What are your favorite sunscreens?

For me wearing a good sunscreen on my Hawaii vacation is a must. I try to wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher. As I mentioned in this post on how to avoid sunburns in Hawaii, the reason it’s even more important to wear a sunscreen with a high SPF is that Hawaii is closer to the equator and thus closer to the sun compared to Europe, North America, Australia, etc.

Finding a good sunscreen can be a difficult task. I’ve found that some high SPF sunscreens don’t rub in well and transfer a white film onto my swim suits. Other sunscreens tend to cause breaks. While others leave a sticky oily feel that’s most uncomfortable. Ugg!

Hawaii-October-2008500On my last trip to Hawaii, I picked up a bottle of this Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces brand of sunscreen. I purchased it mainly because the bottle said that it has less chemicals and is less irritating. I figured if it was designed for babies’ skin, it has to be pretty mild. Well, Andy and I both loved it. It rubbed in really well and didn’t have the usual sticky uncomfortable feeling that most sunscreens do. I’ll definitely be buying this sunscreen again.

For my face, I used a new sunscreen made by SkinCeuticals that has Zinc Oxide. I really liked this sunscreen. It absorbed quickly and didn’t leave my face looking like I’d just slathered baby oil all over it.

What are your favorite sunscreens? Which ones have you tried and not liked? How do you choose your sunscreens?

5 comments
  1. @Tiabla, thanks for the link. Some great information.

    Back when I was young (and stupid) on our honeymoon in Oahu, I ended up with really bad sunburn on my shoulders. That took me out of commission for a good two days of not being to enjoy things. Not fun at all.

    Although I’m a little wiser these days, I still sneak by with just SPF 15 and reapply whenever I feel my skin getting too warm. I know that goes against most conventional wisdom, and as Tiabla showed us there is a lot of information out there.

    My skin tone is naturally a little darker than my wife’s, mainly because of the Italian genes. She goes with SPF 30+ because she burns a lot faster than I do. We both prefer the spray-on sunscreen and, with continuous use, go through about 3-4 cans over the course of 2 weeks. We’ll also carry one of those travel side bottles of lotion for our faces, too.

    I really am surprised that many of the stores on Hawaii seem to carry quite a bit of tanning lotions, too, in addition to the protective sunscreens. Given the location of the islands relative to the equator, as Sheila mentioned, you wouldn’t think people would need the extra help.

    Nice topic for a discussion!

  2. Thanks for this post! I live in Australia and burn very easily but I didn’t expect the severe sunburn I got climbing Diamond Head last March. We even used 50+ Banana Boat!!

  3. @ Tiabla – interesting link!

    @ Kris – Having a sunburn on your honeymoon – ouch! We tried the spray sunscreen once and I guess it works better if you don’t apply it at the beach. Andy thought he was applying the spray on my back, but I ended up with a big sunburn spot in the shape of Texas. It felt like the size of Texas, too. 😉

    @ Clare – oh my, a sunburn with 50 +! The hike up Diamond Head doesn’t offer much shelter unfortunately and there’s not much cloud cover there either.

    @ All – we just got back from Oahu this morning. In addition to the Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces SPF 50 sunblock, we also tried a Bull Frog 36 SPF gel. It applied well and had a comfortable dry feeling, but didn’t seem to wash off well. It was expensive and we used up a bottle quickly, but I’d probably buy it again.

  4. I was reading your blog last year before heading off to the islands, so along with the SPF30, I also brought a bottle of SPF50 that I managed to find here in PA. Well, I burn quicker than bacon,and even the SPF 50 left me looking for any shade possible. On one of my trips to the Kahului Walmart I found SPF 70 and got it. It helped much better than the others. So anyone who has fair skin be warned: use the highest SPF you can find. Sporting a nice tan is great, but getting sun poison isn’t.

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