Banana Boat vs Hawaiian Tropic – Which sunscreen is best this summer?

With summer just around the corner, making sure you have the best products to keep you safe in the sun is crucial. Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic are some of the most popular brands for tanning products, sunscreen, and after-sun options. When it comes down to Banana Boat vs Hawaiian Tropic, though, which is best? Let’s dive into what makes each brand special so you can make the best choice for protecting you and your family this summer.

Comparing Sweat-Resistant Sunscreen sprays

Product image
Everyday active spray
Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Spray, Easy to Apply, Broad-Spectrum Protection, SPF 15, 6 Ounces. (Packaging May Vary)
Ultra Sunscreen spray
Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen Spray, Broad Spectrum, SPF 50, 6oz. - Twin Pack
Product name
Hawaiin Tropic Island
Banana boat Sport
Click to view on Amazon
Everyday active spray
Product image
Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Spray, Easy to Apply, Broad-Spectrum Protection, SPF 15, 6 Ounces. (Packaging May Vary)
Product name
Hawaiin Tropic Island
Click to view on Amazon
Ultra Sunscreen spray
Product image
Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen Spray, Broad Spectrum, SPF 50, 6oz. - Twin Pack
Product name
Banana boat Sport
Click to view on Amazon

Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic both have many varieties of sun protection available. Let’s focus first on their sweat-resistant sunscreens. Banana Boat offers a Sport Ultra spray that is available in various SPFs. Hawaiian Tropic offers their Everyday Active Clear Spray. In terms of cost, the two sunscreens are very close in price.

Both sunscreens say they are water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes, although this is likely to be less in salty ocean water. Both sunscreens are reef-friendly, meaning they are free from oxybenzone and octinoxate but may contain ingredients that could potentially be harmful to the reef. We recently looked more closely at whether banana boat sunscreen is reef safe or not. Banana Boat’s sweat-resistant sunscreen is available in more SPFs than the Hawaiian Tropic. Banana Boat is available in SPF 15, 30, 50, and 100. Hawaiian Tropic is only available in SPF 15, 30, and 50. However, there are a number of questions over how accurate both brands SPF ratings actually are and whether they offer as much protection as they claim.

What customers think

Hawaiian Tropic boasts its signature tropical scent, which is a huge plus for anyone who hates the smell of traditional sunscreens. Reviewers of the Banana Boat Sunscreen love that it is offered in higher SPFs. They also like that it feels lightweight and comfortable, even if you wear it for a long time. Reviewers of the Hawaiian Tropics sunscreen love the scent. They also love that the nozzle allows for a concentrated application that minimizes waste. 

Comparison of After-Sun Lotions

Product image
Aloe Vera aftersun gel
Banana Boat Soothing Aloe After Sun Gel, 8-oz. Pack of 2
Moisturising aftersun lotion
Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada Body Lotion and Daily Moisturizer After Sun, 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)
Product name
Banana boat sport
Hawaiian tropic
Click to view on Amazon
Aloe Vera aftersun gel
Product image
Banana Boat Soothing Aloe After Sun Gel, 8-oz. Pack of 2
Product name
Banana boat sport
Click to view on Amazon
Moisturising aftersun lotion
Product image
Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada Body Lotion and Daily Moisturizer After Sun, 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)
Product name
Hawaiian tropic
Click to view on Amazon

If you did not get enough sunscreen or sun protection, you will discover that dreaded feeling. Your skin gets pink and tender and feels hot. You know you’ve been burned and that it will peel and flake. After-sun lotion can help cool the burn and soothe the skin to help minimize peeling. 

Luckily, both Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic after-sun lotions are considered reef-friendly. This means they do not include oxybenzone or octinoxate. Beyond that, though, there is a slight difference in ingredients. Banana Boat’s Moisturizing After-Sun Lotion focuses on using aloe and Vitamin E to help cool your burn and moisturize your skin to help it heal. 

Online reviewers love that Banana Boat’s after-sun lotion is non-greasy and it can be used on chapped skin in addition to burned skin. The main complaint is that people which it had a better scent. Hawaiian Tropic is based on different ingredients than Banana Boat. Hawaiian Tropic’s After Sun Moisturizer uses botanical and tropical ingredients, including aloe, passion fruit, guava, and papaya. 

Reviewers love that Hawaiian Tropic’s after-sun moisturizer smells like pina colada. It is slightly more expensive per ounce than the Banana Boat option, and some think it has a bit of a greasy application. 

Comparing tanning Spray Oils

While they have a variety of tanning products available, both Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic offer tanning oil in a spray bottle. Banana Boat primarily offers tanning oils in various spray forms. Hawaiian Tropic offers tanning oil in traditional bottles, pump spray bottles, and continuous spray bottles.  

Banana Boat’s Tanning Spray Oil is available in SPF 0, 4, 8, and 15. Hawaiian Tropic’s Pump Spray Tanning Oil is available in SPF 6, 15, and 25. Having the higher protection factor in a tanning oil is great for skin protection, meaning you can soak up the moisture and gradually tan without damaging your skin so easily.

Both tanning oils are scented. Banana Boat is scented with extracts of banana, carrot, and coconut. Hawaiian Tropic’s tanning oil features its signature scent, which combines coconut, papaya, guava, passion fruit, mango, and more. Hawaiian Tropic boasts that their tanning oil uses coconut oil and cocoa butter, so it can also help moisturize your skin and leave it soft.

What customers think 

Reviewers of the Banana Boat tanning oil love that it is somewhat water-resistant, so you can wear it by the pool. Reviewers of the Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil love the smell and excellent hydration. Some even claim it works better than lotions. Overall, customer like that Hawaiian Tropic has a greater variety of tanning oils available. 

How to choose a great sunscreen lotion

There are a lot of sun lotions to choose from and it’s hard to know which to choose. You can reach for the nearest lotion on offer, but you never know for sure if it might leave white patches on your skin, if it’s easy to apply or how much sun protection it really offers your skin. Here are some things for you to consider when choosing a sunscreen, aftersun lotion or tanning oil. This guide will help make your choice between Hawaiian tropic and banana boat easier.

how to choose sun lotion

Choosing the right SPF rating

According to the FDA a skin care product that offers sun protection should have a sun protection factor rating, known as the SPF rating. However, because there are so many different SPF ratings, ranging from 5 to 100+, how do we know which SPF to choose.

There is no exact science behind it, it depends on the time of day you will be exposed to the sun, the intensity of the suns rays, how sensitive your skin is, how much and how well you apply the sun cream and whether you’ll be dipping into the pool or ocean while wearing it. Ocean water is very salty and can strip lotion from your skin much easier than in the pool. If you plan to swim often then you need to be sure to keep re-applying your sunscreen regularly and choose a water resistant option.

If you are going to be sitting beside the pool early in the morning for an hour when the suns rays are weaker it’s much easier to protect your skin. You could still apply a high SPF lotion, carefully and evenly on all exposed skin then you are likely to be better 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 strong then you should always wear and often re-apply a high SPF lotion that offers water protection.

The Australian academy of science wrote about how it’s really important to apply your sunscreen often and properly each time, making sure to cover all exposed skin evenly. If you apply a SPF 70 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 50 sunscreen that is applied well and re-applied at regular intervals while you are still exposing your

Final thoughts – is Hawaiian tropic better than Banana boat

Choosing between Hawaiian Tropic and banana boat isn’t easy because both brands offer a range of sunscreens, tanning oils and afternoon lotions that have high protection factors and good reputations.

Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic both prioritise reef-friendly formulas, which is great for helping care for the ocean, although they may contain ingredients that might not be so friendly. They have similar products and are generally similar in cost. Banana Boat has higher SPFs of sunscreens available if you are trying to maximize protection, which is something we always recommend you do.

If the scent is important to you then Hawaiian Tropic has the benefit of their signature tropical scent included with most of their products. Banana boat on the other hand only scents their tanning oils, with a tropical coconut, banana and carrot extract formula, which is the kind of aroma that makes you feel like you are on a tropical holiday, even if you are lounging in the backyard.

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