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Up & UP Sport the Consumer Reports fave sunscreen- reviewed and rejected

Reviewed by Sunil June 28, 2011 6 Comments
Consumer Reports for quite some time has been a tool for individuals to use to figure out what's good on store shelves. Recently they identified three “CR Best Sunscreen Buys:” Up & Up Sport SPF 30 (Target), No-Ad with Aloe and Vitamin E SPF 45, and Equate Baby SPF 50. Marta trusted me with testing the Target Up & Up Sport SPF 30.

A twin pack of   the continuous spray version of this costs only $8.84 and gives you SPF 30 protection along with some "sport" capabilities. Specifically, that involves being water and sweat resistant.

I decided to take on Up & Ups claims and went straight into sport mode, working up a sweat and testing this product rigorously. The first thing that should be noted upon buying this is that if you apply this anywhere that has hair (my arms and legs are mildly hairy) you're really going to have to work it in to avoid white patches. However, areas like my upper arm with little hair instantly absorbed the sunscreen.

I should mention that I didn't use moisturizer just to see how this sunscreen would feel directly on my skin.

I arrived at a local park to do a couple of laps to try out the sunscreen's sweat protection. Unfortunately, the main reason why I tend to avoid sunscreen is that I feel like an animal in the aftermath of an oil spill and that sentiment continued with Up & Up. I felt hotter than usual and despite it being relatively breezy outside, I couldn't really feel the breeze on my arms or legs which made for an uncomfortable sensation.

A little perspiration eventually built up on my arms and when I went to wipe it off, I noticed a white type of watery film. I think I literally just rubbed my sunscreen off with one wipe of my hand. And this isn't like I just put it on and ran out; I gave it sometime to set to avoid doing just that. Because of brands marketing claims like this, the FDA recently updated their regulations on sunscreen. One of the new updates is removing the term "waterproof" and "sweatproof" because they can be considered exaggerations. In Up & Up, it was clearly an exaggeration.

Even though there is a multitude of emollients, the sunscreen itself didn't feel greasy. Even with my hands full of sunscreen I managed to indulge my inner child and try out the monkey bars.

The ingredients aren't the greatest; but there's a mix of active sunscreen ingredients that combine to give you complete UVA and UVB protection, however -that protection does come at a price as you will see in the following ingredients. Aveobenzone has been shown to be absorbed into the body so it is not recommended for use on children or pregnant women.  The same can be said for Octocrylene, this  is a moderate hazard due to potential reproductive toxicity. Octocrylene can be a major concern because it can penetrate skin and act like a photosensitizer which would create more radicals in your body. All those free radicals can induce indirect DNA damage and potentially contribute to the increased incidence of malignant melanoma in sunscreen-users compared to non-users. Oxybenzone also shares similar characteristics in being a photocarcinogen that creates free radicals in your body which as mentioned above, can be disastrous. And it only gets worse, since Oxybenzone behaves similarly to estrogen, this sunscreen ingredient may cause breast cancer.

Your other main concerns among inactive ingredients may be methyldibromo glutaronitrile which acts as a preservative but may be an irritant and phenoxyethanol. There is also the very controversial ingredient retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A) which has been linked to cancer after a study was done involving mice. Along with cancer, other possible side effects of retinyl palmitate include developmental and reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity. BHT is listed as an ingredient which is a carcinogen.

And as I mentioned, I avoided a moisturizer which I normally don't do because I get kind of ashy. However, it seems that the sunscreen's aloe vera helped keep my elbows nice and moisturized.

Overall  if you're looking for a sport sunscreen, I wouldn't recommend this. Maybe it if were a regular sunscreen it would get a pass and I'd consider using it despite the potentially bad ingredients. But I just don't want a sport sunscreen that I can easily rub off with my hands. Which in itself is kind of shocking when you see their laundry list of ingredients and handful of emulsion stabilizers. A better option would definitely be Badger SPF-30 sunscreen which you literally have to scrub to get off. And Badger sunscreen has non-nano uncoated zinc oxide and much friendlier ingredients. You could also check out Suntegrity for body.

On a side note, Up & Up claims their sunscreen is comparable to Banana Boat Sport SPF 30 Lotion. It just so happens that Jimmy reviewed that very same sunscreen and the ingredients are very very similar as you can see below. They even have the same active ingredients in the same concentrations. Just like the Up & Up, Jimmy really didn't have too many good things to say about the Banana Boat Sport but I think he said it best with:

"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?"

Up & UP Sport Sunscreen

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

Inactive Ingredients: Water, arachidyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, glycerin, HYDROGENATED DIMER DILINOLEYL/DIMETHYLCARBONATE  copolymer, cetyl alcohol, triethanolamine, beheny alcohol, arachidyl glucoside, hydroxyethyl acrylate/ sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, isohexeadecane, DISODIUM ETHLENE DICOCAMIDE PEG 15 DISULFATE, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, carboner, xanthan gum, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), tocopherol, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), ceteareth-25, polysorbate 60, lecithin, BHT, methyldibromo glutaronitrile, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, phenoxyethanol, dipropylene glycol, disodium EDTA.

Banana Boat SPF 30

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
  • April 20, 2015

    by Westcoaster

    I got this Target brand sunscreen Up&up on a whimsical buy because it was on sale. It was horrific mistake. Used it for about 8 hours out at the beach, got back and showered. After 24 hours, about a full day later, I woke up to shock on the insides of my knees in the morning like a disease had broken out. Huge red welts appeared and tiny raised bubbles/pustules with fluid inside. It was extremely itchy. Worse, the welts and bubbles spread like fire down my legs, along my arms in the next 12 hours. By the next day about 48 hours later (2 days), I looked like I had been attacked by swarms of bees. This is by far the worst reaction I have ever had in my life and I am not unusually sensitive and have NO other allergies. It sickens me that this product is on the shelves. It scares me that children might have suffered what I went through. The makers of sunscreens like this should be shot or hanged.

  • June 9, 2014

    by George

    So...the ingredients are just like almost everyone elses.

  • June 6, 2014

    by sunap

    Kasey, you're itching bc you've got sunburned. Up & up doesn't work.

  • May 20, 2013

    by Dimetri

    I always used No Ad sunscreen lotion, but couldn't find any so I got the Up and Up. Horrible mistake. Afterwards if you sweat, instead of your sweat being clear, you will have white streaks rolling down your face into your eyes. No matter how much earlier I apply before I go outside, it just sweats right out of me.

  • April 25, 2012

    by Dave Musgrave

    I believe their top rated sunscreen was the continuous spray, not the rub-on version. My wife and I swear by the spray version. I too dislike the rub-on type as greasy and messy. The continuous-spray is tops.

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