Living in Sunshine state means that sun protection is a hot topic regardless of the season. Not that you should skim on sunscreen in colder parts of the world, but UVB rays here a more aggressive than what I’m used to. Plus, warmer climate means that more skin is exposed to the sun more often. Back in New York in winter I only had to worry about protecting my face and hands. Not so in Florida. Long story short I’ve been searching for a good body sunscreen. Preferably cheap one, as I bathe in this stuff on daily basis. So my search was focused mostly on drugstore brands. Coppertone Water Babies Spray SPF 50 is one of my favorite finds.
Yes, it’s a spray, but before you declare that spray sunscreens are bad/not effective/evil, please hear me out. Unlike most of spray sunscreens this one doesn’t contain alcohol. It does make it feel heaver than other sprays, but saves you potential dryness and irritation. It also make the product thicker, so it doesn’t travel as far after coming out of the nozzle, so most of the product winds up where you want it – on your skin. It does look kind of odd and not particularly attractive.
Coppertone Spray is not the lightest sunscreen I’ve ever tried, it does have a bit of greasy and heavy feel to it. I feel that it comes with a territory when we are talking about “SPF 50” and “water-resistant”. I’m willing to deal with that as long as the product is not sticky. Because that’s where I draw a line – stickiness irritates me to no end. It make me feel like HAVE to take a shower NOW. I find that applying this sunscreen right after the shower on towel-dried skin does help the sunscreen adsorb better, and somewhat alleviates its heaviness.
Greasiness is the reason I avoid using Coppertone Spray on my face. If you can get past that, this sunscreen is gentle enough. Just don’t spray it directly onto your face, spray it on your hand, then apply to the face.
Coppertone Spray doesn’t have sunscreen smell or bitter-ish smell that many drugstore sunscreens have (like Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion and Walgreen’s generic sunscreens). If anything Coppertone Water Babies Spray smells like baby powder, which is not necessarily what I want to smell like, but much better than most sunscreens.
My favorite thing about Coppertone Spray is that it’s very gentle. I can apply it on my legs right after shaving them and not experience burning or irritation I’ve seen with other sunscreens. I realize applying sunscreen right after shaving is not ideal, but that’s what usually happens in the morning – shower, shave, slap on some sunscreen, get going. And I really appreciate being able to go through my routine without to much discomfort.
I find the name “Water Babies” a bit misleading. The directions imply that this product can be used on anyone older than 6 month. Up until now I was under impression that using chemical sunscreens on children under 2 years is not recommended. Was I wrong? I guess I’ll have to research that issue further. In any case the wording in the name peeved me a bit, but didn’t stop me from using this sunscreen.
There is one more thing I want to address here. Propylparaben is used as a preservative in this product, and in recent years many people were shying away from using products containing parabens. I’m not one of them. I did some research and it turned out that information about potential danger of parabens is very shaky at best. There are preservative that were conclusively proven to be harmful, like formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing compounds. Here is a post by Michelle at Lab Muffin, where she explains parabens better than I ever could.
Bottom Line: I really like Coppertone Water Babies Lotion Spray SPF 50. It might replace Neutrogena Dry-Touch as my “go-to” sunscreen, partially because it’s more bang for my buck, partially because it’s easier to find near me. Although, I have to give credit to Neutrogena – Dry-Touch sunscreen feels lighter and comes in wider variety of SPFs.