Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection Sunscreen Spray SPF 70

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Readers' Choice
  • Readers' Choice
  • 2017, 2016


A spray sunscreen


Protects skin with a broad-spectrum chemical SPF

The last time I really loved the smell of a sunscreen was in 2014. I was at a friend's bachelorette party in Miami, on a striped lounge chair by the pool, and I misted on a vanilla-y, creamy, delicious smelling spray oil sunscreen from L'Oréal Paris. Just thinking about it makes me want a Miami Vice and a palm tree.

I flashed back to being poolside when I tried Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection Sunscreen SPF 70. It's not that the two spray-on body sunscreens smell exactly alike. It's just that most sunscreens smell chemical or unmemorable, so it's rare for one to stand out — but Neutrogena's does. It's the first thing I noticed when I sprayed this on.

The scent is tropical, happy, bright, and just a little fruity — it's the pineapple garnish on a piña colada. And for me, finding a sunscreen that smells good going on is more than just a perk. I'm not the best at remembering to reapply sunscreen, but if I like the smell, I want to use it. And then I want to use it again. And I'll keep using it throughout the day.

Even though the scent is strong enough to notice going on, it fades in a minute or two. (I don't recommend sniffing your skin to see if it's still there, or you'll get a nose full of a more traditional sunscreen smell after the pineapple-y one fades.) Either way, it's not really an issue because I personally don't mind smelling like pineapples — especially during the summer.

There are a few reasons this sunscreen has made it into my everyday rotation: It's a spray, so it's easy to apply, and the mist is nice and light. Once it's on my skin, it's not shiny or sticky — I can't even really feel it at all. And it's got a high SPF of 70. That's a major plus for me, for the obvious health reasons. Also, if I'm being really honest, I truly hate tan lines, and a sunscreen with SPF 70 means I'm less likely to wind up with crisscrosses on my back.