Thursday, July 14th, 2011


Coola Sport SPF 45

Coola Mango Sport Suncare SPF 45

Coola Mango Sport Suncare SPF 45 ($32.00 for 5 oz.) smells like a tropical cocktail and the beach. It just has that “beach” scent with a fruity sweetness that seems part mango, part something else. It’s pleasant and certainly masks any “sunscreen” scent. This particular sunscreen is available unscented, though. I needed a sunscreen to bring to my parents’ house, because I knew I was going to be outside watching Mellan swim, and I found this in my SPF bin and threw it in my bag.

active ingredients: Octocrylene (Sunscreen) 7.50%, Octinoxate (Sunscreen) 7.50%, Oxybenzone (Sunscreen) 5.0%, Octisalate (Sunscreen) 5.0%, Homosalate (Sunscreen) 5.0%, Avobenzone (Sunscreen) 3.0%

It’s a completely chemical-based sunscreen (although zinc oxide is listed as the last ingredient–presumably the concentration is so low that it doesn’t make it on the active ingredients list or isn’t used as sunscreen here). For a great dialogue about different chemical sunscreens, check out the discussion in this post. Avobenzone has been said to be unstabilized, but the presence of octocrylene will make it photostable (Reference).  For their claims of natural/organic ingredients, check their website, but the version I’m reviewing here is slightly different (possibly an older formulation).

As far as a body sunscreen goes, this isn’t cost-effective at all (you should be using about an ounce of sunscreen to cover the entire body, which means this tube is the equivalent of five uses) (Reference). Chemical sunscreens, like this one, should be applied approximately thirty minutes (Reference). From a consistency/texture standpoint, I liked it enough–it spreads easily over the skin, and it dries down within a few minutes to a non-greasy finish. It doesn’t get greasy in the heat, but it did feel a little sticky after an hour outdoors.  Coola says it can be used on face and body, though, so perhaps, for some, it would be a possible option.

It’s nice but not something I’d purchase in the future, just because I don’t need a high-end sunscreen for my body (I’m more willing to for facial sunscreens, since I take photos often and sometimes breakout).  We all skimp somewhere!

inactive ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, PVP/Eicosene Copolymer, Sorbitan, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Root Extract (Organic), Nylon-12, Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Dimethicone, DEA Cetyl Phosphate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Acrylates/Steareth 20 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, PEG 100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) (Organic), Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Flower Extract (Organic), Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (Organic), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit (Organic), Borage (Borago Officinalis) Seed Oil (Organic), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Extract (Organic), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil (Organic), Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract (Organic), Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract (Organic), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract (Organic), Parfum, Equisetum Hyemale (Horsetail) Extract, Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract (Organic), Arnica Montana (Montana Flower) Extract (Organic), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Extract (Organic), Zinc Oxide

See one more photo…


Coola Sport SPF 45

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13 thoughts on “Coola Mango Sport Suncare SPF 45 Review

  1. John

    Christine, there’s a discrepancy when it comes to the ingredient list for this product. The link you provided to their website has a different ingredient list than the one printed on the back of the tube.

    Okay, so I think I’ll base my review on the ingredient list on the website because that most likely is the one that’s up to date, but I could be wrong. Since the active ingredients are the same, I’ll just copy and paste the inactive ones.

    Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (ORGANIC Aloe Vera) Flower Extract, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Phosphate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Tricontanyl PVP (Waterproof Agent), Glycerin (Plant Derived), Dimethicone (Mineral Based), Acrylates Copolymer, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Allantoin (Comfrey Root Derived), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Dog (Rosa Canina) Rose Hips, Cucumis Sativus (ORGANIC Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (ORGANIC Shea Butter), Beeswax (ORGANIC), Borage (Starflower) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (ORGANIC Evening Primrose) Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid (Plant Derived), Sorbitan Stearate, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Nylon-12, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Polysorbate-60 (Plant Derived), Glyceryl Stearate (Plant Derived), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract, Pollen Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Extract, Birch Extract, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil.

    Overall, this sunscreen is a very basic, but good sunscreen. The avobenzone has indeed been relatively stabilized by the inclusion of 7.5% octocrylene, 10% being the maximum concentration allowed in the US. This product indeed needs to be applied to the skin about 30 minutes before sun exposure in order to insure the labeled amount of protection. Besides the UVB protection of 45, the UVA protection is very solid as well. According to the BASF sunscreen simulator, which I believe is relatively accurate (though granted it is only a simulator), the UVA PPD is pretty good around 11, which means it absorbs about 91% of UVA rays. So rest assured that this gives full UVA and UVB protection.

    Now as to the “certified” organic ingredients and their touted benefits, in this case, they don’t really matter. Besides various peptides, the only other category of inactive ingredients that really matter in sunscreens is antioxidants because antioxidants serve as a second layer of protection against the UV rays of the sun and work synergistically with sunscreen ingredients. This particular formulations has several forms like Tocopheryl Acetate, Matricaria Extract, etc… However, all of these beneficial ingredients are listed after the preservative used, Phenoxyethanol, which means that there is only a mere dusting of these good ingredients. This means that the amount present is most likely not going to have any effect on the skin since the ingredient list is not listed alphabetically. Instead it is most likely listed by descending amount. And since preservatives are used in miniscule amounts, one can only imagine how little of these antioxidants are in this particular formulation. Not to mention that this product has potentially irritating ingredients like Spearmint and Ginseng Extract, though in infinitesimal amounts, that in the end just add to the fact that this is a very dull formulation.

    There really isn’t much else to say about this mundane formulation. Ultimately, it is an effective sunscreen, but that’s about it. You can certainly get equally good chemical-based sunscreens from Neutrogena and other brands for far cheaper. I agree with Christine, that this is not a must-have and isn’t worth the buy.

    One more thing, if anyone is debating the safety of Oxybenzone and/or Vitamin A derivatives in sunscreens, please go to the second link provided in the post for more information.

    • Hi John,

      The purchase link (drugstore.com) is the product that I own, but it is not listed on Coola’s website (as mentioned above). I am only basing it on the product I used, which I cannot verify if there is a change in consistency, formula, etc. based on the one on their actual website, which is why I specifically linked to the product I own and reviewed for purchasing purposes :)

      • John

        Oh I see. I was wondering why the product names were slightly different. I assumed they were the same because they are both mango scented sunscreens with an SPF of 45.

        But the same review applies for the product you have. The only difference is that there is a tad more Vitamin A, Ginseng and Comfrey extracts. Ginseng and Comfrey can be skin irritants and since they are present in larger amounts, should be avoided if possible. As for the increased amount of Vitamin A… well the conversion rate of Retinyl Palmitate to Tretinoin is extremely low, but it can make the skin more sensitive to UV rays. So the benefits of the small amount of tretinoin may be negated by the sensitivity that it causes. I’m also assuming, and I have to, that the amount of Vitamin A is not very high (<0.1%) despite being close to the top of the list because this isn't marketed as a treatment, but I could be wrong. In that case, this sunscreen should be avoided because one, RP will mostly likely be destroyed by the sun before it can be converted to tretinoin and then utilized by the skin (which means that you aren't getting any "treatment"), and two, any RP that does manage to be converted to tretinoin before it is destroyed, will increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun's UV rays.

        Overall, still a boring and unnecessarily expensive sunscreen.

        • Agata

          Hi I wear sunscreen every day and prefer Korean brands , I see John You know what You talking about so any reccomendation ? (stronger spf is better for me )Thanks

          • John

            I’m not familiar with any Korean brands, but you really shouldn’t limit yourself with particular brands. When it comes to skincare, the ingredients carry the most weight when it comes to evaluating a particular product. A good sunscreen just needs to provide full UVA and UVB protection and is relatively stable during sun exposure. Any antioxidants present are always a good thing and of course irritants are not good for the skin.

    • Cole

      Wow, great breakdown of the ingredients!

  2. Lisa

    I adore this sunscreen. It’s the first sunscreen I’ve tried that I’m not allergic to. It’s also moisturising and even helped with the excema on my arms. (I use it only on my arms and neck.) For me, it’s well worth the cost.

    • John

      Well Lisa, according to the ingredients there aren’t a lot of emollients, which moisturize the skin, in this product so I don’t know how it’s moisturizing your skin. There is some shea butter, but it’s listed after the preservative so there isn’t much in this product.

      Also there’s nothing in this product that is known to treat eczema, besides the shea butter, which can reduce the dryness that exacerbates eczema.

      Now, I am being completely objective and honest here, and I mean no offense, but just because this is the “best” product you’ve tried doesn’t mean that there aren’t better ones out there. I strongly recommend that you look for other products to try that are significantly cheaper with better formulations.

      • Lisa

        I’ve tried virtually every drugstore and department store brand and formulation over the years (in the UK and the US), and I stand by my claim that this is the best! It works for me, and that’s all that matters!

  3. Deborah

    Wouldn’t octinoxate and avobenzone cancel each other out?

    • No, because there is octocrylene to stabilize.

    • John

      Christine’s right. Because octocrylene is present, octinoxate and avobenzone do not cancel each other out. However, even if octocrylene wasn’t present, the other two still don’t cancel each other out. If there were only those two ingredients in a sunscreen, they would just degrade faster when exposed to the sun versus if they were alone in separate sunscreens, theoretically. So a sunscreen with only those two ingredients certainly wouldn’t be completely useless, but it wouldn’t be very photostable and would therefore, not be recommended.

      Now just because octocrylene is present, doesn’t mean that the octinoxate doesn’t increase the rate of decay of avobenzone. We do know that the octocrylene dramatically lessens that rate of decay, but it is unknown exactly how much it lessens that rate of decay.

      By the way Christine, I just thought of something. Our beloved Jack Black lip balms only have avobenzone and octinoxate… Haha. So maybe we should look for another lip SPF product? Or maybe because lip balms are reapplied so frequently that it wouldn’t really matter? :]