Banana Boat and Nivea Facial Sunscreen Reviews

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How to cite: Wong M. Banana Boat and Nivea Facial Sunscreen Reviews. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. January 20, 2016. Accessed May 23, 2024.

Here are some new sunscreens I’ve been trying. They’re available in stores in Australia which is very exciting, because Australia hasn’t had many “cosmetically elegant” (non-greasy, non-clumpy) sunscreens that you can use under your makeup without it all turning into a big greasy mess.


Banana Boat has released two sunscreens in their Everyday range – Everyday Sensitive ($17.49 for 200 g) and Everyday Faces ($12.49 for 100 g). The two sunscreens are very similar. Both are:

  • SPF50
  • Broad spectrum
  • 4hours water resistant
  • Oil-free
  • Free of added fragrance

The active ingredients are the same in both as well: Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane 5.00%, 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor 4.00%, Octocrylene 2.00%, Bemotrizinol 1.00%; Preservatives: Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxybenzoates.

I really liked the light, non-greasy feel of Banana Boat’s Everyday sunscreen, so I was looking forward to trying these out. They do feel quite light on the skin, but leave a sticky, shiny film. Covering the sunscreen with powder helps kill the stickiness, but it reemerges after a few hours. I think Everyday Faces is a tad less sticky than Everyday Sensitive, but they’re almost indistinguishable on my face.

Unfortunately Banana Boat sunscreens are Australia-only, which means that they don’t have to include full ingredients since they’re classified as therapeutic goods. As well as not knowing whether they contain any ingredients that commonly trigger sensitivities, I also can’t check how similar the two formulas are. Some Australian sunscreens do voluntarily provide ingredient info – I’m hoping this becomes normal as consumers get increasingly ingredient-savvy. Everyday Sensitive comes in a bigger tube than Everyday Faces, which makes it a bit cheaper too.

Nivea Sun Protect & Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30  ($12.99 for 50 mL) is another sunscreen designed for the face. Again, the ingredients aren’t on the packaging but a user on Makeupalley reports them as:

Aqua, Alcohol Denat., Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate + BHT (7.5%), Homosalate (6%), Tapioca Starch, Ethylhexyl Salicylate (5%), Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Triazone (3%), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (3%), Benzophenone-3 (3%), Cyclomethicone, Trisodium EDTA (20%), Methylparaben, Parfum, C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide.

These match the active ingredients on the back of the bottle, so I’m pretty convinced it’s the same. Light Feel Daily Face Veil doesn’t lie, it really is very light. It glides onto the face smoothly and sinks in quickly, and there’s close to no shine – it reminds me a lot of Biore Watery Essence.  The high alcohol content might be a bit troublesome if you have dry skin, but for my oily face it was a relief to not have to deal with stickiness and shine. It’s lightly fragranced with a sort of fresh scent.

One pet peeve of mine when it comes to Australian sunscreens (apart from the ingredients problem) is the lack of UVA protection ratings. Even though everyone’s all over SPF ratings, UVA ratings just aren’t very popular here yet – every once in a while you’ll spot one on a brand that’s sold internationally (e.g. Jurlique), but on the whole the best you’ll get is “Broad Spectrum”. Both sunscreens contain UVA filters: Banana Boat has avobenzone and Tinosorb S, as well as UVB filters that help stabilise avobenzone; Nivea contains avobenzone and oxybenzone. I’m still more inclined to reach for a sunscreen with a known in vivo measured UVA protection rating (i.e. measured on humans), since my main concern is pigmentation and anti-ageing. Again, I hope more Australian sunscreens will include this information as more people become skincare-conscious.

These products were provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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10 thoughts on “Banana Boat and Nivea Facial Sunscreen Reviews”

  1. Thanks for the review. I just can’t stand a sticky sunscreen on my face, especially if foundation is to go over it! I really like the Cetaphil spf 30 face sunscreen and the new Natio spf 50 face sunscreen. If you have dry, dehydrated skin, these are wonderful. They sink in really well, aren’t sticky and don’t leave a white cast or anything. I suppose if you had oilier skin, you might find them to sit on top of your skin, but they sink in so well for me that I think if really worked into the skin, they might suit all skin types. I’ve also found with some sunscreens that have alcohol as a base, though they are lovely and light and sink in quickly, that on me they don’t seem to play well with moisturisers I used under and primers I use on top. They tend to pill and ball up. That’s one of the reasons why I stopped using the LaRoche Posay SPF (the one in the orange and white packaging).

  2. I used the Banana Boat Everyday Sensitive and sadly found that if I used it on my face, it caused breakouts. I could tell it was the culprit as I usually never get pimples at all anymore, but after each day of using this about five more big white ones popped up. But once I stopped using it on my face they all went away, and it doesn’t give me any trouble when I use it on my body. It’s hard to know what ingredient might be comodogenic when they only provide a partial list.

    Love your blog, btw, definitely my favourite beauty blog because of the emphasis on science 🙂

  3. Thanks for the review, finding a good facial sunscreen is so hard! The best I’ve found so far is La Roche Posay Uvidea XL spf30. It has a non greasy finish and I read that it’s really effective for UVA… I wear it daily and it sits ok over the serum and moisturiser I use (which are pretty heavy). It is nothing like the orange packaged ones from the same company which are horrible and heavy.

    Lab Muffin, where do you buy your Biore fave? I always keep an eye out for it but so far no luck!

    • LRP and Bioderma have awesome UVA protection! They’re the best I’ve ever seen, anyway.

      I get my Biore sunscreen from eBay or from friends who’ve gone overseas (from Japan and Hong Kong). I’ve also seen it at some Japanese cosmetic stores in Sydney – if you’re here too, there’s one near Woolworths at Town Hall which has them!

  4. This product sounds amazing. These days, many various types of sunscreens available, but using best one for your skin is vital to get the best skin protection.


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