If you love water sports and swimming under the sun, this is the sunblock for you.
I discovered Nature’s Gate Aqua Block during my chemical phobia days. I grabbed it as soon as I saw it at Healthy Options because it says Very Water Resistant on the package. I was going to Boracay at the time and I knew we were going to do a lot of water activities.
That was mid-2009. Fast forward to 2012 and this remains to be my favorite sunblock for water + sun activities.
I made a mistake of using sunblock-that-must-not-be-named last year and I will not do that again.
General Product Information (as written on the tube):
Very water resistant
SPF 50 UVA/ UVB Protection
Free of fragrance, parabens, pthalates and oxybenzone
Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7%, Zinc Oxide 6.9% (Full list of ingredients is listed at the bottom of the page.)
This sunblock is very waxy.
This spreads out to the most nasty white film of grease on your skin. It’s shiny and will just sit on top of the skin no matter how long and how hard you try to blend it in.
See how shiny and white my skin is compare to the area without sunblock on.
What I like about it:
The white film of grease will not budge even when you sweat or go for a swim. If you’re fair-skinned, the whiteness won’t show too much (although, I wouldn’t really know, would I?). The greasiness and shiny finish might be a turn off for some but I’m ok with it.
It’s fragrance-free. Which means it doesn’t have a nasty sunscreen scent.
Even when you sweat, it won’t run into your eyeballs.
It has combination of physical and non-physical sun protection ingredients.
E used this for the first time when we went to Boracay in 2009. He says it’s the only time he’s gone to the beach didn’t get a sunburn. Oh but he did, on the upper part of his foot where he forgot to apply this sunblock. That’s how I realized that the sunblock really works. We went swimming, paraw sailing, snorkeling, and diving, and he didn’t get sunburn anywhere else but he did get a nice tan.
I already used this in the past but I wasn’t too crazy about it because my natural skin tone is already a little bit tan to begin with and I seldom get sun burn (For reference, I’m either NC35 or NC37). Eric didn’t want to use this because it’s greasy and he was partial to sunblock spray.
I got him to try this before buying his preferred sunblock and he liked it. Eric is fair-skinned and burns easily so imagine how happy he was that he actually took the time to look at the label to know what it was that I put on him
This is already after non-vigorous washing with liquid hand soap. It’s difficult to remove and as you can see, the thin film that’s left still resists water.
What I least like about it:
It’s a pain to remove, even with soap. You need rinse a lot longer with soap or use a washcloth with soapwater to wash it off. Edit 01.14.14: I found out the liquid castile soap removes this well.
Avoid getting this on gadgets and on the lens of sunglasses. You’ve been warned.
I forgot to re-apply sunblock on the last day of our Bicol trip, when we went surfing. I got a few shades darker but still, I didn’t get a sunburn.
This costs Php 395 and is sold at Healthy Options. On the Nature’s Gate website, it’s $8.99.
Full ingredients list as listed on the tube:
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7%, Zinc Oxide 6.9%
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Glycerin, Jojoba Esters, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Magnesium Sulfate, Neopentyl Glycol Diisostearate, Sodium Chloride, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid.
This is the best sunblock I’ve tried for water activities. It’s cheap and it works. If you want a dry finish, get the sports block version, but I can’t vouch for its water resistance.