We've all seen the doomsday headlines on skin cancer and sun exposure. For a scare, consider that the rate of melanoma has increased 690 percent in the last 50 years. The good news is that increased awareness has spurred skincare companies to make sunscreens that don't make you feel like you're slathered in grease or smell like a giant pina colada cocktail.
K2's newest formulation is Endurance Sunblock, which was devised by the former Neutrogena chemists of Outside Labs and branded under K2. Made with a blend of four sunscreen ingredients, it boasts an SPF 50 rating and blocks UVA and UVB rays. (Formerly, sunscreens only blocked UVB rays, though UVA are responsible for the more lasting cellular damage leading to melanoma.) The formulation not only makes this product sweatproof and waterproof, but it also includes antioxidants and moisturizers to improve skin health, particularly in dry conditions.
While skiing in blazing spring sunshine, paddling on sun-reflecting rivers and hiking in hot temperatures, the SNEWS® crew determined that Endurance Sunblock could block a Mongolian horde. Overall, it performed very well, and we only had minor criticisms.
At first, the lotion was a bit hard to spread, felt a little greasy, and looked a little white, But, presto change-o, it soaked in lickety-split, and we didn't notice it at all -- the mark of a good sunscreen. We especially appreciated that the sunscreen didn't run into our eyes or make our hands feel greasy. It also protected from intense midday sun for more than four hours while testers exercised, and we only had to re-apply the sunscreen once in the course of a day. Bonus: The formulation was mild enough that it didn't cause breakouts or rashes, even after extended twice-daily use. Plus, Endurance Sunblock has a mild fragrance that's barely noticeable and much less annoying than lotions that make you smell like a bowl of fruit or a luxury spa waiting room all day.
Another thing to like about Endurance Sunblock is the smart packaging. The 1.5-ounce container was small enough to fit in a pocket and had rounded edges so it didn't poke testers in the thigh. The small spout could be a little messy at times, but the rubber bottle made it easy to grip even with sweaty hands.
Any outdoor traveler should realize that sunscreen is an essential piece of gear, but some people still don't want to mess with it. Manufacturers know that they'll entice more people to use sunscreen regularly if they make a product that's effective, comfortable and easy to use. K2's Endurance Sunblock provides the protection you need without all the hassle.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $6.99 for 1.5 oz.
For information: www.k2suncare.com