Here Comes the Sun…Avoid the Damage

With record-breaking heat this summer, it is more important than ever to stock up on sun protection.  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Up to 90 percent of the visible signs of aging are caused by the sun” – eeeek!!

We asked our friends for their favorites sunscreens, then tested them all for ease of application / formula / overall experience.  Check out the results to see which made our vacation SUN-tastic and which were just duds.

COOLA Sport SPF 35 Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray ($32 at
Hands down, we loved this spray (and not just because it offered us a mimosa in the name).  We brought it to the beach and put it to the ultimate test (obstacles included wind, sand, ocean) - it performed flawlessly.  (It is recommended for face & body, but we prefer to use sprays just on our body.)  The 97% certified organic formula sprays a wide area, covering the entire side of a leg in one continuous spritz (it even works upside down) so our whole bottom half was done in 20 seconds.  It went on wet (almost felt a little oily at first) which allowed us to rub in any spots we missed, then quickly dried for a undetectable, matte finish.  The only way we knew it was there was from the delightfully light citrus scent.  We followed the directions to reapply as needed and didn’t get burned by the sweltering sun.  We are adding Coola to the list of beach bag essentials - right up there with music, magazines and mimosas.

SUPERGOOP! SPF 30+ Sunscreen Swipes ($12 at
During our vacation, we went on a 10-mile bike ride and to prepare, we followed a rigorous HSS routine (hydration, stretching, sunscreen).  Although the Swipes claim to be “pre-moistened”, our paraben-free, water-resistant wipes seemed dried out and did not dispense much of the formula, so we had to use a bunch to ensure our face was covered.  They also balled up pretty quickly so we went through our packages fast.  That said, after we got it on, we weren’t oily and didn’t feel it on our face.  We tucked the pouch into our pocket and were off on an adventure – stopping only for more HSS.  Despite our sweat, round two went off without a hitch.  We ended the ride without any burns or redness – these Swipes are definitely worth the hype.

Tocca Stella SPF 30+ Sunscreen Towelettes ($24 at
Wherever we go, somehow we always end up in a gift shop (think about it, college tours, Disney World – you can’t escape it!), so on vacation, a shopping excursion was inevitable.  Because we were exploring high-end shops, we wanted to keep everything classy, so we indulged in a luxury sun-protection product - Tocca's scented towelettes were the perfect on-the-go solution.  They are saturated in a gentle, sweat-resistant, broad-spectrum physical sunscreen and are scented with their classic Stella scent.  We didn’t get burned and the formula didn’t rub off on the clothes (our biggest fear – and that of the sales girl!).  Our skin was left matte and soft, overall it was a decadent treat.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45 ($10 at
The face is the most important feature when it comes to sun protection, because this is where the most sun damage and burns take place.  We wear SPF everyday, so in this department, we are true sunscreen connoisseurs.  That said, you can take our facial sunscreen findings at face value.  Our friends always had good things about Neutrogena, but as we squeezed the thick white paste into our hands, we instantly knew this was not going to end well.  The lotion took over 30 minutes to rub in completely and as soon as we got into the water, our mime facepaint instantly appeared.  We appreciate the “derm recommended” and the “waterproof and non-oily” claims, but none of that is relevant when you don’t want to put it on!  On the flip side, we definitely did not get sunburned, so if you have really fair, sensitive skin – you might find this sunblock up your alley.

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