Sunscreens: KINeSYS, Proderma, ProTech

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SNEWS® gets a lot of skincare and sun-protection products floating across its desks, so we've decided to review three all at once, all of which have something to offer and a different raison d'etre. Something for everyone, we say. One note is that we are reviewing only ONE product in each company's line. Plus, these reviews are, one, not intended to be ratings for the entire company line, nor comparative to the other two in this review.

KINeSYS Spray Sunscreen
The company was founded by Jeff and Josie Kletter on the heels of discussions that began in 1993 about what they considered a lack of good products for athletes. The Canada-based company is still led by the married couple with an enthusiastic vigilance. KINeSYS has a full line of what it calls "performance" products including spray-on and cream 15SPF and 30SPF sunscreen (with titanium dioxide) with and without fragrance, stick sunscreens (with titanium dioxide), kid's sunscreens, travel-sized bottles, plus treatment products that include a muscle balm and a foot spray. Its slogan: "Protecting the health of athletes for life."

We particularly like the spray-on sunscreen since it comes in mighty handy to quickly cover large areas like legs or arms, as well as to have companions protect for you with a quick shot on easily forgotten backs of arms, shoulders, backs of necks and, yes, balding spots. I mean, who wants to put a bunch of cream on a bald spot and moosh it up with the hair? And until this spray existed, we found we were just too plain lazy to rubdown our legs, and we'd simply miss backs of shoulders.

The sunscreen offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, is oil-free, alcohol-free and PABA-free, is water-resistant and sweat-resistant, hypoallergenic and won't clog pores. Scented varieties have a light mango scent. It sprays on easily with a light sweeping hand and doesn't need rubbing in that gums up hands. Testers love the convenience of a spray and particularly this one, although a couple of users have said it feels oily (despite being oil-free). Plus, if you use the spray, you do need to carry a cream also since putting the spray on your face didn't sit well with our testers.

SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested retail: $14 for four-ounce bottle (1-ounce travel size, $6)

For more information:
www.kinesys.com
1-888-KINeSYS

Proderma Cream Sunscreen
This is another family-run company, begun by an avid golfer. Founded in 2000, Proderma caters to athletes, not just golfers, and was begun with the notion that there wasn't enough fairly priced and quality product available that catered to active people. Plus, he was a retired but Type-A guy who couldn't just while away his time golfing!

Only four years later, Proderma has an incredibly full broad-spectrum-protection UVA/UVB line that includes a 30SPF sunscreen plus sunscreen towelettes (a great idea, but the extra packaging and waste does bother us a bit), windscreen to protect your skin from the drying and chapping effects of wind, 18SPF face and body lotions, 18SPF hand lotion (not called a sunscreen although it does have a low sun-protection level in it), sun-protectant lip balm, stick sunscreen face balm, a so-called "moon screen" or night-time moisturizer, burn gel, bug screen, and kits of the above in various combinations. A new 30SPF sunscreen called Prism incorporates transparent zinc oxide as well as vitamins A, C and E.

All this because a golfer didn't want to burn? Note the company slogan: "Fear Not. Proderma has you covered."

The cream sunscreen is pleasantly (and non-bug-attractive!) fragrance-free and comes in a superior and very durable plastic squeeze bottle that packs well into daypacks, backpacks, sports bags and glove compartments without fear of leakage or cracking. We like the application and apparent protection although one tester indicated it felt thin and not as creamy as preferred.Â

SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested retail: $10 for four-ounce bottle (2-ounce travel size, $5)

For more information:
www.prodermaproducts.comÂ
1-800-447-3035

ProTech Moisturing Sunscreen
Newly introduced in the summer of 2003, this too is a family-run company (seems to start a sunscreen company you have to have a family deal going first). It was founded based on a belief that one always had to apply creamy facial moisturizer (at least most women do), THEN a sunscreen. This cream is a truly thick and creamy lotion that can stand up alongside many expensive cosmetic counter skin creams in its feel and application and has found rave responses from women users.

ProTech is also a broad-spectrum protectant UVA/UVB that uses Avobenzone and Oxybenzone. It is non-greasy, fast absorbing, fragrance-free and doesn't clog pores. Although currently the only product on the market by the small company, founders promise others that are also oriented toward skincare and not just sunscreen. Its company slogan: "Skin Care for the Outdoor Enthusiast."

Oddly, our first reaction to this 30SPF lotion was that it sorta smelled like one that was old and had been sitting around too long. But that reaction quickly dissipated as we fell in love with the feel on our face and the concept that you can indeed put on one creamy application to cover moisturizer and sunscreen – one tube in travel toiletry kits, one tube in backpacks, one tube does it all. Nevertheless, the price can be a bit off-putting, but you can remove the sting if you realize you're now eliminating a double purchase of sunscreen and face cream. Still, although it can go anywhere on your body, we felt we wanted to "save" it for face and hands, therefore still mandating a spray (above) and/or lotion (above) for other part of the body.

SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested retail: $16 for a three-ounce tube (packable mini-tubes, $1.25)

For more information:
www.protechskincare.com
1-510-291-2811

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