Review of Block Island Organics Sunscreen

I was asked to try and review some organic sunscreen by Will of Block Island Organics.  He sent me out a couple of free samples (SPF 15 and 40) to test out on myself, my kids, and anybody else who I thought might be getting too much sun. 

Samples of the Block Island Organic Suncreen

Samples of the Block Island Organic Suncreen

There are a couple things that I look for in sunscreen: It has to be sweat proof.  I am a sweaty bastard, even if I am not running. The last thing I need is sunscreen in my eyes. I also want something that goes on easy.  I am a hairy guy, so some of the thicker sunscreens get stuck in my arm hair, and therefore it isn’t getting on my skin. If the sunscreen can prevent sunburn, that is a bonus as well.

The ingredients are organic and natural, and while it isn’t a spray, it goes on nice and thin and spreads easily.  It doesn’t have any added scent in the sunblock (so you don’t smell like banana taffy or a pina colada), but the natural ingredients add an odor to it (eucalyptus mainly).  This smell is pleasant, but it doesn’t linger (and get annoying).

Ingredient list for the SPF 40 Block Island Organics Sunscreen

Ingredient list for the SPF 40 Block Island Organics Sunscreen

Side note: (Please read in your best Jerry Seinfeld voice) It says to keep the product out of direct sunlight. What’s the deal with that? It’s sunblock, where else am I supposed to use this product? – it’s the excessive heat that is bad for the stuff, and direct sunlight causes excessive heat.

I have worn it on several occasions during my runs, the longest being 90 minutes long, and it didn’t get into my eyes.  I also didn’t get sunburned.  Okay, that isn’t entirely true.  I forgot to put some on the front of my neck, and I got a tad sunburned there.  However, that was due to my own ineptitude, not the sunscreen.

I also wore the sunscreen when I did some archaeology work, and when I went to the snow with the Dashing Son.  Yes, we took a special trip to the snow. I had to drive 100 miles and get to about 7000 feet above sea level to find snow in Northern California.  The weather may be fantastic here this winter (we hit 80 degrees this last weekend), but we are heading into a severe drought, and will probably be undergoing water rationing this summer. Anyway, I wore the Block Island Organics SPF40 sunscreen all day (I did not reapply because I am lazy and forgot) and didn’t get burned, and neither did Dashing Son.

The sunscreen is also water resistant, but I have not tried it in the pool yet. While the weather is nice right now, the local pools aren’t open and the rivers and lakes are still a bit chilly for swimming.

If I had one complain, it would be that the sunscreen did not fully absorb into my skin. It left me looking a bit pale. I am guessing this was the result of the zinc oxide. However, I did like this when I applied the sunscreen to the Dashing Son. I could easily tell the places I had missed and the places he managed to wipe off later on in the day. Also, it wasn’t like I could feel the sunscreen on my face, I just noticed it when I looked in the mirror, or at my son.

All in all, this was good stuff, and I like the fact it is organic with all natural ingredients, especially for my kids.

If you want to get some, check out, or click on one of the amazon links below.



6 thoughts on “Review of Block Island Organics Sunscreen

  1. Great review! I’m surprised this is the first I’ve ever heard of it considering Block Island is in my backyard (well, if my backyard were really, really big and over and ocean).

  2. Hi all, the folks at Block Island Organics here. First, just wanted to say thanks to the Dashing Dad and the Dashing Son for reviewing our product. We are a small startup and really appreciate it!

    Second, the Dashing Dad mentioned the whitening and we just wanted to explain it. Yes, he is correct, it is the zinc and titanium that can create a slight whitening effect. This is endemic to all mineral sunscreens. It can be rubbed in but at a higher SPF it’s more prevalent. I’m not sure if the Dashing Dad tried the SPF 15 as well but it will be less whitening, potentially not whitening at all, compared to the SPF 40. This is because less zinc and titanium are needed to make an SPF 15 than an SPF 40.

    We do a lot to reduce the whitening effect but as with all mineral sunscreens, it can be there. One thing we see people do when we demo the product is glop on a lot of sunscreen in one spot which can increase the whitening. It works better to put multiple dabs across your arm, leg, etc. and then rub it in. Again, not sure if this was the case with the Dashing Dad, more just a piece of advice.

    Another way to reduce the whitening is to use nano-particles for the zinc and titanium. Essentially very very small particles. We don’t do this as there is some controversy over the safety of nano-particles. The controversy may be a little overblown but for the time being we’ve decided to go non-nano to err on the safe side. There may come a time when that changes if we feel more comfortable as additional research comes out.

    Anyway, thanks again to the Dashing Dad!

    • Thanks BIO, I did use the SPF 15, but only once during a bike ride, and didn’t look in the mirror afterwards. As far as application, I spread a glob all over my hands and then applied it that way, maybe I used too much. Thanks for the clearing this up.

      And you are welcome for the review
      Dashing Dad.

  3. Ha! Yes, the “Protect this product from excessive heat and direct sunlight” statement does sound like something out of Seinfeld.

    It’s a statement mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Specifically the FDA says:

    We received submissions requesting that we add a new statement about storage conditions under “Other information” in the Drug Facts label (Ref. 1). The submissions argued that sunscreen products in containers are often exposed to heat when used at the beach, swimming pools, etc. The concern expressed in the submissions was that heat could cause sunscreen formulations inside containers to change, resulting in less sun protection. We agree with the submissions. Sunscreen products within containers should not be exposed to direct sun and can be protected by wrapping them in towels and/or keeping them in shaded environments (e.g., under an umbrella and/or in a purse or bag). Consumers could also store sunscreen product containers in coolers while outside during hot periods. In this final rule we are requiring the following statement in the “Other information” section of the Drug Facts label: “[Bullet] protect the product in this container from excessive heat and direct sun” (new 21 CFR 201.327(f)).

    Does seem odd for a sun protection product though.

  4. […] failed me.  I had music and GPS for 9 hours.  Also, I didn’t get sunburned (I wore my Block Island Organics SPF 40 sunscreen and never […]

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