Water Babies Pure & Simple Free SPF 50
Coppertone's Water Babies Pure & Simple Free SPF 50 sounds like the perfect sunscreen selection for infants and small children, but the truth is that this is not an ideal option.
The packaging is certainly convenient: A flip-top squeeze tube that's easy to throw into a diaper bag or a beach tote. True to the labeling, this provides broad-spectrum SPF 50 in a lotion formula that absorbs quickly, and without a white cast.
The issue is that this is not the best sunscreen for its target audience. Coppertone says this is gentle, and non-irritating, and while it's fragrance free, that alone doesn't make this the gentlest option for infants and children. This sunscreen's active ingredients are completely made up of synthetic sunscreen ingredients, and while they provide excellent protection from harmful UV rays, they're likely to cause irritation in the still-developing skin and eyes of babies.
Even for adults, this isn't the best option because its inelegant formula lacks a robust mix of antioxidants that would make its environmental protection truly impressive. While this isn't a bad sunscreen, it's simply not up to the standards on the selections you'll find on our list of Best Sunscreens.
- Provides broad-spectrum SPF 50.
- Fragrance free.
- Synthetic sunscreen ingredients could cause irritation in infants and children.
- Inelegant formula lacks antioxidants to make it robust environmental protection.
Gentle, non-irritating formula. Hypoallergenic.
Strengths: A few effective, basic sunscreens with various but typically lightweight textures (especially the Ultra Sheer); all recommended sunscreens are also water-resistant; inexpensive, which should encourage liberal application and reapplication; reliable self-tanners tailored to various skin tones.
Weaknesses: The majority of their sunscreens lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients, even though Coppertone clearly knows about this and routinely reformulates; all continuous spray products contain irritating alcohol.
This ubiquitous sun-care line has been around for over sixty years and is almost as synonymous with sunscreen as Kleenex is with facial tissue. Yet despite their longstanding history, there is something wanton about a corporation so recognized as a sunscreen manufacturer selling such an abundance of pathetically formulated sunscreens. Although more Coppertone sunscreens than ever include avobenzone or zinc oxide for UVA protection, most of them are still lacking, making this a line to shop very carefully. Ironically, Coppertone includes a fair amount of accurate, sun-smart information on their Web site, but their products aren't following the same advice! For example, they recommend you apply a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher whenever you go outdoors, but then they sell several sunscreens with SPF ratings well below that. That's sort of like your personal trainer puffing on a cigarette while encouraging you to go another ten minutes on the treadmill. They also correctly advise consumers to reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, or toweling off, yet sell products they claim are waterproof and "ultra sweat-proof." Don't they realize that is likely to be interpreted by most people as 'one application and you're good to go no matter what outdoor activity is planned'? Regardless of the type of tenacious claim made, all sunscreens need to be reapplied at regular intervals if you are swimming or engaged in strenuous physical activity.
Coppertone also boasts that its sunscreens for kids are the ones recommended most by pediatricians. If that's true, and your child's pediatrician recommends this brand without being specific as to which sunscreen to choose and which to avoid, be sure you find another pediatrician right away. It would mean your child's doctor doesn't know about the cumulative damage from UVA rays, and we would worry about what else he or she wasn't up to date on.
For more information about Coppertone, call (866)-288-3330 or visit www.coppertone.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.