Friday, March 29, 2013

Wellness Review: Banana Boat Quik Dry Sport Sunscreen

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Easy to apply spray that keeps me from burning
Cons: Not really water or sweat proof
The Bottom Line:
A good liquid spray
If careful when you apply
You won't get sun burned

As with all Sun Blocks, When Used Right You Won't Burn

Thirteen years ago, I shaved my head. And I learned a very painful lesson - your scalp can burn. Now, while I don't keep my head shaved for longer then two or three weeks at a time, I keep my hair short year round. Short enough that I can still burn up there on a regular basis.

You see, I burn at the drop of a hat. People often laugh at me when I put on my third or fourth coat of sun screen in the same day. But if I don't, I will regret it, guaranteed. So naturally, I needed to find something I could use to protect my scalp even when I had some hair up there.

While searching through the store one day, I happened upon this sunscreen. It's purely liquid. In fact, the bottle is clear, so you can see all the way through it. You apply the sunscreen by using one of those old fashioned finger pumps like on a spray bottle to spray the liquid onto your skin. Since the liquid including some rubbing alcohol, it dries rather quickly. The sunscreen has a pleasant, mild odor, but nothing overpowering. It's not the coconut smell you normally associate with sunscreen. But all you need to do is spray and go.

Sort of.

Despite using this fairly faithfully, I have still gotten my share of sun burns over the last few years. Being rather slow, it took me a while to discover the secrets of avoiding them.

First off, I was used to the old smear on sunscreens where you personally make sure you cover every inch you don't want burned. The bottle claims you don't need to rub it in, just spray and go. As a result of believing them (and my own carelessness), I got some funny sun burns where I had patches of light and patches of burn. See, the spray only hits parts of your body. You either need to make sure you spray every square inch or rub what you do spray around. I have found that by spraying and rubbing, I actually do cover everything and don't get those funny burns.

As a side note, you also want to do this when covering your face. As with most things, you don't want to get this in your eyes. I've found spraying it on my hands and then rubbing my face is the best way to make sure I cover everything.

The directions say to spray this on 15 minutes before sun exposure. Unlike the myth about swimming 30 minutes after eating, take this one seriously. When I apply it before I leave the house, giving it time to dry and my skin time to absorb it, I find I run a better chance of avoiding that burn.

On the front, the bottle says that it is ultra sweat proof and waterproof. On the back, it says to reapply after swimming or toweling off. So which do you believe? The back, of course. Frankly, I have never met a sunscreen that was truly waterproof, which is one of the reasons I reapply so often. I've found with a great coat applied before I leave home (long enough before hand to be absorbed), I can reapply later on the fly and avoid sun burn. Of course, if I can stay in the shade for a while after doing so, all the better.

The six once bottle is a little more expensive then most of the sun blocks you find on the market. But I feel it is worth it to keep my hair short but my scalp burn free. With an SPF 30 rating, this is right in the middle of the field.

As per usual, I got a couple of burns this summer. One, I forgot to put anything on. (Who can I blame for that?) The other I wasn't careful with how I applied the sunscreen, and got the uneven sunburn to prove it.

As with all sunscreen, you need to follow instructions and apply it carefully. But if you do, this one should keep you burn free in the brightest conditions.

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