solid sunscreen that packs tons of zing with low price to boot. I really enjoyed wearing this sunscreen spray. However, its UVA protection, though adequate and on par (or even better) than a lot of sunscreens with double, even triple its price, leaves something more to be desired. Fragrance-free. Likely to buy again.

Written by ssreview

May 27, 2008 at 6:41 pm

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