Banana Boat

Sport Performance Faces Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50

2.00 fl. oz. for $ 6.99
Expert Rating

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Brand Overview

This water-resistant sunscreen is a decent option whether you stick with the labeled use for face or apply it from the neck down. The formula contains an in-part zinc oxide sunscreen for broad-spectrum protection, and is surprisingly easy to blend. In terms of this going on "clear" as the name states, it doesn't; however, the white cast the zinc oxide leaves behind is definitely on the subtle side, though will be more obvious on those with medium to dark skin tones.

This sets to a smooth, hydrating finish that's best for normal to dry skin. Sport Performance Faces Clear Zinc isn't optimal for the breakout-prone due to the mix of zinc oxide and a few heavier thickeners, plus beeswax.

This is fragrance-free, but the inclusion of octocrylene as an active ingredient doesn't make it a slam dunk for extra-sensitive skin. Still, it's highly unlikely this sunscreen would cause an irritant response, as it's an overall gentle formula and should be fine to use around the eyes.

The lack of antioxidants in this sunscreen is disappointing and held this back from earning a better rating. Research is clear that adding antioxidants to a sunscreen not only boosts your skin's environmental defenses, but also allows the sunscreen to be more effective. So, buying a sunscreen that lacks antioxidants is selling your skin short.

One more comment: The packaging for this product indicates the formula is hypoallergenic. See More Info to learn why this claim isn't one you can rely on.


  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Does not leave an obvious white cast (though it's not "clear" or invisible, either).
  • Blends easily.
  • Doesn't go on as "clear" as the name states.
  • Formula lacks antioxidants or other beneficial anti-aging ingredients beyond the sunscreen actives.
More Info:

"Hypoallergenic" is little more than a nonsense word meant to make products sound safer or somehow better for sensitive skin. There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic. Any company can label any product "hypoallergenic" because there is no regulation that says they can't, no matter what proof they may point to—and what proof can they provide given there is no standard against which to measure? Given that there are no regulations governing this supposed category, which was made up by the cosmetics industry, there are plenty of products labeled "hypoallergenic" that actually contain problematic ingredients and that can indeed trigger allergic reactions, even for those with no previous history of skin sensitivity. The word "hypoallergenic" gives you no reliable understanding of what you are or aren't putting on your skin (Sources: www.fda.gov; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, May 2004, pages 325–327; and Ostomy and Wound Management, March 2003, pages 20–21).

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

Banana Boat Sport Performance Faces Clear Zinc Sunscreen protects against sunburn and long-term skin damage with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. If used as directed with other sun protection measures, Banana Boat Sport Performance decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.

Active Ingredients: Octocrylene 4%, Zinc Oxide 5% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Dilsopropyl Adipate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl- 4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Beeswax, Isohexadecane, Sodium Chloride, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dimethicone, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

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.

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