Simply Protect Kids SPF 50+
Banana Boat's Simply Protect Kids SPF 50+ is an aptly-named product (its formula is about as simple as it gets), but it's still a worthwhile option when it comes to gentle, inexpensive beach sunscreens.
This sunscreen is traditionally packaged in a plastic squeeze tube. The fragrance-free lotion inside is somewhat thick and syrupy when dispensed, but then it "warms" to skin, becoming easily spreadable, and sinking into skin. This sets to a dry-feeling, non-greasy finish.
As claimed, Simply Protect Kids SPF 50+ provides broad-spectrum sun protection with mineral-only sunscreen active ingredients. The gentle mineral formula means this is a good selection for babies and small children whose skin is still developing and might have some sensitivity to synthetic sunscreen active ingredients. Because of its mineral base, this sets to a faint white cast.
As for the rest of the ingredients, they include standard preservatives and emollients along with one antioxidant. In fact, that's the only qualm we have with this sunscreen; a greater complement of antioxidant ingredients would mean more robust environmental protection (kids need antioxidants, too).
Still, it's a gentle and economic way to keep young children's skin sun-safe during family outings or anytime the little ones are outdoors.
- Provides broad-spectrum SPF 50.
- Mineral-only sunscreen actives are appropriate for babies' skin.
- Dries to a non-greasy finish.
- Sets to a minimal white cast.
- Large size encourages liberal application.
- Fragrance free.
- Formula would be more impressive with additional antioxidants for environmental protection.
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.