Cheap isn’t always good….

Life is full of facts.

Fact #1:  If your children go out in the sun, they must wear sunscreen.

Fact #2:  Sunscreen is a rip-off.

Fact #3:  Getting a good deal is a good thing.

Bottom line…the facts do not always add up.

I needed sunscreen for trip to the beach.  I was at the dollar store (not planning to buy sunscreen) and saw SPF 30- Banana Boat Sport Performance sunscreen on sale for $3.00.   The label even boasted “Three-way Protection: Sun-Tested, Sun-Proven” and “Very Water/Sweat Resistant”.  Wow.  Sounds impressive.

cheap sunscreen

But give me a little bit of credit.  I’m not that easily swayed by catchy advertising!  The wise woman in me stopped the deal-hound fool from making a rash, yet frugal, decision.  This is the dollar store, after all.

Brand name?   Check.

Expiration date?   Check.

expiration date

Great.  Get it.  That’s one more thing I can cross off my list!

Fast forward to yesterday at the beach:  92 degrees and sunny.  No clouds.  No shade.  For 4 hours.

Now, mind you, I’m a good mother.  I know that just buying the sunscreen isn’t enough.  You actually have to apply the sunscreen in order for it to work.   And apply I did…exactly as instructed.  “Apply generously and evenly to all areas 15 minutes before sun exposure” and “Reapply at frequent internals and after swimming”.  This particular child doesn’t stop swimming when he’s at the beach.  So I reapplied.  Generously.  And regularly.  But after a few hours I went to the car to feed the parking meter and got a glimpse of myself in the tinted car window.  Yikes.  I was starting to sport quite a burn.  Hmmmmm….that shouldn’t be happening.  So I reapplied again.

Fast forward to bedtime:  OUCH!!!!!

Fact #4:  It’s only a good deal if it works.

So today, I did what any good mother would do.  I threw two cans of mostly unused sunscreen into the trash and went to Lands’ End and spent significantly more than $3 to be sure that my boy doesn’t ever get sunburned like that again!!

swim suit


12 responses

  1. I have had similar experience and lesson learned. 🙂

    My kids have a couple swim body suits they love to wear when already burnt or when they ae afraid of getting burnt. Meanwhile we find that lots and lots of water, lots of fresh veggies, and sun hats make a huge difference. Also good is Desert Essence sunscreens (even past exp date and on clearance :), also Kiss my Face spray on, and Trader Joes generic. (Kids are allergic to regular sunnscreen so if you think the brand names are expensive well…. :))

  2. He’s really growing up!

    I say you still get a Mother of the Year award for all that effort! LOL! Sorry you ended up with a lil’ lobster. Hope the next stuff worked better!

    And do you actually have a Lands’ End store? I only get the catalogs.

    • Yep…a Lands’ End outlet just a few miles from home!! Living in the ‘burbs has its benefits! 🙂 And by the way…the outfit he’s wearing is what I bought at Lands’ End!! SPF 50 swim shorts and shirt!!!! It better work!!

  3. Ugh!! I hate it when that happens…a rollercoaster of emotions–so excited to get a great deal one minute, depressed about wasting the good deal the next. Then of course the sunburn doesn’t help, I’m sure!

    • I’m now a fan of the rash guard! I’ve never had fair-skinned children until Jimmy. The girls would just tan in the sun. I’d put sunscreen on them once at the beginning of the day and that’s all it took! I can’t ever remember one of them getting a sunburn! Rash Guard is definitely going to be the way to go for Jimmy! Can you get them cheaper anyplace else? Lands’ End prices are kinda steep!! (though I did get them on sale)

      • Old Navy has them for as low as $5 (if you find them when they’re on sale). Carter’s Outlets also have really nice ones for little folks, and those (at least the girls’ ones) are lined in the front. Oshkosh outlets might have them, too. Target carries them.

        I’m not sure if any of them have SPF 50 ones though.

      • The Boss scans the sale racks and buys them on sale at the end of the year. She’ll buy the same rash guard in two or three sizes and save them for the future. I think we’ve done a couple on eBay, too.

  4. Ooooh… ouch. After too many bad experiences with disgustingly goopy sunscreen, sunscreen with all manner of toxic chemicals in it, and sunburns despite it all, I just limit my time in the sun or wear clothing that protects me from it.

    …Though if I do accidentally stay out in the sun too long, 100% aloe plus a little bit of lavender essential oil clears up burns in no time. = )


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