Top positive review
40 people found this helpful
Great Mineral-Based, Cruelty-Free, Reef-Safe, and People-Friendly Sunscreen!
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.