Protecting the Pale: Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray



As a blonde with fair skin and a family history of cancer, I have always been adamant about wearing sunscreen. The few times that I have not been careful about it have resulted in terribly painful sunburns and freckles. Both of my children are also very fair (my son is blond and my daughter is a redhead), which makes finding the right sunscreen even more important.

I have tried many different kinds of sunscreen throughout the years. I lead a fairly active lifestyle, with lots of bicycle riding, swimming, walks and hikes. I learned early on that most sunscreens that claim to be water- and sweat-proof are only water- and sweat-proof until you get wet or sweat profusely. Once you reach that point, however, it has been my experience that no level of SPF is high enough to prevent the dreaded sunburn.

Enter Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray. This brand, which offers kid and adult formulas, claims to be water-, sweat-, and humidity-resistant. I learned long ago to be leery of such assertions, so I decided to test this product to see if its assertions held up. I went to my local drug store and searched for it, and the only one they had in stock was the adult variety, 85+ SPF (yes, I know that’s overkill, but it’s all they had). It was a little expensive ($12.99), but I plunked down my hard-earned money for it.

I decided to test it on myself first. After all, there was no sense in making my kids guinea pigs unless I was reasonably sure that it would work. I waited until a fairly hot, humid day and sprayed it on before leaving for a short bike ride in the late afternoon. It sprayed fairly easily and evenly, and smelled nice. I made sure to cover every inch of exposed skin, even my face, and I was off.

Halfway through my trek, I was sweating profusely, but the sunscreen seemed to be staying put. One of my biggest pet peeves with sunscreen is when it runs into your eyes, thus blinding you until you can rinse it off. I didn’t have this problem with this product. The product was so steadfast, in fact, that it felt like I was wearing an extra layer of clothes. The sweat beaded on top of the layer of sunscreen, but the product didn’t sweat off. When I got home, I didn’t have a trace of sunburn.

The second time I tried it out was a few days later, when I went for a walk in the early afternoon, when the sun was directly overhead. I had the same experience as when I was riding my bicycle, only there was less sweat involved. I returned home after about a half-hour, jumped into the shower long enough to get thoroughly wet, then I returned to the outdoors for a bike ride. At the end of day two, my skin was still the same shade of milky white – success.

Finally, I decided to use it on my kids. Both of them have ivory-pale skin, so any trace of sunburn is obvious. The day we tested it was a very sunny, warm day, and we spent the afternoon at the beach running around in the sun. My son spent the entire day in nothing but his favorite pair of boardshorts, and my daughter wore her swim suit with a pair of shorts. I applied their sunscreen before we hit the road, and again after they had played in the water for a while, and there was no problem with sunburn. My daughter had a tiny sliver of red on her shoulder, but I attribute that to human error (I missed a spot). Otherwise, this product worked exactly as advertised.

Overall, I would give this product an excellent rating. It has a pleasant odor, applies evenly, applies well on wet skin, and doesn’t run in your eyes. I will definitely buy this product again, and I will make sure to send it with my kids when they go swimming at their grandma’s house on the weekends.

Guest blogger: Sarah

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