sunblock review

Long time, no blog.
The crew went to North Topsail, NC for a week. We used ounces and ounces of spray sunscreen and lotion sunscreen. Just as expected with 5 children everyday for a week going to the beach twice a day for 2-3 hours at a time.

I am amazed with the different brands of sunscreen we used.

disclosure ~ this is not sponsored but affiliate links are used.
We are also full Filipino with lots of melanin. So we tan but we can also burn if not enough sunscreen applied.  We have used some brands with my niece and nephew who have fairer/lighter 1/2 German 1/2 Filipino skin. They get red before they tan.

here we go


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Coppertone SPF 50
Application: continuous spray
Scent: okay, no strong odor
Effectiveness: This works the best for our children and my nephew.  We had to reapply around 60-80 minutes of sun exposure to be safe.
Overall grade: A+

Banana Boat SPF 50
Application: Thick lotion so it's not as easy to spread around body
Scent: usual sunblock smell, not overtly strong scent
Effectiveness: It protected  my children. They were still tan but we prevented redness on their cheeks and shoulders.
Overall grade: B

Australian Gold
Application:  Thick lotion but not as thick as the banana boat
Scent:usual, not overtly strong 
Effectiveness:  I used it on my already tan children. My nephew burned his fair skin.
Overall grade:

Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30

Application: easy to apply, lightweight lotion 
Scent: coconut, sweet smell 
Effectiveness: Effective but must be reapplied every 60-80 minutes. If you plan on staying at the beach 5-6 hours per day, you will need a higher SPF. I do not think Hawaiian Tropic has anything higher than 30 though. Effective ~2 hours per day with infrequent visits. I have to give it a C if planning to stay in the sun 5-6 hours/day 6 days in a row. SPF 30 was not enough for me.  
Overall grade: A/C (see above)

Aveeno baby SPF 55
Application: easy to apply
Scent: unscented 
Effectiveness: perfect! We use aveeno baby products for our babies < 1 year old. Lucy could have burned without this. I also used it on my face every now and then.
Overall grade:  A+

Disney Frozen SPF 50

Application: continuous spray 
Scent: sweet smell 
Effectiveness:  Be careful when it's almost empty ~ we used it on my nephew and we noticed redness and sunburn. It also did not last us longer than the Coppertone above. It would been a-ok because it was fine for my children but not for fairer skin.
Overall grade: B

Hello Kitty Australian Gold SPF 30

Application:  thicker application. But not as thick as banana boat.
Scent: citrus and sweet

Effectiveness: Isabel got burned!
Overall grade:

Bullfrog SPF 50
Application: continuous spray. easy to apply
Scent: no strong odor 
Effectiveness: effective. My nephew and niece were protected and did not burn.
Overall grade:

Take home points:
  • SPF 50 if staying at the pool or beach everyday for  over 2-4 hours. 
  • Reapplication is needed
  • We like the spray sunscreens better but with big families, buying in bulk recommended. lotions last longer but more difficult to apply.
  • wear hats!

How about you? What do you/your family use? Any recommendations?
Also photo diary of our beach vacation - coming soon!

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