Antioxidant + Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 Broad Spectrum
Hawaiian Tropic Antioxidant + Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 Broad Spectrum provides the broad-spectrum sun protection stated ins name and claims, but overloads skin with so much fragrance we cannot recommend it when plenty of other water-resistant sunscreens provide the same protection minus the perfume overload.
This sunscreen lotion comes in an opaque tube and is easy to apply, setting to a smooth, non-greasy finish but you’ll notice the “island-inspired” fragrance right away. The potent fragrance doesn’t dissipate, which means it presents a much greater risk of irritating skin.
Given the synthetic sunscreen actives this contains can be sensitizing for some on their own, adding such strong fragrance to the mix was a bad decision, even more so because fragrance isn’t skin care.
As for the antioxidants mentioned in the name and claims, some vitamins and plant extracts are indeed present, but in disappointingly low amounts. Surprise, this sunscreen contains more fragrance than antioxidants, and guess which one truly helps skin better endure environmental exposure?
Simply put, this is a sunscreen to avoid, even though its overall esthetics are quite pleasant. You’re better off choosing an option from our best sunscreens list, instead.
- Provides non-greasy, broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Water-resistant formula.
- Easy to apply.
- Contains more fragrance than antioxidants.
- Highly fragranced formula likely to irritate skin.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Formulated with green tea extract to form an antioxidant layer on your skin. The new antioxidant sunscreen helps prevent long-term skin damage and premature aging from the sun and features the signature Hawaiian Tropic scent. Its formula, infused with mango, guava, papaya, and passion fruit, provides indulgent protection that instantly transports you to the tropics.
Strengths: Almost all of the sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; inexpensive; above-average self-tanner and lip balm with sunscreen.
Weaknesses: Many products have SPF ratings of 15 or less, which medical boards around the world have demonstrated is a problem for the skin; products that encourage tanning, which research has shown causes premature aging and, potentially, cancer; every formula we tested contains multiple fragrance ingredients known to be irritating.
Founded in 1969, Hawaiian Tropic remains one of the oldest brands in the sun-care aisle at the drugstore, and it seems theyre 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, theyre selling products that actually encourage unprotected sun exposure to get a deeper tan. You might as well hand someone a cigarette at the same timeit 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 its immediate. Such damage can be partially repaired, but only to a certain extent, and only over timeand 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 fragrancedevery 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 desirablein more ways than one!
For more information about Hawaiian Tropic, visit www.hawaiiantropic.com .
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.