This spray-on sunscreen is similar to Coppertone’s Wet ‘n Clear Continuous Spray SPF 30, and the same review applies: Taking a cue from Neutrogena’s Wet Skin Sunblock Sprays, Coppertone has added their contribution to this unique type of sunscreen that works even when applied to wet skin (no need to towel-dry first). Most likely this technology involves a mix of film-forming agents (which are present in the formula) that are fused with the sunscreen actives, allowing them to bond to the skin. Think of it like applying hairspray to damp hair. Even though your hair is wet, the hairspray’s film-forming (holding) ingredients cling to your hair, allowing you to style it. Regardless of how they did it, this is an intriguing way to apply sunscreen when you’re active and perspiring or swimming. Interestingly, Coppertone uses the same chief film-forming agent Neutrogena does for their Wet Skin sunscreens.
The problem? Like many spray-on sunscreens, the formula contains a relatively high amount of alcohol. The active ingredients provide broad-spectrum sun protection (and include stabilized avobenzone for critical UVA protection), but the alcohol puts your skin at risk of dryness and irritation that hurts healthy collagen production.
Ideally, water-resistant sunscreens that omit the alcohol and are rated SPF 15 or greater are the best way to go. These may not have the same coolness factor of Coppertone’s wet-skin application technology, but they’re better for your skin, especially if signs of aging are a concern. But, if you’re at the beach or pool, and your skin is damp, and you need to reapply sunscreen, this can be a great way to go!
Sprays on clear and won’t whiten skin; visibly cuts through water to adhere to skin; helps keep adults and kids protected when moving in and out of the water; dermatologist tested; photostable, broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection; water resistant (80 minutes)
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (4.5%), Octocrylene (9%), Oxybenzone (5%), Other: Alcohol Denatured (53.0%), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Octyldodecyl Citrate Crosspolymer, C13-16 Isoparaffin, C12-14 Isoparaffin, VA/Butyl Maleate/Isobornyl Acrylate Copolymer, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate, C13-15 Alkane, Fragrance
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 sweatproof." 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, andwe 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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