Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Review of Banana Boat's Ultra and Mineral Protect Sunscreens

Look I never want to make people feel like I am telling them to suck eggs so when I talk about stuff it is from my experience only. I can't necessarily tell you if there is a really bad ingredient in there etc... but I will always tell you what works and what doesn't on me.

Sunscreen is an area I feel like I am an educated light-weight in. There are a lot of blogs out there that talk about all kinds of sunscreens (including a hero of mine who even made her own) and the scientific reasons why they work. The only reason I am dipping my toe in here is because I have a product I have used for as long as I can remember that I trust pretty much like nothing else and I think you might like to try it if you are in the sunscreen market.

My experience of sunscreens generally has been disappointing or in other words I still get burnt when I put sunscreen on. The next product is the only sunscreen I have ever used and NEVER been burnt, not even feels like my skin is burning - NOTHING is getting through this product if you reapply.

Banana Boat Ultra SPF30 4 Hour Water Resistant Lotion. (UVA/UVB Protection)
OK I am going to rave - I freaking love this stuff. If I could buy shares in BB just to support this product being made I would. If no one else in Australia bought this sunscreen I would. I have used this particular sunscreen during outdoor Christmases, days at the cricket, honeymoons to Queensland, all over this nation, year after year and NEVER EVER have I been burnt. I don't even tan with this product. It is without a doubt my holy grail sunscreen. I reapply every 2 hours whether I am in water or not because seriously I should never be in the sun -ever.

I have used this on my face and body and it doesn't even make me break out. I think now I have discovered BB creams I would use this sunscreen on my neck and below but it does well on my face and doesn't make my eyes sting.

Active Ingredients: Octyl Methoxycinnamate 7.00% w/w, 4-Mthylbenzlidene Camphor 1.00% w/w, Zinc Oxide (Micronised) 6.00% w/w. Preservatives: Phenoxyethanol, Diazolidinylurea, Hydroxbenzoates

Then I heard about mineral or natural sunscreens and BB have released their mineral protect versions too:

 Banana Boat Mineral Protect Sensitive 4 Hour Water Resistant Lotion. (UVA/UVB Protection)
I'm just going to say up front that the kids and sensitive tubes have exactly the same ingredients but I don't see that as pulling a swifty in any way. I think if your skin is sensitive you want to see a product that is suitable for you, the same goes for a parent trying to find a kid-friendly sunscreen option as well. Good on BB for making flexible packaging IMO, although you may feel differently.

Well I had a chance to try this sunscreen just recently when Adelaide decided to do a 35 degree day when my step-daughter was due to be in a local Christmas pageant. There was no shade and the hot burning Adelaide sun was beating down, so I decided it was Mineral Protect Sensitive formula's time to shine. And shine it did. I was in direct sun for about 2 hours between 10-12pm - which would have been heaps of time for me to burn if I was going to. So all I can say is that it did the job perfectly for my husband, step-son and I because all of us remained sunburn free.

I did notice that I still felt that uncomfortable "burning" feeling of the sun which I don't get with the Ultra and that made me panic that this formula it wasn't working so I applied another layer on my neck. However as I noted afterwards none of us had any issues with burning and my skin felt really nice although I could still feel it was 'there' on my skin. It rubbed in beautifully and I definitely could not see any 'whiteness' on my skin afterwards but I am pale. We didn't take any pictures using flash to really test it but in normal pics everyone looked perfect.

Contains: Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide 22% w/w. Preservatives: Benzyl Alcohol, Sorbic Acid and Phenoxyethanol.

To compare the two I rubbed half of the Mineral Protect sensitive of the left side and half Ultra on the right side.

You can see by the results that both will look shiny if sunlight catches you at the right angle. I would say that the Mineral Protect looked slightly more shimmery but again I didn't see any white patches (remember these pictures are really close up and taken immediately after application).

So are you thinking I need to pick a lane?  Well here it is - Ultra works like a bomb if you don't mind the ingredients but if you want to go natural, then the Mineral Protect version seems to work equally well but I'll be testing the Mineral Protect more and more this summer of course.

My only real point of difference I can tell at this point is the texture. Ultra is quite easy to rub in while the Mineral Protect was a little drier but still able to rubbed in without too much effort. Apart from that, it's the toss of a coin for me as they both throw a shine in the sun so I'm not picking a lane - I choose them all lol.

You can find out more about their range (it's huge) and where to buy Banana Boat from here

Disclaimer: These sunscreens were provided for review however as stated in my post I have used the Ultra sunscreen consistently for years.


  1. After years of my dad berating me for wearing sunscreen & telling me it caused cancer, I too have finally jumped on the physical sunscreen bandwagon. The one I'm using is Soleo Organics, which works really well for me, even though my skin tends to get greasy as the day goes on. These Banana Boat ones sound really good too!

  2. Aha - now I know what you meant with the shimmery/shiny thing! Derp. Definitely not streaky or white. (:

  3. I have the sensitive one and I like it, much cheaper than IZ :)

  4. Oh goodo - have the mineral one on the way to try. Thare are no nanoparticles in BB either the mineral or the regular, so extra bonus points for them!!

  5. Rin - I haven't tried that brand but either way whoo hoo for wearing sunscreen - it's a battle for me too.

    Mushell - it's definitely a shimmer.

    Jade - Yeah definitely budget friendly.

    Julie - I think you'll like it lovely. It has a really smooth texture (mineral one).

  6. Thanks for the post, I just bought a tube of Mineral Protect and was googling to figure out if it is really as safe as it says it is. I have been on the hunt for a safe sunscreen for my little girl that doesn't make her look like a grease ball. Invisible Zinc is brilliant, but I couldn't pass up the huge price drop to the Banana Boat when in Coles today.

    Is there other ingredients though? What else is there if Zinc is only 22%?

  7. Hi Suzanne. I definitely used this on the kids without any issues.

    The full list of ingredients includes (as posted above too):
    - Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide 22% w/w.
    - Preservatives: Benzyl Alcohol, Sorbic Acid and Phenoxyethanol.

    Hope that helps :)

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