Review + Ingredient Analysis | Guardian Sun Protection Body Lotion

It's been the same old sentence, but just in case this is the first time you dropped by my blog, I want to tell you that sunscreen is extremely important. It's my number one skincare product, and it should be yours too. In the past, I've talked about 3 sunscreens from different brands, and I'm glad to leave you with the links: [here], [here] and [here].

This time around, let's talk about body sunscreen. I got one from Guardian. Guardian is a pharmacy not just in Malaysia but several other countries too. They do have their own in-house skincare products that are mostly affordable and cheaper than mainstream brands. For example, this Guardian Sun Protection Body Lotion is only retailed at RM26.90 (around $7).

What it is?
Finding a description and visual info via online for this product is rather difficult. So I'm just going to quote what it says on the back of the bottle. 

"Enriched with peach, pomegranate and apple extracts, together with high protection index (SPF 50). This sun protection helps protect the body against sunrays. It has a lightweight texture that gives moisturisation".

1) Lightweight Texture with Fresh Scent
2) Pomegranate and Apple Extracts Moisturise Skin

How To Use
Dispense onto palms. Apply and gently massage over skin until fully absorbed. 

This sunscreen comes in a bright orange squeezy tube with a twisted cap. The plastic material is not that thin and opaque because I can still see the sunscreen level if I put the tube against a strong light source. I think it's important to have opaque packaging for sunscreen because UV rays can easily penetrate and causing instability to the formulation.

100 ml bottle

Recently I was at Guardian and they revamped their packaging to something like this.


Aqua, Cyclomethicone, Zinc OxideEthylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Nylon-12, Calcium Stearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA
[CosDNA link]

Okay, time to decode the ingredient list.

1) Aqua or water is the first item on the sunscreen label and it's not a stranger in any skincare formulations. It's needed as a base to keep other ingredients flowing. Then we have Cyclomethicone, a silicone. By nature, cyclomethicone is very fluid-like and often used as a solvent, just like water. Since this thing evaporates quickly, it also can act as a "carrier" meaning to deliver other ingredients in the sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin. Cyclomethicone is also an emollient and conditioning agent. Same goes to Glycerin and Cetyl Ethylhexanoate that able to nourish the skin by foaming layers.

2) UV filters in this sunscreen can be divided into 2 categories:
Organic filters
- Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 
- Octisalate (Ethylhexyl Salicylate)
- Avobenzone (Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane)

Inorganic filters
-Zinc Oxide
-Titanium Dioxide

Both Octinoxate and Octisalate give protection against UVB rays while Avobenzone is a UVA filter. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are UVA+UVB filters.

Through various beauty sites and blogs, we have learned that organic filters have the "absorbing" mechanism and inorganic filters work by "reflecting" or "scattering" UV rays at specific wavelengths but let me tell you something new; a recent research published earlier of this year suggested that Zinc Oxide and Titanium dioxide also giving the UV protection to the skin by absorption method. You can read more in [this] journal.

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are preferable for most people because they are less likely to cause skin irritation. They are also highly stable (not easily break down by UV rays) but somewhat causing the sunscreen to have white cast due to the nature of these ingredients (white powders). So yes, this sunscreen does make you look 'white' after using.

Octinoxate, Octisalate and Avobenzone are also present in the formulation. This sunscreen is made in South Korea and if I'm right, South Korea is similar to China when it comes to sunscreen regulation. China adapted European system and so does our country, Malaysia [source]. By now we know that the maximum level permitted for Octinoxate is 10%, Octisalate 5% and Avobenzone 3%. Anything below Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (avobenzone) should be less than 3%

Octinoxate or Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is one of the most popular organic UV-filter in sunscreens. Don't you think so? I always encounter octinoxate when I read the ingredient list of a sunscreen. Same goes to Avobenzone. One disadvantage of using Octinoxate is how it can become unstable and degrades itself in the present of Avobenzone [source]. Why is this important?- well it's because when the sun filters aren't stable, you can't get the maximum protection against harmful UV rays hence, sunburn and suntan can still be happening. 

In this case, Guardian Sun Protection Body Lotion also has Avobenzone in it. So why would manufacturers include both of these in the same formulation? I'm in no place to talk about it because I'm not a cosmetics formulator and organic chemistry isn't my major although I've learnt it during university. If you're interested, there's a detailed article about this written by Nicki Zevola for Futurederm. I always include journals and published papers in my reviews, rarely sourcing a website, but here you go [link].

Another organic UV filter for this Guardian sunscreen is Ethylhexyl Salicylate, an Octisalate. It is a liquid with an oily consistency that gives the "water-resistant" properties to the sunscreen.

Now the question is, should I worry about using this sunscreen in case it doesn't provide maximum protection? I personally don't find the need to. This is because the sunscreen also has Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide in the formulation, which brings back to what I've discussed earlier.

3. Nylon-12 is classified as viscosity controlling agent by providing thickness, opaqueness and also stabilising the sunscreen formulation. Same goes to Disteardimonium HectoriteCalcium Stearate and Disodium EDTA. Preservatives used in this product are Phenoxyethanol and Methylparaben. Disodium EDTA is also a chelating agent (I've explained about this in my previous toner review). 

4. There are also several fruits extracts present in the formulation, which are Prunus persica (peach), Punica granatum (pomegranate) and Pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract. Considering how small these ingredients are, I doubt they're able to provide any moisturising effects. So one of the claim sila meninggal.  We get the moisturised feeling mainly from other ingredients such as glycerin.

5. Fragrance is present but in low % concentration.

Consistency & Texture

With & Without Camera Flash. Below picture is taken 5 minutes after application.
As you can the sunscreen gives me thick, filmy consistency and leaving a white cast behind. 

Not cosmetically elegant due to white cast it leaves (blame Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide for this), hence not recommended to those who prefer invisible sun protection and also want to look good in flash photography.

Water test. I can't guarantee if the sunscreen is waterproof since it's not one of the claims, but you can see here there are a lot of tiny water droplets on my hands covered with Guardian sunscreen indicating that it's not easily removed by water.

I use the sunscreen primarily for my hands and arms since it's designed for body uses, not face. Ingredients are almost similar to what I've seen on facial sunscreens but if you've noticed, the texture and consistency of this Guardian Sun Protection Body Lotion is thick and not easily absorbed. The lotion spreads smoothly on the skin. However, it's not easy to apply and it feels unpleasant. I need to blend it properly in order to minimise the white cast and just like the picture above, it leaves a filmy texture. Moisturised feeling? yes, it's quite intensive I'd give some points for that.  

Is it lightweight as claimed? hell no. LOL. Definitely no. This feels heavy on the skin, hence it takes a longer time to dry/set. I can still feel the stickiness on me even after 5 minutes. In the past, I've used a body sunscreen from Biore (green bottle, unfortunately discontinued), and it was so much lighter.

As for the scent, the Guardian body sunscreen gives off a weird, powdery and chemically scent and not at all fresh as they claimed. I feel disappointed :( But you know, considering fragrance only appears at the below part of the ingredients list, I know I shouldn't expecting that much.

Another complaint is regarding the cap, it is simply useless. Mine here is already broken causing the sunscreen to spill everywhere... idk maybe they used poor quality plastic. senang sangat patah saya bukak tak ganas pun. Nozzle is okay though, narrow (minimised contact with air) and it's easy to control the amount of sunscreen dispensed from the tube.

yo, what's up? :(

Price point- RM26.90 for a 100ml bottle, and it's often on sale for RM23.90. Very affordable. I'm saying this because it's a 'body' sunscreen, whereby they often come out in big, family sized bottles as we need to use a lot. Let's not forget the recommended amount of sunscreen for the body is at least one ounce or 2 tablespoons. 

Personal Rating
3/10. I think this is a decent, affordable sunscreen option for the body.

Would I Repurchase?
Maybe you have already guessed, but no I will not repurchase. It's not my ideal sunscreen and I'd rather slather down my facial sunscreen on the area where I need protection.

Would I Recommend?
Not so, but like I said, it can be an option for those who are less picky and looking for an affordable sunscreen. I'd say the formulation is not bad, it has SPF50 and covers both UVA and UVB protection. However, if you're concerned about getting white film from wearing sunscreen, this won't be the right one for you.

Now, the question of the day, what's your favourite body sunscreen? Do you have any recommendations?

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