Water Babies Pure & Simple Mineral Based Sunscreen SPF 50

6.00 fl. oz. for $ 8.99
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Brand Overview

Coppertone's Water Babies Pure & Simple Mineral Based Sunscreen SPF 50 is pitched as a gentle, calming form of sun protection for babies and children, but a closer look finds this isn't the case.

This somewhat thick, lotion-textured sunscreen comes in a squeeze bottle, and while it initially applies with a white cast, rubbing it in thoroughly makes this less apparent. It dries to a non-greasy finish.

True to its labeling, this provides broad-spectrum SPF 50, but not quite how the name implies. Coppertone carefully says this is a "mineral based" sunscreen, and mentions on its website that zinc oxide is in the formula. When shopping for sunscreens for babies and small children, it's best to select mineral-only options, since synthetic sunscreen ingredients are likely to cause some irritation to their still-developing skin and eyes.

That's why it's a potential problem: "Mineral based," doesn't mean mineral only, and that's an important distinction. This sunscreen contains synthetic sunscreen active ingredients that can potentially cause issues for infants and children, making this a not-ideal choice for that age group.

Even for adults, this isn't the best option, because its inelegant formula lacks a robust mix of antioxidants that would make its sun 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.
  • The claims for this product misrepresent it as a mineral-based sunscreen.
  • Synthetic sunscreen ingredients could irritate the skin of infants and children.
  • Inelegant formula lacks antioxidants to enable robust environmental protection.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Hypoallergenic and gentle formula with zinc oxide. Fragrance free, oil free, dye free. Tear free, wont sting or irritate eyes or skin.

Active: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Zinc Oxide 14.5%. Inactive: Water, Propylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Chloride.

Coppertone At-a-Glance

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.

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