This is a standard, but very good, sunscreen stick that provides reliable UVA (think anti-aging) protection via stabilized avobenzone. Although the hypoallergenic claim is dubious (see More Info to find out why) the formula is fragrance-free, which is always a plus.
The wax-based stick is best used to protect smaller areas (hands, the part in your hair, bridge of the nose) from sun exposure. It is too thick and, well, waxy to apply all over the face. Coppertone added a nice range of antioxidant vitamins proven to boost skin's environmental defenses.
The waxes and film-forming agent this contains supports Coppertone's water-resistant claims (technically, it should be labeled "very water-resistant" because they're claiming 80 minutes of protection in water; the "water-resistant" claim indicates 40 minutes of protection—we know, confusing, but those are the FDA's regulations).
"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).
Stays on strong when you sweat, won’t run into eyes and sting; designed to provide spot protection for exposed areas such as ears, nose and face; photostable, broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection; water resistant (80 minutes); hypoallergenic; fragrance free
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), Oxybenzone (6%), Other: Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Lauryl Laurate, Ozokerite, Cetearyl Behenate, Polybutene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Myristyl Myristate, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Phenoxyethanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C)
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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