Simply Protect Baby SPF 50+
Simply Protect Baby SPF 50+ is a fragrance-free sunscreen that does a good job of protecting your little one's skin. The durable, water-resistant formula isn't necessarily the most cosmetically elegant (i.e. it leaves a slight white cast and takes a little extra effort to blend in), but in this case, that's actually helpful because you can tell where you've adequately applied it.
Dispensed via squeeze tube, the lotion formula dries down to a non-greasy finish that stays put. True to claim, you get broad-spectrum SPF 50 thanks to the mineral actives of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. We're happy to see that Banana Boat went with mineral sunscreen actives as they are known to be ultra-gentle for delicate baby skin.
The brand makes a big deal about this sunscreen containing "25% fewer ingredients"—but if you read the fine print, that's just in comparison to their Sport Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50+. Regardless, the basic formula gets the job done—although we would have liked to see more antioxidants added to the mix to enhance the sun protection (as is you're just getting vitamin E as the very last ingredient). Still, when it comes to baby skincare, a less-is-more approach tends to make sense, especially if that means a gentler product.
If you're baby has dry skin, you may want a formula that offers more moisture, but for all other skin types, this gentle yet tenacious (and inexpensive) sunscreen does the trick.
- Provides water-resistant, broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Gentle, fragrance-free formula ideal for baby's delicate skin.
- Non-greasy finish stays put where you apply it.
- Not the most advanced formula in terms of antioxidants, but fine for baby's skin.
Banana Boat At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; widely distributed; various textures to please a wide variety of skin types and preferences; some good sunscreen options with avobenzone or titanium dioxide (check labels carefully).
Weaknesses: Several sunscreens lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; clear spray sunscreen products include iritating alcohol; a selection of products that promote tanning.
As the summer months approach, Banana Boat's sunscreens are often seen lining drugstore and supermarket shelves along with those from Coppertone and Neutrogena. It's puzzling how many retailers choose to spotlight sunscreen during the few warmest months of the year even though the need for daily, year-round sun protection is well-established. Yes, people do spend more time outdoors and at the beach when the weather is sunny and warm, but if your goal is to avoid wrinkles, discolorations, and the potential for skin cancer, daily sun protection is a must, because sun damage occurs whenever skin is exposed to daylight and the suns cancer-causing rays travel right through windows.
That said, does Banana Boat have you covered? Despite the fact that the majority of their products were reformulated in late 2006 with ongoing reformulations throughout the next two years, the answer is "No." It is shocking to me that cosmetics companies (especially those whose entire marketing angle is sun protection) are still launching new sunscreens without suitable UVA-protecting ingredients. Many of Banana Boat's sunscreens include avobenzone (and, to a lesser extent, titanium dioxide) for sufficient UVA protectionbut why not follow suit with all of them? As is, the company's mantra of "Celebrate the Sun" will leave your skin vulnerable to cumulative damage unless you choose their products very carefully. Several of the sunscreens that get the critical issue of UVA protection right suffer from a drying alcohol base or problematic preservatives. Then there's the fact that Banana Boat believes that part of celebrating the sun involves promoting products that encourage you to tan. When it comes to a making a clear statement on safety under the sun, these products really miss the boat by trying to appeal to sun worshippers and those who take sun protection for themselves and their children seriously!
Note: All Banana Boat products contain fragrance unless listed otherwise.
For more information about Banana Boat, call (800) 723-3786 or visit www.bananaboat.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.