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  • Customer Reviews



on May 15, 2014
I'm very about the kind of chemicals I am putting in/on my body and sunscreen is a tough one. Studies are showing that most of the chemicals in sunscreen are just as, if not more, dangerous as UVA/B rays themselves. With a history a skin cancer on both sides of the family, having grown up in a warm and sunny, climate, and the amount of sun damage done to my skin already, I need good, safe sunscreen options. I also focus on cruelty-free, vegetarian (if not vegan), eco-conscious products. Caribbean Solutions Biodegradable Sunscreen fits the bill on all fronts.

First off, EWG (Environmental Working Group, a great site for info and safety ratings on specific products and the chemicals they contain) gives this product a safe score and that's tough to find with sunscreen. This is primarily due to the fact that this is a mineral-based sunscreen, not a chemical one. There is a huge difference.

I've read a lot of negative reviews about this and other mineral-based sunscreens because people don't read directions or pay attention to the fact that this type of sunscreen must be applied differently from the chemical-based sunscreens most of us have used all our lives. I strongly suggest doing some research on the differences between the two, reading directions, and learning about application before buying this or any similar product and giving them a crappy review.

This is the first mineral-based sunscreen I have tried in years. I was very surprised at its thin consistency and the ease with which I was able to apply it. FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS, I found swiping on small amounts at a time the best way to go (don't try to rub this product in like a chemical-based sunscreen, that is not how it works). This way I didn't apply too much to any one spot and didn't turn white. A little goes a long way. Caribbean Solutions has a light, pleasant, somewhat sweet scent. I am hypersensitive to odors, so when I say the smell isn't strong, it really isn't.

One reviewer commented than when this sunscreen gets warm it becomes more liquidy and easier to apply. I agree. In fact, I would advise caution when pouring after it has been sitting in the sun for a while. It comes out much faster and it's easy to end up with more in your hand than you can use.

Application is easier when your skin is damp (not wet), but I find shaking the bottle really well and holding it in my hands for a few minutes also helps. I run hot though. Regardless, the texture of Caribbean Solutions is thicker than an average chemical-based sunscreen but not as thick as I was expecting. I found it easy to apply and reapply. Reapplication is important if you are in the sun for hours.

Without getting overly technical, mineral-based sunscreens work by physically blocking and reflecting the UVA/B rays away from your skin. Over time, as you brush up against people, a towel, a lounge chair, it will essentially rub off. You need to be sure to reapply as frequently as directed by the product. Caribbean Solutions advises reapplying every 45 minutes and after getting out of the water, as it technically is not waterproof.

Over the weekend, I spent at least 4-5 straight hours in the sun, most of it in the pool playing with my little cousins. This made reapplying trickier, but I made sure to reapply to my face, chest, and shoulders (the parts of my body not in the water). Though my body doesn't burn easily, my nose and lips do, and they almost always burn during my first serious exposure like this of the summer no matter how much chemical-based sunscreen I use. By the this time of the year I am typically very tan, having already spent a good amount of time in the sun. That isn't the case this year so I fully expected a burned nose, at the very least, even with my visor.

I always wear hats when intentionally in the sun, even when in the water. However, I can never find anything with a brim that fully covers my nose. I can apply 50 SPF sunscreen every 10 minutes to my nose and lips and they still get pink. They don't burn to the point of peeling, but they do become sensitive and require additional moisturizing. This is the first time in I don't know how many years that my nose and lips didn't burn, and the only explanation is Caribbean Solutions.

I am extremely happy with this sunscreen and highly recommend it. Aside from not containing carcinogens and being cruelty-free, it is also reef-safe, which is very important if you spend a lot of time in the ocean. But, people, PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS and understand how this and similar products work so you can use them properly and reap the benefits. That way you can keep your skin safe and give helpful feedback to shoppers.

I also ordered Caribbean Solutions' Faces Only but it just arrived so I haven't been able to test it yet. Once I've used, I'll be sure to review it as well.
40 people found this helpful
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on November 3, 2016
We love this stuff. Bought it multiple times because it has reliably been the cheapest bang for your buck when it comes to reef safe sunscreen. Sure it is a little more expensive than Banana Boat and the other mainstream sunscreens but living in Hawaii, we feel it is our duty to protect our fragile reefs. Whenever we go near a natural body of water (stream, ocean) and need sunscreen we wear this stuff. It does go on a little thick and needs some working in but it is not horrible. Your skin does look a little ghostly white for a few minutes but then it goes away. If you put on sunscreen before you leave the house like your mother told you then you won't even notice this by the time you get outside. Pretty good for sports activities and doesn't run that much with sweat. Does a good job of protecting from sunburns. Enough of our friends/family bring regular sunscreen so we do use that when just going for hikes and we know we aren't going near water but we will never buy a sunscreen with Oxybenzone or any reef damaging products again.

Please help do your part to protect our oceans! Pay a little more now to preserve our reefs later for future generations to enjoy! Mahalo!
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on June 23, 2015
This is my new favorite, since Badger changed its formulations & got rid of their SPF 18 Lightly Scented Lavender. (boo, bring it back, Badger!)

UPSIDES:

- It goes on smooth - akin to Alba's "very emollient" mineral sunscreen
- Not too whitening (but hello, this is a MINERAL BASED sunscreen, it creates a physical barrier, that's why it works) - yes, it will lighten your tone a bit, but it's not chalky like Neutrogena Baby Mineral Sunscreen, and actually rubs in quite well.
- It is not greasy like Badger Sunscreen - this could be a plus or a minus. I really enjoyed Badger's formulation before they took out the shea butter, but some people thought it was too greasy. If you are one of those people, you'll like this.
- I vastly prefer the scent to Alba's which is a bit chemically.
That said, if you don't like the smell of sunscreen, you might not like this. It is a more "traditional" (think 1980's coppertone) sunblock smell. I really like it because it reminds of me of being a kid, but it's not a subtle fragrance, that's for sure. The aroma does fade after around 15 minutes.
-All natural ingredients that you can read and understand. Fruit based oils, nature-based fragrances, etc.

DOWNSIDES:
- Only the price. It's closer to a California Baby Sunscreen price than an Alba, which is a bummer. But, overall, I prefer it to nearly every other mineral based sunscreen I've tried.
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on December 10, 2016
I am very sensitive to sunscreens and I live on the beach in California so I've tried everything. I got this for a trip to Mexico because we were going to snorkel a reef and a Cenote. It didn't irritate my skin at all and it smells good. I even fell asleep without washing my face after using it and I didn't break out. I came back from my trip with no sunburn at all. I will keep using this at home.
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on July 3, 2017
This product was excellent. Used this on our 10 day Maui trip as we snorkeled. We are burn free (we did wear UV sunshirts too). I wish more folks would use reef safe sun block. The coral are receding substantially since our last visit and I am sure it is due to chemicals in the water. One one of our snorkel tours the host stated that the aerosol sunblocks are the worst offenders to the reef based on the chemical composition. Glad we choose Caribbean Solutions.
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on December 10, 2015
I have been using this sunscreen on my face nearly every morning for the past month. It appears to work pretty well- I haven't been burned and I am usually in the sun for at least a couple hours each morning while on a boat in the ocean heading to and from dives, and occasionally waiting in the boat for 45 minutes or so between dives.

You need way less of this sunscreen than normal ones- it is pretty oily and it doesn't absorb into your skin like most (non-reef-safe!) sunscreens. Also, it leaves your skin sort-of off color, a bit whitish/purplish. This discoloration is minor and I think it pretty-much goes away after a little while, once your skin has absorbed the sunscreen better. All of these properties (needing less, oily consistency, leaving your skin off-color) seem to be typical of reef-safe sunscreens- or at least, all I have tried have seemed this way.
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on September 16, 2017
Our all time favorite sunblock - my family has been using this for years. The company occasionally changes their branding/the color of their bottle and once even their ingredients - diminishing the original tropical scent, but the feedback was not positive so I believe they went back to their original recipe. I know because I called them to follow up w the changes I noticed. Great customer service, works effectively and doesn't clog pores, has a low chemical rating, and doesn't harm the environment.
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on August 17, 2013
I purchased this for a trip that my husband and I were taking to Cancun/Playa del Carmen. On three of the excursions that we were taking we were required to use biodegradable sunscreen. It was even required on our trip to see the Mayan ruins because it also included a stop at one of the cenotes (natural swimming hole). I had been warned by a sister-in-law that if you wait and buy the biodegradale sunscreen at the eco parks (water parks) in the Playa del Carmen area it is very expensive so we bought the Caribbean Solutions sunscreen on Amazon and took it with us in our checked on luggage. It was a much better value and we still have some left even after being there for a full week and sharing it with other family members that were with us.

I had read that it is hard to "rub in" but I found that it was not difficult at all. It just takes a little bit longer than normal sunscreen. The smell was very pleasant. The only time that I got sunburn was when we were at Xel-Ha. We applied our sunscreen and put it in our locker before heading to the beginning of the river. We did not realize that we would be on the river for several hours before getting back to the end where our lockers were. I was not able to reapply the sunscreen and the lifejacket that you have to wear at the park rubbed it off of my shoulders. I got very burned on my shoulders because of this but it was not the fault of the sunscreen but my fault for not taking it with me to reapply. We spent most of each day in the sun and that was the only burn that I got over the full week. This sunscreen does its job very well and is a great value if you are headed to any place that requires the use of biodegradable sunscreen. Just be sure that if you are flying that you pack it in your checked on bag because it is larger than the 3.4 oz that is allowed in a carry on bag.
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on August 1, 2014
I really love this product and this is my 5th order over the last few years (ordered from different places). Unfortunately from this seller the contents were slightly rancid and I did not give the same nice experience of using it as I had on my previous bottles.Perhaps this was just a dud bottle and I got unlucky - but overall, this product is really wonderful and does stop you burning. It does leave a white residue, but I find if I use it on moist skin (face and body) the whiteness disappates quicker (and holds precious skin moisture in for longer too)
Awesome product - just give it a sniff test first (as it should smell quite nice usually!)
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on October 12, 2017
The ingredients are great. Many beneficial botanical ingredients in here with antioxidant effects to combat sun exposure. It worked well on a trip to Bali and I did not burn. Had decent water resistance. Lasted long enough for morning surfing sessions then reapplied afterwards for when sun was stronger. It rubbed in relatively easy compared to other older generation mineral sunblocks like Badger which are hell to rub in and hell to wash off. This felt light on the skin and my skin felt normal after a shower.

I'd buy this again, except I think this may be the last of an older formulation. Interested to see what the new formulation is like!
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