Simply Protect Sensitive Faces UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
Banana Boat’s Simply Protect Sensitive Faces UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ proves that sometimes going too simple can backfire, especially if the aesthetics aren’t excellent.
This water-resistant, fragrance-free sunscreen provides broad-spectrum sun protection from its blend of mineral (zinc oxide) and synthetic actives. Although it doesn’t leave a white cast, it takes longer than usual to blend in.
Another issue: Even after several minutes, this sunscreen leaves a thick, somewhat greasy-feeling film on skin. Problematic esthetics like this won’t encourage liberal application or reapplication, essential for the success of any sunscreen on long days outdoors. Banana Boat competitors Aveeno and Neutrogena have upped their game when it comes to making sunscreen more comfortable to wear, so we view this as Banana Boat keeping things too simple.
This water-resistant formula is also too simple because it contains no antioxidants whatsoever, and research has shown they improve skin’s environmental defenses. It’s like going to a salad bar that offers dozens of fresh vegetables and only choosing iceberg lettuce. We urge you to skip this mediocre formula and choose from our list of best sunscreens instead.
Note: The hypoallergenic claim seems reassuring but without standards governing its use, it ends up being a meaningless claim (or can mean whatever the brand wants based on arbitrary standards). In this case, although the formula is fragrance free, several of the sunscreen ingredients can be sensitizing for some people. That doesn’t mean they’re bad ingredients, it’s just further explanation of why the hypoallergenic claim isn’t reliable.
- Provides broad spectrum protection.
- Water-resistant, fragrance free formula.
- Takes longer than it should to apply.
- Too simple formula totally lacks antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients.
- Tends to leave a greasy-feeling film on skin which discourages liberal application.
- The hypoallergenic claim is misleading.
Provides effective sun protection made with 25% fewer ingredients. The new hypoallergenic, mineral-enriched formula is made specifically for sensitive skin, so you get just what you need to enjoy worry-free time in the sun.
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 irritating 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 protection, but 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.