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Banana Boat vs Hawaiian Tropic 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

By Calum Torrington

24 May 2022

Stroll through the sunscreen aisle of your local beauty store and you’ll face a dizzying number of choices—two of the best brands that always stick out to us, though, are Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic.

We’ll be comparing their best-sellers side-by-side so you can see which would suit you and your skin the best. Enjoy!

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Banana Boat vs Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen

If there is one skincare product that you must have all year round—especially in the summer—it’s sunscreen. SPF should be a part of your everyday skincare routine to protect the sensitive skin of your body and face from harmful UV rays.

Banana Boat offers a host of incredibly popular sunscreens, however, our pick of the bunch is the Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion for its lightweight, non-greasy formula, and the fact that it is available in a wide range of SPFs and formats (e.g. lotion, spray, mineral lotion, etc.).

Hawaiian Tropic similarly offers an incredible range of sunscreens. For this particular comparison we'll be comparing the Hawaiian Tropic Everyday Active Sunscreen Lotion. To see the rest of our top picks from Hawaiian Tropic (and Banana Boat) scroll to the "Top Picks" section.

Comparison

First and foremost, the similarities:

  • They both offer clinically proven broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
  • They both offer water & sweat resistance for up to 80 minutes.
  • They both offer a lightweight, non-greasy feel.
  • They are both chemical sunscreens.
  • They are both free from oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Expanding on the point regarding both offering broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, both sunscreens actually contain the same active ingredients for sun protection, varying only slightly in concentration. To be specific, they contain: Avobenzone, Homosalate, and Octocrylene (Banana Boat's Sunscreen also contains Octisalate).

They both also contain Vitamin E which provides extra protection against acute UVB damage, and protects against cell mutation caused by sun exposure.

Where they begin to differ are their inactive ingredients lists. Hawaiian Tropic Everyday Active Sunscreen Lotion contains several island-inspired botanicals like Papaya, Mango, Passion Fruit, Plumeria, Guava, and Aloe for the iconic Hawaiian Tropic scent, as well as their skin soothing and nourishing benefits.

Banana Boat's Sport Ultra Lotion doesn't contain quite so many botanical ingredients. However, it does contain Aloe Vera extract for its anti-inflammatory, soothing, and anti-itch qualities.

Summary

With both clocking in at around the same price per fluid ounce, and with it being a genuine struggle to find any real negative feedback about them anywhere online, it's incredibly difficult to separate the two. This is never a bad problem to have, though!

Deciding between the two mainly boils down to skin type and preference of fragrance. Hawaiian Tropic's Sport Sunscreen Lotion is heavy on fragrance, which is fantastic for getting that summery feeling with every application, but it might make it less suitable for sensitive skin types. Banana Boat's Ultra Sport Sunscreen also contains fragrance, but in a lower concentration, rendering it less likely to sensitize skin.

Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen is available as a lotion, spray, cooling spray, mineral lotion, and mineral spray.

Hawaiian Tropic Sport Sunscreen Lotion is available as a lotion and a spray.

Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion by Banana Boat, superior endurance vs. sweat & water.

Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion by Banana Boat

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Superior endurance vs. sweat & water.

What makes it special? Banana Boat Sport Ultra is a high-performance sunscreen specifically designed for the sport enthusiast and active individual who wants protection that will stay on while they play on. This lightweight, breathable formula is perfect for the sweatiest outdoor activities and provides clinically proven UVA/UVB protection so that you can protect the fun.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Everyday Active Sunscreen Lotion by Hawaiian Tropic, high performance sport sunscreen lotion.

Everyday Active Sunscreen Lotion by Hawaiian Tropic

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

High performance sport sunscreen lotion.

What makes it special? Hawaiian Tropic Everyday Active Sunscreen Lotion is an ultra-light, high-performance sunscreen that keeps up with your everyday active lifestyle with your beauty in mind, whether you’re taking your favorite outdoor workout class, hiking with your dog, or catching a few waves. This breathable formula is oil-free, and won’t clog pores, so you can feel good about applying and re-applying throughout the day.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Banana Boat vs Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil

Tanning lotions provide a means for achieving that radiant, deep summer tan without overexposing your skin to harmful UV rays from the sun. They are typically offered with a Sun Protection Factor of 15 or less, and are not strictly 'sunscreens' since they do not provide total protection from the sun.

Two of the best tanning lotions are: the Banana Boat Dry Oil Tanning Spray SPF 15 and the Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Dry Spray Oil.

Comparison

Both tanning oils come in the form of a spray, and contain moderate sun protection (between SPF 4 and SPF 20) thanks to chemical sunscreen ingredients such as Avobenzone and Octocrylene.

The Banana Boat Deep Tanning Dry Oil Sunscreen contains Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Grape Oil, and Argan Oil, whereas the Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Oil contains Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter. Oils supposedly help you achieve a deeper tan by allowing for an increase in the absorption of UV rays, we need not tell you the obvious risks that this poses, though.

Though you might expect that a product containing oils would feel oily, both lotions actually contain mattifying ingredients that help them to feel non-greasy & lightweight, granting them their 'Dry Oil' names.

As with the sunscreen we reviewed above, the Hawaiian Topic Island Tanning Oil also contains several island-inspired botanicals like Papaya, Mango, Passion Fruit, Plumeria, Guava, and Aloe for the iconic Hawaiian Tropic scent, as well as their skin soothing and nourishing benefits. The Banana Boat Deep Tanning Dry Oil Sunscreen also boasts a lovely tropical fragrance, smelling mainly coconutty.

Summary

Again, it's incredibly difficult to choose between the two, especially considering their stellar ratings and reviews all over the internet. Fundamentally, they both achieve precisely the same results, so it really does just come down to something as minor as preference of fragrance when deciding between the two. We would like to note that there is a version of the Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Oil floating around which contains oxybenzone, though, which is definitely one to avoid. All Banana Boat products—including the Dry Oil Sunscreen Spray— are oxybenzone-free.

Dry Oil Sunscreen Spray by Banana Boat, deep tanning dry oil sunscreen spray.

Dry Oil Sunscreen Spray by Banana Boat

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Deep tanning dry oil sunscreen spray.

What makes it special? Made with coconut oil, this unique, lightweight dry-oil formula goes beyond sun protection, leaving your skin feeling silky-smooth. The low SPF, lightweight and water-resistant formula with coconut oil promotes a sun-kissed glow.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Island Tanning Oil by Hawaiian Tropic, protects like a lotion, enhances your tan.

Island Tanning Oil by Hawaiian Tropic

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Protects like a lotion, enhances your tan.

What makes it special? Hawaiian Tropic Protective Dry Spray Oil drenches your skin in protective moisture. Infused with Coconut and Guava, the oil protects like a lotion, whilst the moisturising formula helps keep skin beautiful.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Banana Boat Best-Sellers

For the best sun protection:
Try the Ultra Defense MAX Sunscreen


For sensitive skin:
Try the Simply Protect Sensitive Sunscreen


For weightless protection:
Try the Light As Air Sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic Best-Sellers

For a matte finish:
Try the Sheer Touch Sunscreen


For after sun:
Try the After Sun Moisturizer


For the best sun protection:
Try the Silk Hydration Sunscreen

Work in progress

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