Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Health & Safety > Sunscreens > Neutrogena Cooling Body Mist Sunblock > Owner Review by John Waters

Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock
July 19, 2007


NAME: John R. Waters
AGE: 58
LOCATION: White Lake, Michigan USA
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 178 lb (80.70 kg)

My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, on glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts. I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, with other day-long hikes on various SE Michigan trails. I also hike in Colorado and am relocating there, which will increase my hiking time and trail variety tremendously. My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.


Manufacturer: Neutrogena Corporation
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website:
Listed Weight: 5 fl oz (141.5 g)
Measured Weight: 6.5 oz (180 g) - this is product and dispenser weight
SPF Strength available: 30 and 45
SPF Strength tested: 45
Packaging: 7 in (18 cm) tall, 2 in (5 cm) diameter aluminum aerosol can with a detachable plastic cap
Other details: Non-comedogenic (won't clog pores); PABA-free
Utilizes a new sun protection technology called "Helioplex" which covers the total UVA/UVB spectrum.

Manufacturer's Directions for use: "Apply 15-30 minutes before sun exposure. Do not apply in windy conditions. Hold can 4-6 inches away from body and apply liberally, spraying slowly and evenly until product is visible on skin. Do not spray into face. Spray into hand and apply to the face. Use in well ventilated areas. Reapply after swimming, excessive perspiration, towel drying or extended sun exposure."
Neutrogena Sunblock
Picture from Neutrogena Website


Newlin Creek Hike
Newlin Creek Hike in Colorado June 2007
Over the last two months, I hiked several times a week when in southeast Michigan at local recreation areas on training hikes with full pack weights. I also traveled to southeast Colorado monthly for 14 to 21 days at a time with at least 2 days of each trip dedicated to hiking (weekends). Plus, during the course of business, I had to hike into remote locations often for antenna/tower work. This had me climbing up rocky random paths and remote access roads which are not maintained. I always wore a pack in these situations and hiked 4 or 5 mi (6 to 8 km) each day through this terrain, putting on as much as 30 to 40 mi (48 to 64 km) each week and 60 to 80 mi (97 to 129 km) or more each month. During these hikes, my pack weight generally consisted of 25 to 40 lb (11 to 18 kg) of gear while scrambling over very rocky sloped and slippery terrain.

Michigan weather during the testing period was mostly dry and fairly warm in early summer. Colorado weather was wetter than normal and cool to rather warm. Temperatures ranged from 40 F (4 C) at night to 90 F (32 C) in the daytime.

Terrain has covered everything from flat sandy lakeshore (in Michigan) to the mountainous Sangre de Cristos and Cooper Mountain regions in Colorado. Elevation ranged from a low of 600 ft (183 m) in Michigan to a low of 5000 ft (1524 m) in Colorado, and up to 13000 ft (3962 m) in Colorado


I have fair, dry, sensitive skin and burn easily. Whenever I'm going to be out in the sun, I need to apply a sunblock or risk an uncomfortable burn in a matter of hours. Sunblock is especially important to me now that I spend so much of my time at elevations over 5000 ft (1524 m). Sunblock has become like using deodorant, just something I have to put on each morning.

I hate the sticky, greasy feeling of most sunblocks on the market. Rubbing the goopy stuff into the hair on my legs and arms is particularly annoyng. Then there is the waiting around while the lotion or cream sinks into my skin and becomes slightly less sticky. Pulling on a tee shirt or pants after application always feels gross as the material often sticks to the sunblock.

When the sunblock needs to be re-applied, I'm usually sweaty and it takes even longer. Of course, if I do get the slightest hint of a sunburn, rubbing anything on it is just not what I want to have to do.

The Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock (hereafter referred to as just "Neutrogena Sunblock") is very different from most sunblocks. It sprays on as a fine mist, no rubbing into my skin is required.

According to the directions, the mist is supposed to be applied "until the product is visible on skin". While that is subjective, in one "pass" I can usually tell the sunblock is on my skin. In less than a minute, my skin is dry to the touch. Even on occasions where I have been a bit more liberal in my application, my skin still dries more quickly than with traditional lotions and creams. However, it is easy to "overdose" with the mist since I can't always see it on my skin and then I get the typical greasy sunblock look and feeling. My only concern is the mist and whether it is safe to breathe in any of the cloud.

Another advantage of using the Neutrogena Sunblock is the mist will reach exposed skin that I might need a not-always-present partner to cover.

When the sunblock is applied it smells rather flowery. This alone makes me feel it's a better product to use in the bear country where I hike rather than the typical fruity smells of most other sunblocks. I'd rather smell like a flower than a potential meal! Fortunately, even this unoffensive scent dissipates rather quickly. And the scent did not appear to attract insects either.

I was also happy to note that using bug repellents containing Deet did not cause the Neutrogena Sunblock to become ineffective.

When using the Neutrongena Sunblock, as well as any other sunblock, on my face, I first apply it to my hands and then apply it to my face. The problem with this product is that I need to put a lot on my fingertips because so much of it dries before I can even get my fingertips up to my face to apply it.

As far as the "Fresh Cooling" aspect of the product name, I guess I can say that the mist is cool when being applied because of the aerosol affect of cooling gases under pressure, but there is no chance I'm going to re-apply just to cool off when out in the sun.

Bottom line, during the past 4 months, I have not gotten a sunburn while using the Neutrogena Sunblock. Yet the one day that I didn't take the time to apply it, I did get red on the back of my neck. So, I would have to say that the product works.


1. Spray delivery system is convenient and easy to use. Not as messy as creams or lotions.
2. Dries quickly. I can comfortably put clothing over it almost immediately.
3. High SPF value.


1.) Initial scent is very floral. But at least it's not fruit-scented and it does dissipate fairly quickly
2.) Sometimes I can't tell where I applied it because it dries so fast and is so transparent.


I like it! The packaging is small enough to jam into almost any backpack pocket or pouch. It's quick and easy to apply and it protects me from sunburn. That works for me.

John R. Waters

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Neutrogena gear
Read more gear reviews by John Waters

Reviews > Health & Safety > Sunscreens > Neutrogena Cooling Body Mist Sunblock > Owner Review by John Waters

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson