If you want to know which sunscreen is better, this choice depends on a few factors, and not only the sun protection factor. If you like to apply a sun lotion then Coppertone offer the best value non-mineral sunscreen lotion in their copper tone Ultra guard range. If you are more athletic or sweat a lot in the heat, Coppertone also offer their sports mineral sunscreens. Coppertone sport mineral sunscreens are easy to rub into your skin and are claimed to be more resistant to sweat. Banana boat offer their amazing light as air reef friendly lotion and the banana boat simply protect range are a gentle choice for sensitive skin.
- The best overall sunscreen
- If you have sensitive skin
- Best sunscreen spray
- Best sunscreen for use in water.
- Best aftersun lotion.
- Skip to tanning lotion comparison
Banana Boat offer the best sunscreen spray in their simply protect sensitive range and their light as air lotion is a more reef friendly option if you’ll be swimming near a coral reef and protecting the ocean is important to you. Check out these 4 choices in our table below and read on to find out more about these 2 sunscreen brands, how reef friendly they are and which lotion or spray is best for your skin type and use.
Best overall sunscreen lotion- Coppertone ultra guard
To compare which sunscreen might be best for your skin we considered the 4 options in the table above from both Coppertone and Banana boat. Coppertone Ultra guard came out as our top choice for a number of reasons. Coppertone ultra guard is a very thin and almost runny formula, even if you choose their high protective SPF70 lotion which you would usually expect to be thicker. This means it’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave your skin looking white, just be careful to ease the lotion out of the bottle as it comes out fast.
Banana boat light as air lotion is also just as thin but we don’t think it is as moisturising as the ultra guard lotion and doesn’t dry with the same matte finish as the ultra guard lotion. Both lotions aren’t oily or greasy though, and even though they are chemical formulas they don’t irritate my fairly sensitive skin.
The Coppertone ultra guard lotion has very little scent although there may be a hint of fragrance added, it isn’t noticeable and we think it’s likely any ingredients adding fragrance are minimal.
Coppertone ultra guard also contains some vitamins and moisturiser to stop your skin drying out. The ultra guard sunscreen can be applied on your face and body. We think it works best when applied on your body because it’s not a sensitive sunscreen so there is a small chance of it irritating you if you have very sensitive skin.
Option for sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin the banana boat simply protect sensitive spray is the best option for your skin. This
If you don’t want to apply a chemical formula, then the Coppertone sport 100% mineral formula is also a good choice because it only contains one active ingredient which is zinc oxide and doesn’t contain any of the more controversial and less reef friendly ingredients that are more likely to irritate your skin.
Best Sunscreen spray – Banana boat simply protect vs Coppertone sport performance spray
The Banana boat simply protect sensitive sunscreen sprays are the better option when compared to the Coppertone sport performance spray. This is because the banana boat simply protect spray feels like it absorbs well into your skin. It’s also hypoallergenic which means the ingredients are less likely to irritate sensitive or allergy prone skin. Both brands sprays are water resistant for up to 80 minutes, offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays and also offer an SPF rating of 50+.
Banana Boat simply protect Spray
- Broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection.
- SPF rating of 50+
- Water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes.
- Not fully reef safe but doesn’t contain the main ingredients banned in some reefs.
- Best choice for sensitive skin.
Coppertone sport performance spray
- UVA and UVB Broad spectrum protection.
- SPF Rating up to 50.
- 80 minutes water resistance but is prone to some of the spray coming off in water if it isn’t rubbed in well and allowed time to absorb into your skin.
Best sunscreen for use in water
What makes a sunscreen great
There are so many sunscreens to choose from that it’s hard to know which to choose. You can reach for whichever cream is on offer, but you never know whether it might leave white patches on your skin, if it’s easy to apply or how much protection it really offers. Here are some things to consider when choosing a sunscreen and when choosing between Coppertone and Banana boat.
Sun protection factor
According to the FDA a skin care product that offers sun protection should have a sun protection factor rating. But, with there being so many different SPF ratings, ranging from 5 to 100+, how do we know which to choose. Well, there is no exact science behind it, it depends on the time of day, intensity of the suns rays, your skin type, how much and how well you apply the cream or lotion and whether you’ll be in the water or not.
If you are going to be sitting beside the pool early in the morning for an hour and you apply a factor 70 sunscreen lotion carefully and evenly on all exposed skin then you are likely to be well protected. If you’ll be swimming in the salty ocean water for a few hours in the middle of the day when the suns rays are at their most intense then you’ll need a high SPF cream that offers water protection and you’ll need to regularly re-apply it. Don’t fall asleep either, the suns UV rays, a comfortable lounger and the relaxing sound of the ocean waves can easily cause you to fall asleep and get sunburnt.
The Australian academy of science wrote about how it’s really important to apply your sunscreen regularly and properly. If you apply a SPF 50 sunscreen and it’s patchy and you don’t re-apply it often then it’s going to be much less effective than a factor 30 sunscreen that is applied well and re-applied at regular intervals when your skin continues to be exposed to the sun.
Does it soak into your skin
Sun lotion that soaks into your skin with ease, is the dream for us sun lovers. Not only do we want to find a suncream that absorbs into our skin, we also want it to be as invisible as possible. In many holiday photos my face looks like I’ve splashed white face paint on it and I’m not going to make that mistake again.
How well a sun cream formula soaks into your skin often comes down to how light the formula is. A lighter formula, that is thin and moist usually soaks into your skin just like a moisturiser does. Even though spray on sun lotion seems to be thinner because of the way the liquid is applied onto our skin, it doesn’t mean it will soak into your skin as well as a regular lotion.
Suncream ingredients are important for 2 main reasons. Number one is that you need to check the ingredients are suitable for sensitive skin. If there’s a sensitive option with less chance of irritating your skin when applying any type of skin care product then you should take that option. With sunscreen, don’t start off your holiday by using sun care products that irritate your skin and increase the chance of sun burn before you’ve even set foot outdoors.
Whats inside these sun lotions
We don’t often pay that much attention to sunscreen ingredients unless an ingredient becomes controversial and we become aware of it. It’s always a good idea to know what’s inside your sunscreen lotion though, especially if you plan to swim in the ocean near a coral reef.
Coppertone sport mineral formula contains only one active ingredients, Zinc oxide. This doesn’t mean that’s the only ingredient but that it’s the only ingredient proven to be effective and aiming to block the suns rays from harming your skin.
Final thoughts – Is banana boat better than Coppertone
Choosing between Banana boat and Coppertone sun lotions isn’t easy because both offer excellent sun protection for a low price.
If Coral reef protection is most important for you then Banana boat offer their light as air formula that claims to be reef friendly. Coppertone also sell a pure and simple mineral formula which is their most reef friendly sun lotion. However, even though both products attempt to be reef friendly it is likely they are not completely reef friendly because of the use of a few key ingredients that are also likely to harm reefs.
Both Coppertone and Banana boat offer sun lotions that absorb into your skin quickly. Coppertone Ultraguard is our favourite choice because it is fragrance free and soaks is the easiest to apply. Banana boats simply protect spray is great for sensitive skin and has a nice moisturising consistency.
Choosing between these two sun protection brands based on their sun protection factor rating is difficult because both are rated highly. Whichever product you choose you’ll be well protected as long as you choose a lotion or spray with a high enough SPF factor.