Our reviewers at SNEWS® use a lot of sunscreen because we are outside practicing what we preach. Some have found sunscreens they like and that seem to work; others are constantly on the lookout – particularly after reading the distressing findings in our 2010 investigation into sunscreen ingredients, regulations and marketing (Click here to read that four-part series: www.outsidebusinessjournal.com/snewsinvestigates.)
When we discovered Scape Labs, with a brand new sunscreen brand coming onto the sport specialty market in spring 2010, we were immediately in line to take a look, especially considering its claims of not running into your eyes (important for sport enthusiasts), of being waterproof and sweatproof, of allowing a user to “breath” by not clogging up pores, and of the need to use soap and water to get it off, which seemed to indicate it would indeed last.
Based on the SNEWS investigation, our team came up with a list of what it seeks in sunscreens and what brands it knew of and had used that met those needs (Click here to read that June 14, 2010, SNEWS story).
We had a variety of testers of different skin types and pigment variations, doing different activities from running and backpacking to gardening and kayaking, use the 50+ Scape sunscreen for a number of weeks. All not only loved it (with a few limitations we will describe below) but were amazed how it was thick enough to go on and stay on but not leave you with, as one tester put it, “the war paint look.” And you don’t need to rub and rub and rub to get it to smooth down.
Scape sunscreen does have a bit of a white-ish sheen but all in all not enough to matter to our testers when they were actively participating in some outdoor endeavor. Would they wear it for a daily sunscreen or going out to a picnic or to dinner? Probably not, partly because it caused some white streaking on dark clothing it came in contact with. But for outdoor pursuits, it quickly floated to the top of the heap of bottles, tubes and spray cans.
The bottle was also a nice shape that fit well in the hand and was a thick enough plastic to not break at stress points creating that gooey white mess in gym bags or toiletry kits that we all know and hate. Now, on the flip side, all our testers pointed out that the flip-lid needs to close more securely since it gave the impression it could loosen enough to allow a drool of sunscreen into backpacks or tote bags. One tester felt the little plastic piece that sticks out of the inside of the flip-top lid to go into the squirt hole (so it doesn’t clog up) wasn’t long or thick enough since it didn’t snap down well, and invariably you ended up with white gunk all around the hole.
All our testers challenged it well, putting it on for stints of outdoor pursuits for three or more hours – even all day – and never felt as if they were getting burned or otherwise affected by the sun. Granted you can’t tell if you are being protected from the cancer-causing UVA rays until you, well, have a bad diagnosis, but the Scape sunscreen seemed to fulfill its claims. And it did seem to live up to the claim of not running into your eyes. Reported one tester, “I used this in 90+ degree heat and humidity levels of 70 percent or more and it did not run into my eyes. While hiking, I checked repeatedly to see if the sweat running into my eyes had any hint of lotion and it did not. I was very impressed with that.”
In addition, it took some doing to get off, which is a good thing if you are sweating or around water. One user said she noticed the soap didn’t lather up as well where she had applied it until she gave it a really good scrub, and that to her seemed to prove its “staying power.” Another plus is that the fragrance is very, very mild and wasn’t annoying to any of our testers. Said one, “This sunscreen’s fragrance is not nearly as annoying as many I have — which I think is a major plus. I hate smelling like a pina colada all day.”
The one problem for some was the price: Certainly comparable when it comes to specialty sunscreens but certainly much higher than most available in mass merchandisers or department stores. But of course you get what you pay for. On that note, one daily user wanted to see a larger size available to lower the cost. And another was using it on her face or other more sensitive areas and using other sunscreens on areas less prone to rubbing or sweat.
We think Scape will stay in our sunscreen arsenal.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested retail: $14.99 (4-ounce sunblock)
For more information:www.scapelabs.com