The best sunscreen is the one you wear, but I have strict rules about what works for our family. Here’s what we thought of COOLA’s organic sunscreen products. Discount code at the end of this post!
I’m gonna soak up the sun
I got my 45 on
So I can rock on
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
“Soak Up the Sun” is one of a handful of songs that, for me, ARE summer. (Others: “Santa Monica” by Everclear, Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out,” “California All the Way” by Luna, “2” by Blur…)
These are songs that I associate with the long drive to the beach with friends, from my college years and beyond. We always went late at night so as to miss beach traffic— I still do this with the kids— and on Friday nights you could (and still can) find a station that’s bumping hits live at some dance party at a club. Depending on who was driving, we’d put the top down, open the sunroof, roll down the windows… and sing along to the radio at the top of our lungs.
Then we’d get to the beach, and watch the sun rise, and most times fall asleep on the beach. There’s nothing like a nap on the beach, especially in the morning; the sand is cool beneath you, the sun warm on your skin, the breeze in your hair, the sounds of the surf and people laughing seeping into your subconscious.
I’ve only been sunburned a handful of times, and that’s exactly how I did it.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Just one or more blistering sunburns before you turn 18 more than doubles your chances of developing a potentially-deadly melanoma later in life. White women who had over five blistering sunburns between ages 15 and 20 have an 80% increased risk for melanoma.
I still love to nap on the beach, but you’d better believe I wear sunscreen when I do it now. I also tend to avoid the beach entirely between the hours of 10 and 2. I do not like to be sunburnt, and I don’t want my kids and husband, who are more likely to burn, to get any more sun exposure than strictly necessary. I am militant about sunscreen and limiting time in the sun.
I am also super picky. My oldest suffered from severe eczema as a kid, and to a lesser degree still does. Mav, although fairly dark like me, just finished up a round of Accutane and so has to be careful about the sun. Cass is fair and burns easily. I am sensitive to fragrances.
I require a sunscreen to not cause a skin reaction, that isn’t full of chemicals, that doesn’t reek to high heaven, that has the staying power to hold up to sweat and surf (and often, the pool).
Most importantly it has to work.
Getting sunburn— any sunburn— every other year can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer.
Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23% of your lifetime exposure has taken place by age 18.
Moms Meet sent me a package of COOLA organic sunscreen products to try out and review, and I was excited. Sadly, the package arrived after we’d already left for our beach vacation, but we managed to put them through the paces at home.
I’ve actually used COOLA before, during obstacle and mud runs (I’ve acquired some wicked tan lines using other sunscreens at races, presumably I sweated it all off), and my fair-skinned husband has been using it all summer at the beach. We had the unscented variety, which does actually have a scent which I don’t love, but also doesn’t particularly bother me. Neutral and effective.
This time, we got to try the:
- Eco-Lux SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray (EWG rating: 3)
- Mineral Sport SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen Stick (EWG rating: 2)
- Face SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray (not rated, probably because it’s new)
- Liplux SPF 15 Peppermint Vanilla (EWG rating: 2)
I wasn’t sure how much I was going to love the Guava Mango scent, but it actually smells fantastic. It’s not subtle, but it’s not overpowering either. Eco and luxe. I’d wear it as a perfume.
Everything else also smells nice and clean and not overpowering. That’s kind of rare with sunscreen, so 10 points to Gryffindor for that.
As you can see, the sunscreens rated well with the EWG, based on efficacy and the safety of the ingredients (on a scale of one to ten). The spray rated higher because it’s a spray: there are relative concerns about inhaling a spray, plus with spray sunscreens there’s always the possibility that you’re getting more on everything around you than actually on your skin, but you think you’re well protected.
This spray is thorough, though.
As you can see, Cass is well saturated even before rubbing in. In addition to being awesomely scented, the Sport SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray is:
- ultrasheer and antioxidant-rich, not greasy or drying
- water resistant for 80 minutes (as are the lip balm and mineral sunscreen we tried)
- Broad Spectrum SPF 50 protection
- “Farm to Face” sourced, with 70%+ certified organic ingredients like Cucumber (anti-inflammatory
and soothing), Algae (improve the production of skin’s collagen and promotes skin firmness and tone), and Strawberry (rich in Vitamin C to help fight and protect against environmental damage) Extracts
- not cheap, at $36, but it’s a fairly large bottle and although I can’t give exact numbers I know our other bottles have lasted a long time.
If you’re not into spray sunscreen, though, the tinted sunscreen stick glides on easily, rubs into the skin well, and fits handily in your pocket or a small purse. Cass and I both tried putting it on and then going out in public for the day; it felt like it stayed put, even more so with a little powder and then a spritz of the setting spray. It seemed fine for both of our skin tones, as different as they are.
I love the idea of keeping powder and the setting spray on hand, to soak up oil and boost your SPF throughout the day. This is an idea I hadn’t encountered before and one I embraced pretty quickly, as I have super oily skin.
The lip balm is emollient and lovely and smells delightful. People tend to forget about protecting their lips from the sun, including me.
The best sunscreen is the one you wear, and these products were all a joy to wear: not heavy or sticky or overwhelmingly fragrant. As I mentioned, I’ve had good luck with COOLA organic sunscreen before, and these new products are only an improvement on the original. I’m pleased as punch to add them to our pool bag.
- Apply your sunscreen liberally and reapply often, especially after sweating or being in the water
- Don’t leave your sunscreen in the car! The heat can impact efficacy. I’ve heard a TON of people say this summer that their usual sunscreen left them burnt and I suspect this is why.
- Check the expiration date; I usually see this more as a guideline when it comes to food but when it comes to your skin, better safe than sorry.
- SPF refers to a sunscreen’s sun protection factor: the amount of time needed to burn sunscreen-protected skin versus unprotected skin. So fair = 10, olive = 15, dark = 20. With COOLA Sport SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray, my olive skin is good for 750 minutes. Cass or Jeff would need to reapply at 500 minutes, which is a nice long beach day.
You can find COOLA Sport SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray at Sephora, Ulta and Nordstrom (full list of locations here). Online, head to coolasuncare.com or Amazon. Check out their other cool organic skincare products too, like their sunless tanners and sampler or travel sets.
Save 20% off until September 30th at coolasuncare.com with code Elton20.