Sunscreen Review

Posted in: Sunscreen ♦ Monday, April 16th, 2012, 11:09 pm ♦ 1 Comment

As promised, I am conducting sunscreen reviews this summer. I want to focus more on all natural products, however, they are more difficult to find on the shelves at our local supermarkets and pharmacies. After considerable searching, I did find one recently at Target. It is Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid. A daily sunblock with an SPF of 50. The label says that it is a broad-spectrum UVA-UVB, and that is 100% naturally sourced. The active ingredients are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

Since I am curious by nature and also a stickler for details, I called the company to further inquire about the ingredients and how it is “naturally sourced.” After holding for a few minutes, the nice woman at Neutrogena informed me that unfortunately she has no information on how the ingredients are sourced, and will inform the quality control department that they need to have more information available on that. Good idea.

I also checked Neutrogena’s website and it claims the following – “it’s formulated with PureScreen™ — a powerful blend of 100% naturally sourced sunscreen ingredients for superior broad-spectrum protection. Free of fragrances, dyes, oils, and irritating chemical ingredients, Pure & Free™ Liquid Sunblock is great for sensitive skin!” It is also hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and PABA free. So, overall the product seems to have some good attributes, yet it is not descriptive enough about what those naturally sourced ingredients actually are and how they source them. Digging in a mine? Picking off of a tree? You would think that the information would be readily available.

So, I cannot attest to the accuracy of how natural this product is, yet it seems to work fairly well. It is extremely thin and goes on dry and absorbs very quickly. It may even be a bit chalky and certainly does not add any moisture. You have to rub it in completely to eliminate the white residue, but it does go away. It comes in a very small bottle (1.4 ounces) and averages about $12.00. Pricey for such a small amount, especially when you have to reapply so often.

The reviews online are mostly good from an effectiveness standpoint. People seem to love the fragrance-free aspect, as well as the fact that it does not cause blemishes or breakouts when applied to the face. I did not see many comments from people concerned about the ingredients, or lack of specificity.

I may have to re-think my allegiance to Neutrogena. I have used their products for years, but am not sure if they practice what they preach when it comes to sunscreen. If a company representative cannot explain how the product works and where the ingredients come from, then you have to think twice about purchasing it. Hopefully they will work to upgrade their sunscreen standards so that consumers have all of the necessary facts in order to appropriately protect their skin.

As always, a wonderful resource for sunscreens is the Environmental Working Group’s annual sunscreen guide. The 2012 version is not out yet, but here is the link for last year.

Thanks and remember to Lather It On (but do your research first!).

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One Response to “Sunscreen Review”

  1. Posted by: Adrienne
    June 13th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I am a dermatologist in West CHester PA. I think it is very hard to get information on origin of sunscreen ingredients. If anyone has information about environmental impact, effect of individual chemicals in the sunscreens, it is most likely the Environmental Working Group. ( They put out a sunscreen report every year. Their report balances the effectiveness of sunscreens with the known safety of the chemicals. They are on the conservative side with chemical safety. If there is any question that the chemical could potentially be dangerous, even if there is little conclusive data, they will err on the side of it being dangerous. Don’t know if that helps…

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