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on July 8, 2012
Oh, how happy I was when I found this product a few years ago. Pricey, perhaps, but SO worth it. High SPF, non-greasy, UVA and UVB blocking, what wasn't there to love? My entire family of fair redheads depended on it for year-round protection.

This year, though, things were different. I eagerly stocked up on eight bottles of the SPF 45 before the start of the sunny season -- in previous years we used SPF 85 or 100 but I had faith in the claims that anything over SPF 30 was of negligible benefit -- and slathered it on the first time I was in the sun for an extended period. Even with wearing long sleeves and a wide-brimmed sun hat I ended up with what (I thought) was a painful burn all over my face and neck. It took a couple of weeks to clear and often resembled a rash, with raised, red bumps that itched like nobody's business. I didn't make the connection until the next time I used it and had the same result within hours. I don't wear makeup and I don't use cleansers on my face; the only moisturizer I use is specifically for sensitive skin and I've been using for a long time with no issue.

After doing some research I discovered that what I have is a photoallergic reaction to this sunblock, which means the sunblock itself doesn't cause a reaction, but once it comes into exposure with sunlight it does. Which completely nullifies the point of sunblock in the first place. I also read that Neutrogena had changed its formula and the older "blue label" bottles were different than the new "black label" ones - checking a leftover bottle from last year with the new ones from this year proved that the formula does appear significantly different, with this year's sunblock containing a number of new complicated chemical names I can't pronounce. One or more of them no longer jives with my extremely sensitive skin.

So now I've spent upwards of a month suffering from red, itchy, oozing, tight, dry, skin, which is now starting to peel and looks a fright. I haven't wanted to leave my house and I can't even count the number of times I've been asked if I'm all right/too hot/contagious. Horrifying. I am so very disappointed that I can't even properly express it. I guess it's back to the drawing board looking for a new sunblock that can protect myself and my family without giving us chemical burns.

A real bummer.
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on May 31, 2011
I've used this strength and other SPFs from Neutrogena with great results. As for another reviewer's caution, this is from the American Academy of Dermatology' web site:

1. What is oxybenzone and how is it used in sunscreen and personal care products?
Oxybenzone (also known as benzophenone-3 or BP-3) is one of 16 sunscreen active ingredients (compounds that absorb, scatter, or reflect ultraviolet (UV) radiation) regulated as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).1 Oxybenzone provides broad-spectrum protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It was approved by the FDA in 1978 and is one of the oldest active ingredients in use today.

The FDA has approved the use of oxybenzone in sunscreen in concentrations of up to 6 percent, which is less than what is allowed in both Europe and Australia (10 percent).2 Oxybenzone also is used to protect cosmetics and other personal care products from deterioration by UV exposure.

2. I've heard oxybenzone called a hormone disruptor. What does this mean and are there any data to support this?
Concerns have been raised that oxybenzone may be capable of altering/disrupting normal hormonal (endocrine) balance. Specifically, oxybenzone is suspected of having estrogenic activity, which is the ability to exhibit properties similar to the hormone estrogen.

There have been some published observations using in vitro (test tube) cell lines, as well as studies in rats fed oxybenzone, and in fish, where oxybenzone was added to the water, which have indicated oxybenzone or its byproducts can demonstrate some estrogenic activity.4-9 However, the observed estrogenic effects of oxybenzone often are considerably weaker when compared to the estrogen (estradiol) used in these experiments. In some studies, a much higher concentration of oxybenzone (1,000 to 1 million times higher than that of estradiol) was needed to achieve a comparable result.

Importantly, available literature does not support a link between oxybenzone use and estrogen or other hormonal alterations in humans to date.10-12

3. Are there any studies in humans that demonstrate hormone disruption or other potential to affect human health?
Similar to many topically applied agents, oxybenzone has been shown to be absorbed by human skin10, and can be detected in the blood and urine of sunscreen users and the population at large.13-15 However, results from multiple studies do not support a link between oxybenzone and any short- or long-term health problems, or the increased risk of adverse health effects.

Specifically, when oxybenzone was repeatedly applied to the skin of human volunteers, it has been determined that:

No biologically significant alterations in reproductive hormones (testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, or estradiol) have been detected;11
The concentrations of oxybenzone absorbed are not capable of disrupting normal thyroid hormone levels12, and;
The concentration of oxybenzone penetrating the skin is too low to cause epidermal cell damage.10
It should be noted that oxybenzone has been used as sunscreen ingredient since 1978, and aside from allergic or irritant reactions, such as photocontact and contact dermatitis, there has not been any report of systemic side effects of oxybenzone use.

Therefore, the proven benefits of sunscreen to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer outweigh any concerns of oxybenzone toxicity or health hazard.

4. What do the FDA or other agencies have to say about oxybenzone?
The safety of oxybenzone was originally reviewed and approved by the FDA in 1978, and it is one of the oldest active ingredients in use today.17

Since then, there have been additional reviews of oxybenzone by other regulatory agencies and expert panels with similar conclusions regarding its safety for use in consumer products. For example, in 2001 and again in 2006, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) of the European Union (EU) developed an opinion paper based on a review of current scientific knowledge and stated "the organic UV filters used in cosmetic sunscreen products allowed in the EU market today have no estrogenic effects that could potentially affect human health."18

Also, the safety of oxybenzone for use in cosmetics and personal care products was also reviewed in 1983 and confirmed in 2002 by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) expert panel, which is an independent panel of scientific and medical experts who assess the safety of cosmetic ingredients in the United States.19-20

Read the AAD paper with references: oxybenzone_questions_aad
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on June 14, 2015
Definitely one of my favorite sunscreens. It is a creamy consistency, but absorbs to a matte finish (the "dry touch" the bottle says). There is some lotion-y feel on your skin, just less than other lotions. If you are really oily or hate the lotion-feel, you would probably prefer a gel sunscreen. It does a great job protecting your skin, since the sunscreens are stabilized and are broad spectrum. This is mostly a chemical sunscreen (as opposed to a physical sunblock, which are made of finely ground metals such as zinc or titanium), so be careful if you are have more sensitive skin or sunscreen allergies. Neutrogena does make a physical sunblock too called Neutrogena Sensitive Skin (look for the words "with PureScreen", which is Neutrogena's code for contains only titanium or zinc) if you need a non-chemical one. They have a spray version, which is nice too. We use the lotion for initial application, and then bring the sprays for convenient re-application. This works well since sprays give you much less dense skin coverage (so aren't the best only protection), but no one is as likely to reapply lotion every 2 hours (as you're supposed to) as you are to just spray your arms, legs, and chest. Bring a sunscreen stick for reapplying to the face too. :)
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on May 13, 2011
I have to wear sunscreen every day and this it by far the best that I have tried.
The sunscreens that I have tried before leave either a white mask or a super greasy face. This product makes my skin look smooth and without grease! looove it!
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on July 24, 2015
There are so many questions here about the expiration date. To put all these questions to rest: On the day I got this in the mail, the expiration date was 28 months out. If you can't use up 6 ounces in two years, you're not going outside enough.

Overall, this is the best sunscreen I've ever used. I was outside in the sun, on and off, for four hours the other day and this worked fine, without reapplying (but I should have reapplied). There is some sort of scent to this, but it's not perfume-y. And it's light years away from that tropical-coconut garbage. This is not oil. It's a lotion. And it doesn't feel like anything once you rub it on.

Other questions answered... Yes, this protects against UVA and UVB rays. Yes, it's water resistant. Yes, SPF 55 is fine; overkill, actually. Just buy this and stop worrying.

UPDATE: There are SPF 100's marketed to infants. Those take advantage of Parent Paranoia. There is a law of diminishing returns on higher SPF numbers. Do yourself a favor and ask a dermatologist so you can make up your own mind. By the way, stop looking for "sunblock." According to the FDA, there's no such thing, and legit companies will never use the word.
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on April 13, 2016
I've been using Neutrogena sun screen for almost 40 years. At nearly 60 I have very few age spots or wrinkles. I'm in the sun a LOT as I have horses. However I now take a D3 supplement because I'm vitamin D deficient! Lol! You just can't win!
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on July 13, 2015
I am very disappointed in this sunscreen. While wearing dark cotton shorts & a shirt, the sunscreen wiped white chalky residue all over my clothes. I tried it one more time, hoping it was a fluke, but it happened the next time too. It absorbs quickly, but leaves a weird film that wipes off all over dark clothing.
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on June 18, 2015
Beware-- they say it's a twin pack, 6 oz. So naturally I thought it was two 6 oz tubes. It's not, there are two 3 oz tubes. Disappointed in the misleading description of the product(which it only says the ounces in the headline, no where else in the description).
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on April 14, 2011
Love this sunscreen. I have purchased more expensive sunscreen, but it was really greasy. No greasy mess here! Does leave some white streaks, but if you rub it in it will go away. :)
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on August 6, 2015
I did not like this product it was so thick and hard to spread on the skin. It also left my skin looking white and pale. There was nothing sheer about this product. I will not be purchasing this again.
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