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Hawaiian Tropic vs Australian Gold 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

By Calum Torrington

25 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 Hawaiian Tropic and Australian Gold.

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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Hawaiian Tropic vs Australian Gold 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.

Australian Gold offers a host of incredibly popular sunscreens, however, our pick of the bunch is the best-selling Moisture Max Sunscreen Lotion for its lightweight, water-resistant, non-greasy formula, and the fact that it is available in a wide range of SPFs.

Hawaiian Tropic similarly offers an incredible range of sunscreens. For this particular comparison we'll be comparing the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Lotion. To see the rest of our top picks from Hawaiian Tropic (and Australian Gold) 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 (Hawaiian Tropic's Sunscreen also contains Octisalate).

They both also contain Vitamin C and 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 Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Sunscreen Lotion contains several island-inspired botanicals like Papaya, Mango, Passion Fruit, Plumeria, Guava, Shea Butter and Aloe for the iconic Hawaiian Tropic scent, as well as their skin soothing, moisturizing and nourishing benefits.

The Australian Gold Moisture Max Sunscreen Lotion boasts a similarly nature-inspired ingredients list, featuring Australian Native Kakadu Plum, Green Tea Extracts, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil and Olive Fruit Oil - all of which boast powerful skin-soothing, antioxidant and nourishing properties. Also, it wouldn't be an Australian Gold product without the signature 'CocoaDreams' fragrance that never fails to leave you smelling wonderful.

There are clearly major parallels between the two, and 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!

Summary

Statistical analysis of online reviews reveals that customers generally tend to prefer Australian Gold for its smell, protection, and quality, whereas Hawaiian Tropic customers rave about its hydration, moisturization, and texture.

Whichever you choose—whether it be because of the nostalgic Austalian Gold or Hawaiian Tropic scent, or some other preference—be confident in the fact that you are getting the absolute best of the best sun protection.

Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen Lotion is available as a lotion.

Australian Gold Moisture Max Sunscreen Lotion is available as a lotion, and spray.

Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Sunscreen Lotion by Hawaiian Tropic, Protects and softens for radiant skin..

Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Sunscreen Lotion by Hawaiian Tropic

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Protects and softens for radiant skin.

What makes it special? Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance sunscreen lotion offers triple enhancement for radiant skin; it protects, softens, and leaves skin glowing. This luxurious formula has a hint of sheen and leaves your skin soft and luminous. This ultra-conditioning formula contains Vitamins C & E, with mango fruit extract and a shea butter complex for skin-loving suncare you can trust.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Moisture Max Sunscreen Lotion by Australian Gold, provides perfect UVA and UVB protection, as well as great skincare.

Moisture Max Sunscreen Lotion by Australian Gold

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Provides perfect UVA and UVB protection, as well as great skincare.

What makes it special? Thanks to the Aloe Vera and Natural Oils, this sun cream has lovely spreadability and absorbs into the skin quickly, minimising that usual greasy after-feel of most SPFs. Green Tea Extracts, Tea Tree Oil, Sunflower Seed Extracts and Vitamin E also combine to improve overall skin health and condition to ensure an even, healthy looking tan as well as top quality sun protection.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Hawaiian Tropic vs Australian Gold Tanning Oil

Tanning oils 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 oils are: the Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray and the Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Dry Spray Oil.

Comparison

Both tanning oils come in the form of a spray, however only the Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Dry Spray Oil contains moderate sun protection (between SPF 4 and SPF 20) thanks to chemical sunscreen ingredients such as Avobenzone and Octocrylene. This means you *must* apply additional sunscreen with the Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray.

The Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray contains Tea Tree Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Banana Extract, and Carrot Oil, whereas the Hawaiian Tropic Island Tanning Oil contains Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter.

The reason for the seemingly excessive inclusion of oils is that they 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. Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier also contains Melanin, Caramel, and Walnut Shell which further accelerates the bronzing effect.

While 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. That said, if you get wet (i.e. taking a dip in the sea or a pool) then bear in mind that your skin will feel incredibly slippery.

As with the sunscreen we reviewed above, the Hawaiian Tropic 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 Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray instead boasts the classic 'CocoaDreams' fragrance, smelling nothing short of divine.

Summary

Fundamentally, the Australian Gold Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray is the better option of the two when purely looking at enhancing the tanning process. However, the inclusion of SPF in Hawaiian Tropic's Island Tanning Oil is incredibly convenient, and is definitely a worthy trade-off for most people.

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

Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray by Australian Gold, deep tanning dry oil spray.

Bronzing Intensifier Dry Oil Spray by Australian Gold

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Deep tanning dry oil spray.

What makes it special? Combines the Iconic Biosine Complex with Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Oil. This works to flatten skin cells, allowing UV to penetrate deeper for deeper, longer-lasting tanning results faster. The use of the Biosine Complex also offers great moisturisation for a soft, smooth feel. Banana Extract is used as a natural colour booster to help deepen your natural tan.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Australian Gold Best-Sellers

For the face:
Try the Face BB Cream


For outdoor activity:
Try the Extreme Sport Sunscreen


For extended tan:
Try the Tan Extender Lotion

Hawaiian Tropic Best-Sellers

For outdoor activity:
Try the Everyday Active 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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