Thanks to my Anglo-Irish heritage, I'm pretty much a poster child for the necessity of applying sunscreen early and often (not that I'm bitter or anything about it). And so is my daughter, though she has yet to embrace the necessity as rigorously as I have. (Thanks to their Teutonic genes, my husband and our son are just oozing with UV-ray-resistant melanin; again, not that I'm bitter or anything.)
Anyway, come springtime each year when I toss all the sunscreens left over from last year (you should do, since they've got a half-life of about 2.7 minutes), I hit the drugstore, eager to see what's new in the world of slathering. This year, I came away with an aerosol can of Neutrogena Ultimate Sport SPF 100+. I've been meaning to try an aerosol (for its back-covering capabilities), so this was what I got this year.
I put it to the ultimate test: a day in the sun -- and not just any day in the sun, but one of those deceptive days where it starts out brightly overcast and then gradually gives way to clear skies. It's the overcast part that always gets the unprepared. Plus we were wakeboarding, so I'd be getting splashed plenty (you can read about this outing, by the way, in the Day Trippin' feature for our August issue).
The verdict? This stuff works and I know this because the one lousy spot I didn't spray (my left foot's toes) ended up with a five-alarm sunburn. During almost five hours in the sun, I only reapplied once and I was in and out of the water constantly. My Teutonic son also benefited when he decided to let me spray him after the sun came out (but his shoulders did get red during the overcast part and, yes, he is a little bitter).
A 5-ounce can retails for $11.99: Pricey, to be sure, but it easily lasted me a month before I had to buy another. I'd advise applying either outside or near a window because that stuff is rough to inhale. And you can use it on your face (so you don't have to buy yet another product): Just spray it into your hands and wipe it on. And don't forget those ear tips!