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Hamilton Sun Review

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hamilton Sun Review

This post is part of Product Talk by Nuffnang which means I received the product free of charge to review but was not paid and my opinions are honest.

I must admit that I only asked to review these products (3 different types of "Hamilton Sun" sunscreen) because my family was going to the beach and I wanted to score some free sunscreen to try while we were there. I only use sunscreen if I absolutely have to. I know cancer experts say we should use it everyday but I don't because I just don't like sunscreen. I hate the feel of it, I hate the smell of it, I hate the idea of soaking extra chemicals into my skin. My skin is sensitive(ish). I don't come up in rashes but I hate the feeling of things on my skin. I'm strange yes, but I don't like make-up, I don't like perfume and I don't like fancy soaps. I have no routine facial care. I don't use soap on my face but I also don't cleanse or moisturise it or use concealer and I only wear make-up at weddings. I am fortunate enough to not need to I guess. So there's no surprise I'm not a sunscreen fan. I'll use it on my daughter (she has her daddy's very fair skin) but it's not for me.

My idea of sun smart is just not being in the sun in the heat of the day and when I am in the sun wearing a shirt with sleeves, a hat, sunnies, and only being in the sun for the least amount of time possible. Does that make me a bad Aussie? It's a little more complicated than that. You see I love being in the sun, I love the warmth of it, I love the feel of it but I hate sunscreen and I hate being burned. I am also aware that skin cancer is horrible and rampant and something to be avoided at all costs. More than that I have two little people dependent on me, one who is too young to use sunscreen for another 4 months, and the other who is next to impossible to pin down long enough to put sunscreen on. So we stay indoors in the heat of the day and stick to shady areas whenever possible. When I go to the beach though, (or an exhibition or a party at a park etc) I like sunscreen, because nothing ruins a holiday like sunburn. I have only been badly sunburned once, at schoolies. Like many of my schoolies week experiences, bad sunburn is something I never want to experience again.

Unfortunately, the three bottles of Hamilton Sun I was sent to review didn't arrive until a few days after we returned home from our holiday at the beach so I can't comment on its performance. While we were at the beach Corey, Alexis and I scabbed sunscreen (I'm not sure what brand it was) off my parents and we dressed William in long sleeves, a hat and awkwardly sheltered him in our own shadows. We still didn't go out in the heat of the day. We still managed to get a little pink but not badly burned. It wasn't Hamilton sunscreen we were using, but I am now aware from researching further into Hamilton Sun and sunscreen in general that we weren't using sunscreen correctly and that may have been why we were burned. Apparently sunscreen should be applied half an hour before going out into the sun and reapplied every two hours, even if it says 4 hours water resistant, and we didn't use enough.

I was disappointed I wasn't able to review these products at the beach. All I can really say is my opinion on what they felt like on my skin and give you a little background information. I did take them to a family Christmas lunch on Saturday. I put the toddler one on my daughter, got distracted chasing after her, fed the baby, and unfortunately left the sunscreen there. At least I got to use it once first and hopefully somebody found it and I'll get it back. The other two (family and sensitive) I tried on my arms and face and Corey's arms. I did one on each side. Here are my opinions:

All three products

  • Are broad spectrum (meaning they block both UVB and UVA)
    • It was once thought that only UVB caused skin cancer but now it is becoming apparent that UVA can cause it too. Whatever sunscreen you chose make sure it is broad spectrum. Some sunscreens only protect against UVB and can get away with it because it is what causes sunburn. 
  • Provide up to 4 hours water resistance
  • Are SPF 30+

The family sunscreen 

  • I love the convenience factor of one sunscreen for the entire family (excluding William as he is too young) 
  • It is pitched as effective yet gentle enough for everyday use
  • It's the most economical of the three 
  • It has the most active ingredients (probably provides the most comprehensive protection) 
  • It is a little runny but it soaks in quickly and doesn't leave the characteristic "white mark" of sunscreen
  • Unfortunately I don't wearing like it. I really hoped I would.
    • I don't like the fragrance. Although it is a nice alternative to the really potent sunscreen smell of old I don't like the smell of it on me. It's kind of a citrus smell? It's not a bad smell, it's just not for my personal taste (or lack thereof).
    •  Within moments of putting it on I felt itchy, even on my arms and especially on my face (I do have relatively sensitive skin so it's not overly surprising I guess. Also I was really hot and sweaty so it might have reacted with my sweat.)
    • It felt heavy on my arm and as Corey pointed out, it doesn't breathe well. 
  • Within about an hour of putting it on I left Corey with both bubs while I had a shower to stop the itching. I was in the shower for ages. It stopped itching but I couldn't get the sunscreen off. I scrubbed, I soaked, I soaped, but it stayed on. This was a little annoying but guess what, after my shower it doesn't itch anymore and I know that it must be a quality product because it really is water resistant! 
  • I can't compare this to other sunscreens because I used to put sunscreen on just before jumping into the water (which is a no-no) so I never gave them a chance to be itchy or not.
  •  I know that if I was going to be in the sun for hours and hours I would definitely consider using this (despite the things I whinged about) because it absorbs quickly (easy to reapply) and it stays on. 

The toddler one

  • has the least possible amount of active ingredients, which is important for repeated use on delicate skin, whilst still providing both physical barriers to UV and chemical absorption of UV
  • The active ingredients are ones said to be safest for young children
  • It is a little thick and difficult to rub in on a wiggly toddler but at least you know you are using enough. There's really no point in applying any sunscreen if you aren't going to use enough, so, if you're going to the trouble of putting sunscreen on your toddler (which you should) you want to do it right!
  • Is fragrance-free and still smells fairly decent 
  • Has a cute pink lid, which Alexis likes

The sensitive skin sunscreen

  • is by far my favourite in terms of feel.
  • It is not greasy nor gluggy nor is it runny.
  • "It breathes" says Corey. I agree. It allows your skin to breathe freely and once it soaks in (which can take a while) you don't really remember you're wearing it. It doesn't clog your pores. 
  • It is fragrance-free and smells great. 
  • It doesn't itch or irritate my skin. 
  • It has few preservatives. 
  • Unfortunately it is only a physical barrier as it doesn't contain active ingredients that chemically absorb UV radiation 
    • the lack of chemical absorbers is what makes it less allergenic (safe for sensitive skin)
    • it also makes it potentially less effective in protecting skin against sun damage
  • If you normally can't tolerate sunscreen then it is definitely worth a try. 
  • I would consider wearing this more regularly than the family one (for example to the park, to playgroup, on long car trips) as it's more pleasant to wear but if I really wanted high performance sunscreen such as at the beach or a water park I would give the family one another chance

Alexis is always excited to receive new products in the mail. She found it difficult to hold all three bottles at once. It was pretty cute. I think she favours the toddler one, because it's pink of course. 

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At December 21, 2011 at 12:38 AM , Blogger Rhianna said...

More stuff we have in common, I don't do the makeup, cleanser or suncream either. Thankfully we have a somewhat olive skin so we don't fry as such. Having said that though I also have a healthy respect for the sun and the damage she can do

At January 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

Thanks for your comment Rhi. Make up is severely over-rated isn't it.;-) On special occasions I chuck on a bit of mascara and foundation and wear something other than tshirt and jeans and I get loads of compliments. LOL. I love setting the bar low.


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