(I know a post about sunscreen isn’t particularly November-appropriate for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, but I started writing this one during my blog break this summer, and figured I may as well post it. Er, anyone planning a winter-sun break?)
When I posted the image above on Instagram and Facebook this summer, quite a few people commented to say they were surprised to see such a high SPF. I, in turn, was surprised by their surprise, because I’ve always used the highest SPF I can possibly find, and while I’m not totally convinced that SPF110 is any better than a regularly re-applied SPF50, say (in fact, a lot of people argue that it isn’t, and that the high numbers are merely a marketing ploy designed to make us feel like we’re getting something extra for our money), I’ve always figured you can’t be too careful, so the highest SPF is always the one I’ll buy. (Although I should stress that no matter how high the number on the bottle, I always re-apply it as often as possible, particularly after swimming/exercise etc.)
More specifically, Banana Boat’s Continuous Spray Sunscreen is always the one I buy. There are a few different variations on this, but all have the same factors in common, and those factors add up to make this product my favourite sunscreen ever. Here’s why:
1. It’s clear
There’s nothing I hate more (in sunscreen terms, anyway) than thick, gloopy white cream, which takes ages to rub in and always seems to stain my clothes, no matter how hard I try to keep it away from them. And while I’m not ashamed of my pale skin, I’m also not going to go out of my way to look even paler than I actually am, so a thick layer of white gunk is something I’d rather avoid if I possibly can. This sunscreen is totally clear, so you don’t have to worry about any of that: I’m sure it probably can leave marks on your clothes, just as other sunscreens can, but I’ve so far managed to avoid that happening, and I’m the world’s clumsiest woman, so if I can do it…
2. It has a no-rub spray-on forumula
That thick, gloopy cream I mentioned? I normally have to set aside a good 20 minutes just to apply it because the higher the SPF, the harder it tends to be to apply the stuff. With this you just press a button on the can, point it in the direction you want to apply, and “mist” yourself with the formula. Oh, and about that button on the can…
3. It’s easy to use
In the past, I’ve used other clear sprays which I’ve assumed would be similar to this product, but which have turned out to be much harder to apply, because they have nozzles which squirt the product at you rather than spraying it. It’s a minor complaint in the great scheme of things, sure, but I used to buy a clear spray from Boots, and I’d have to use two hands just to depress the nozzle on the bottle, which doesn’t exactly make for easy application. My Banana Boat spray, on the other hand, requires one finger to press the nozzle: much easier!
4. It dries instantly
I don’t know about you, but I’m used to applying high SPF creams and then having to wander around in a towel for ages waiting for them to dry in and be absorbed. Not with this: it’s dry as soon as it hits the skin, basically, so no more waiting around, frantically trying to massage in sunscreen while everyone else is already in the pool.
Up until recently, I was only ever able to find this stuff in the States, and I’d stock up on it any time I was over there. A few weeks ago, however, I came across a whole shelf of the stuff in Boots: true, they didn’t have the super-high SPFs I can always find in Walgreens or Target, and I think the highest available was an SPF50, but that should be high enough for the average British summertime, so I was pleased to find it available over here. So much so, in fact, that I’m not even going to MENTION the fact that it’s £12.47 per bottle here, and I can normally buy two for around $12 in Target….[Buy it]