Since I was about 7 years old, my entire body has consistently been slathered in sunscreen for every beach, pool, or park day. Back then, my mom was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer in the U.S.) the first of a dozen times. Although I knew it was saving me from the pain my mom has suffered, the way white, pasty SPF clung to my skin like a greasy blanket made me cringe every time I put it on.
Throughout my 29 years, my disdain for the texture of body sunscreen remained — that is until I tried the new Bask SPF 30 Lotion for the first time.
From the first second a dollop of the SPF hit my skin, I knew my body was in for a completely different sunblock experience. Although the white cream is called a lotion, it doesn't feel like one. Instead, Bask's sunscreen is more like a milky serum for the neck down. My skin slurped it up in seconds. And after a couple of minutes, it barely felt like SPF was on my person. The only giveaway that I'm practicing safe sun is the old-school coconut-vanilla scent the product leaves behind.
We talk to dermatologist Caroline Robinson and a climate change expert about the effects of the sun on our skin, how to choose and use SPF, and the one place you're definitely forgetting to apply it.
Bask's founder Michael Huffstetler launched the sunscreen with a similar story to mine in mind. After his beloved uncle passed away after battling melanoma, Huffstetler sought to make sun care more accessible in any way he could. First, he started the Skin Protection Foundation, which will start giving out free sunblock to beachgoers in the Northeast this summer. And now, Bask not only provides a safe, effective formula to hand out but also 10 percent of the profits from every purchase of a bottle goes toward the foundation.
For about a year and a half, Huffstetler worked with a lab to create a sunscreen people actually look forward to reapplying. He even referred to the watery, transparent consistencies of Korean facial sunscreens as the inspiration for Bask's products. People — like yours truly — often coat their bodies with the K-beauty import because they prefer the weightless, liquid-like textures of Korean sunscreens.
I can attest to Bask's success in this endeavor. The lotion smooths on just as my beloved Neogen Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen does. Although the new Bask SPF appears white straight out of its adorable butter-yellow-and-sky-blue tube, it smooths on as sheer as it feels.
And just as Bask intended, I actually look forward to reapplying the SPF lotion. My tri-daily dog park visits with my puppy, Scorpion, are prefaced by sunscreen application. A fellow park patron even calls him Coconut because the scent of the sunblock transfers onto his fur when I hug him.
The Bask SPF 30 Lotion is spiked with chemical UVA and UVB filters, particularly avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene. The latter is not to be confused with oxybenzone and octinoxate. Both weren't included in the formula to minimize the likeliness of skin irritation, as well as to protect coral reefs. (If you concerned about chemical sunscreen usage, I recommend listening to the SPF episode of The Science of Beauty podcast.) Aloe leaf juice and cocoa seed butter also made Bask's ingredient list to help the lotion hydrate and calm skin while protecting it.
If you prefer to spritz on your sunscreen, Bask also offers an SPF 30 Continuous Spray. Reaching for the non-aerosol, propellant-free can is like taking a moment to mist on coconut water. Unlike the SPF sprays of my youth, this one doesn't leave skin shiny and oily. It just sinks into skin like perfume. The only reason why I prefer the lotion is the application is more intentional and tactile for me. I like knowing I'm getting every inch of my skin I possibly can, including my tattoos.
Ready to try and reapply one — or both — of the Bask sunscreens? They're available now for your next beach day (or trip to the dog park) on basksuncare.com for $28 each.
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