February 03, 2010

Sunscreen Series: Cancer Council Australia's Ultra Sunscreen

This is the heavy duty alternative to my staple Everyday Sunscreen (geddit? geddit?). It claims to offer extra UVA protection and is water resistant for up to 3 hours. As the regular orange offering is only water resistant for 2 hours, making this the sunscreen of my choice whenever I hit the beach.

(Not to mention, my boyfriend has a huge bottle of this lying around the place)

So, how does this compare to the more popular Everyday Sunscreen?

First off, Ultra Sunscreen smells and works like regular sunscreen. There's the strong sunscreen-ish smell and it feels a heck more slippery after application compared to Everyday. It also takes a while to work this into my skin as there is a whitish cast caused by zinc oxide.

The active ingredients are:

1. Octyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate): UVB protection
2. Zinc Oxide: Short and Long Wave UVA protection
3. Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone): Long Wave UVA protection
4. 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor: UVB protection

They are almost the same as what is offered in Everyday, only oxybenzone has been replaced by zinc oxide.

While Ultra is fine for hitting the beach, where you aren't going to do much other than to laze on the sand, splash in the waves and catch one or two frisbees, it is not great for running around or playing Ultimate Frisbee where you are going to sweat a lot. I used this on a 2 hour bushwalking trip and had rivulets of white sweat dripping down my legs after 30 minutes (I was sweating a lot that day). Not a pretty sight and it doesn't say much about Ultra's staying power now, does it?

Verdict? I guess that this is okay if you are heading out and want a little more extra protection but if you are going to play outdoor soccer, go for another sunscreen instead.

The Cancer Council Australia's Ultra Sunscreen retails at AUD 14.95 for the 200ml flip-top bottle. Like the Everyday Sunscreen, it comes in a variety of sizes so you can check them out here.

No comments: