We are in and out of the sun all day long, all year long, which means that schmearing sunscreen all over ourselves is part of our daily routine. We have an entire shelf on the boat dedicated to sunscreens, half of which we bought and half of which were left behind by visitors on our boat. We can say that we have tried our fare share of brands and now have a few favorites. (I will do a separate blog post later on about “natural sunscreens” as I feel that they are in a category of their own).
Our Sunscreen 101
I will not even try to hide it, I am a sucker for good marketing. Not theTV commercial kind of marketing, but rather the marketing of the product and brand itself. I really do enjoy when a product has a cool logo, interesting name, and unique bottle or container. Combine that with a great product from a non-box-type company (which is usually the case when it comes to companies that make their products look fun and different, they usually aren’t the megamillionaire corporate boxes out there) and I am sold. The two brands that have done that for us,our current favorites and most used, are Swox and Sun Bum.
Swox is a company that was started by surfers and snowboarders that wanted to create a sunscreen that would withstand their extreme elements like no other sunscreen seemed to be able to do. They created two lines, one for surf, and one for snow. Of course, we have the Surf. In their facial sunscreen they have combined both the sunblocking agents (zinc and titan) with the sunscreen UVA and UVB filters. (Yes there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock, and these guys have combined them both. Genius.) Because it is zinc based, think diaper rash cream, it’s thick, pasty, and white, it goes on and stays on. It won’t run into your eyes causing that horrible stinging sensation, and you can truly feel the protection. We love it for the girls because we can paste it on their faces, and then they can go swimming without soon having hysterical fits that their eyes burn. And we love it for us (and them) because when it’s on you know it’s there. It does rub in very well, you will not be left white-faced, but if you go swimming or sweat a little the water/sweat will bead on it and cause for some white marks, so just double check yourself before any photo opts.
Sun Bum feels as smooth as skin cream when going on. It’s not greasy and doesn’t leave your body or hands feeling slimy after you’ve applied it, which is key if you have any boat work to do right after having applied sunscreen (try winching anything with slippery hands). It is both UVA and UVB protection, which not all sunscreens are, and on the back of their bottle it says its anti aging, I don’t know exactly what that means but I’ll take it. Of course it is free of all those extras that you don’t need and want in there making it hypoallergenic as well. They have also made a line for children, Baby Bum, which we have not tried, but the main difference is the children’s one is fragrance-free, but I rather like the smell of the “adult” stuff (think Piña Colada in Hawaii). We love this one because of almost the opposite reason from the above one, because it’s true protection that once applied feels barely there.
Right now our sunscreen routine means Swox on the face, Sun Bum on everything else (unless we know we will be away from the water, then Sun Bum it all and save the Swox for the extreme stuff).
*on a side note, both of these companies also have really cool clothing and apparel worth checking out.*