Well, I did it again and left my sunscreen at home (a special, all-organic Epicuren blend offered at Peninsula Beverly Hills rooftop pool). Here in the DR, I'm hard-pressed to find a good sunscreen so just used what was being offered at this pool: Banana Boat Sport Sunblock Lotion 30 SPF. Before you cringe, let me stress that I really had no choice! I'd rather put toxic stuff on my body than bake and damage my skin completely (such sad options). Banana Boat Sport Sunblock Lotion 30 SPF ($8.99) is exactly what you would expect from the brand.

Ok, so maybe I'm being too harsh on the Banana Boat Sport Sunblock Lotion 30 SPF. After all, it does have aloe vera juice (which soothes skin), vitamin E and vitamin A (as opposed to their general Sun Protection SPF 30, which only contains very little aloe and vitamin E, the only redeeming ingredients in the entire bottle). It would be nice if the sunscreen agents were what we consider safe like zink and titanium oxides. One of the weird (but practical, I guess) chemicals in this product is the hydrogenated dimer dilinoley/dimethylcarbonate copolymer, which is basically designed to keep the sunblock waterproof. I would prefer just reapplying, especially if the product is good. Everything else is pretty much emulsifiers, emollients, chemicals, alcohol, surfactants.

When I applied it, it went on surprisingly smooth but smelled like plastic. I can't imagine what hours in the sun will do, letting your body absorb and basically cook the ingredients. Yikes.

Banana Boat Sunblock Lotion 30 SPF is popular because it's super cheap and because you see it everywhere. Furthermore, people don't know there are great alternatives with better sun protection agents and less chemical-ish ingredients (that's what we are here for. Hit up our "Sun Protection" section for picks and more advice). Granted, you'll pay a little more for a nice product, but better safe than sorry, right?

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (1.%) (Sunscreen), Homosalate (10.00%) (Sunscreen), Oxybenzone (4.00%) (Sunscreen), Octisalate (5.0%) (Sunscreen), Octocrylene (0.80%) (Sunscreen)

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Dimer Dilinoley/Dimethylcarbonate Copolymer, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinol (Vitamin A), Tocopherol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide Peg 15 Disulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Capramide, Cetaryl Alcohol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactate, Lecithin, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Methyldibromo Glutaronitrile, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisoptiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA