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Neutrogena Sunscreen Review: Is Neutrogena Sunscreen Safe?

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Nobody wants to come back from their vacation as pale as they were when they left. A healthy tan is crucial for proof that you have successfully (finally) topped up your vitamin D intake. My parents would constantly scold me for not wear sunscreen as a child. I would get ridiculously (but deliciously) dark and thoroughly enjoy the pain of a good sunburn.

However, we all know that tanning without wearing a protective sunscreen is dangerous. But I for one have never fully understood why. So, I decided to find out for myself by trying to understand the ins and outs of Neutrogena’s extensive sunscreen range.

I think it’s important to note that it’s totally unnecessary to demonize the sun. We complain when it rains, and we complain when it’s sunny. Either way, it’s vital to get the nutrients that the sun provides in order for our body to function properly. Our body needs a healthy amount of sunlight, but we have to be careful to protect our skin from its harmful rays (specifically the harsh ultraviolet B ones).

So, if we’re supposed to expose ourselves to the sun but not supposed to expose ourselves to the sun then when exactly am I supposed to use my sunscreen?

When Is The Right Time To Use Sunscreen?

Blonde woman smiling on beach.

Sunscreen has to be reapplied throughout the day.

Using sunscreen is kind of like shaving . If you don’t have often enough – or correctly – it’s just not going to work. I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to sunscreen. You applied it first thing in the morning and never again throughout the day? I got burnt even when the sunscreen was applied in the morning. Let me talk you through where you’re going wrong and when the right time to use sunscreen is.

The general rule is that it’s best to apply your sunscreen first, and then your DIY daily moisturizer (it would be ideal if your moisturizer already contained an SPF). Once you’ve applied your morning coat of sunscreen, you should then be reapplying at least every two hours – more if you’ve been in water or sweating heavily. Your sunscreen actually becomes unstable after too much exposure to the sun. I know it’s ironic.

Reapplication is key to reaping the full benefits of sunscreen. As to the exact amount – your skin should be totally covered in a thin layer. Those ghosts you see lathered in sunscreen on the beach are completely over the top and unnecessary. I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry, but around a shot glass worth on the body should suffice.

Neutrogena Adult Sunscreen Review

Neutrogena sunscreen

Neutrogena sunscreen

The adult sunscreen in Neutrogena’s sunscreen range is essentially their ‘basic’ sunscreen. It is water resistant for around eighty minutes. This means that you should reapply after wearing it for an hour. The formula itself is PABA free and non-comedogenic which basically means it won’t clog your pores and give your skin that really heavy, oily finish. There is nothing worse than applying sunscreen and literally feeling like you’re greasing yourself up.

There are two main active ingredients in Neutrogena’s Adult Sunscreen. The first is Homosalate which is an organic compound. This substance prevents direct skin exposure by absorbing harmful UV rays. Specifically, it absorbs those UVB rays that are associated with DNA damage. The second ingredient is Octocrylene. This chemical compound has moisturizing effects but is mostly used for its emollient properties. It neutralizes UV radiation, therefore, minimizing skin damage from long exposure to the sun.

Personally, the part that caught my attention about this sunscreen is the fact that Neutrogena claims it’s wearable under makeup. You usually can’t wear sunscreen comfortably under a layer of foundation or powder because they are too greasy. This formula is light enough that if I can’t find my usual SPF moisturizer I can just apply this and continue with my usual beauty routine.

Neutrogena Baby & Kids Sunscreen Review

Neutrogena baby sunscreen

A child’s face is way more sensitive than an adult’s.

When it comes to children and babies it’s no surprise that their skin is more sensitive than ours. Due to its heightened sensitivity, their skin is consequently more susceptible to damage. For babies six months and older you need to be looking out for something called a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

The main ingredient in Neutrogena’s Baby and Kids Sunscreen is Zinc Oxide. People originally used zinc as a natural healing substance. It’s mainly used to recover damaged tissue and burns today. It’s also renowned for locking moisture into dry skin. All these properties mean that Zinc Oxide is gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin.

This particular formula has actually been dermatologically tested to be so gentle that it has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance for being a suitable sunscreen for those with sensitive skin.

This sunscreen is also tear-free and hypoallergenic. This ensures that it is mild enough to be used on babies and children. When you’re young your skin is not only thinner, but it is also still developing its natural protection system. Kids need that added protection from something that won’t be too aggressive on their skin.

That’s why Zinc Oxide provides the perfect balance. It’s natural and effective. For best results apply this sunscreen fifteen minutes before sun exposure so that it has time to absorb but doesn’t wear off.

Neutrogena Mineral Sunscreen Review

Neutrogena mineral sunscreen

The mineral-based line is perfect for people with sensitive skin.

Anything mineral based is usually better suited for those with, particularly sensitive skin. Mineral sunscreens contain active mineral (surprise!) ingredients for a more natural based formula to reflect the sun’s harmful rays. Neutrogena’s Mineral Sunscreen contains Zinc Oxide. This compound can also be found in Neutrogena’s Baby & Kids Sunscreen as discussed earlier. You can use Zinc Oxide as a gentle healing substance.

Neutrogena’s Mineral Sunscreen is kind of a ‘range within a range’, as they have a few mineral options to choose from. These are known as the Sheer Zinc line – which explains the active ingredient Zinc Oxide. All of these sunscreens also contain a broad-spectrum SPF. As if that wasn’t enough Neutrogena claims that their mineral sunscreen is also non-comedogenic. This means that it doesn’t give your skin that gross, clogged pore feeling you get from other, greasy sunscreens.

Another active ingredient in Neutrogena’s Mineral Sunscreen is Titanium Dioxide. This works as a UV filtering ingredient. It protects your skin by absorbing UV light so that the rays never reach your skin. Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide doesn’t reflect visible light like most mineral sunscreens, but instead, it creates a barrier to protect the skin. All in all, Neutrogena’s Mineral Sunscreen provides UV protection without the added chemicals.

Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Sunscreen Review

Neutrogena build a tan

A tan without any of the damage? Sign me up!

While it’s great to get that Vitamin D dosage, sometimes you just need that quick-fix tan. It might also be the safest way to get there honestly. Although I have to say I’m not one to endorse chemicals as opposed to their natural replacements, Neutrogena’s Sunless Tanning lotion might be an exception. It’s not a sunscreen per se as it does not include any protective ingredients. But if you can’t go through the summer without getting your tan on then you’ve come to the right place. This will give you that even tan without getting any of the harmful rays.

The main ingredient in Neutrogena’s Sunless Tanning lotion is Dihydroxyacetone. Don’t ask me to pronounce that out loud – luckily it is also known as DHA. DHA is essentially a ‘stainer’ which means that when it is applied to the skin a chemical reaction occurs producing a darkening effect. Being that DHA only affects the outermost cells of the epidermis it has no damaging qualities to the skin.

With any self-tanner its crucial to exfoliate first in order to get an even tan. Once you’ve exfoliated you can use this lotion like any other moisturizer. You have to wait one hour before bathing or swimming, but I usually apply it straight after the shower so that avoids that problem. Neutrogena suggest waiting eight hours between each application, although I don’t really know why you’d be applying it more than once a day! This stuff gives you that fresh even tan without too much bother.


We’ve all heard the expression that humans are basically plants but with complicated emotions. We need the sun and we need water in order to survive. But each at the right quantities for our bodies. Whether we’re young or old we should be using the right sunscreen to suit our specific body’s needs. Contrary to popular belief sunscreen is not an ‘every-size-fits-all’ product. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin the kind of sunscreen you may need varies.

I myself tend to go for mineral-based sunscreens. Not necessarily because my skin is sensitive, but I just prefer knowing exactly what’s going into my skin. My general rule is ‘the more natural the product, the better the product’. That being said, there are many different sunscreens to choose from in Neutrogena’s range and it’s not hard to find the right sunscreen specifically for you.

Having looked into the details of sun protection it’s important to note that a frequently overlooked aspect of sunscreen is making sure it’s waterproof! The worst burns I get are when I’ve diligently applied sunscreen and then innocently ran into the ocean with my friends. A few hours later I’m peeling off my bathing suit and I’m burnt like a lobster.

But how? I slathered myself in sunscreen! Neutrogena’s sunscreens once again have your back in this department. They’re all waterproof if you leave it to absorb for sufficient time after application. I could go on about Neutrogena’s sunscreens all day, so I think it’s best if I leave it for you to try them for yourselves!