SunX Sunscreen Towelettes

SunX.jpegI have 4 kids and we are outdoors as much as possible. One down side is my blonde kids can easily get too much sun. I have tried almost every sunscreen out there and these sunscreen towelettes are the best. They come in a "baby-wipe" style of dispenser, or as individually wrapped foil packets. Each towelette has enough sunscreen to cover a person from head to toe. The kids no longer complain about it in their eyes or how cold the aerosol cans are. I also like it because it is fast to apply and easy to carry with us. It's also easy to keep the pack in our car just in case. --Scott Newton SunX Sunscreen Towelettes SPF 30 25 individually wrapped towelettes $13 [Note: I just discovered these a few weeks ago and agree that they make the normally greasy act of applying sunscreen far more pleasant. It's also easy to throw a wrapped towelette in your bag if you don't want to carry around a leaky bottle of sunscreen. -- OH] Some commenters have pointed out that you can find this in a case of 16 in a wet wipe container, but there doesn't appear to be an affordable retailer online. Don't forget to submit a tool!


  1. I used these when I was doing field work in the California’s Simi Hills. The sunscreen provided excellent protection and was much more convenient than adding another heavy supply to my backpack.

    I purchase them online (in boxes of 50) from Forestry Suppliers, who also sell packets of Tecnu, portable water filters, and other outdoor supplies.

  2. Really? I get that convenience is important for people with kids, but $13 for 25 applications of sunscreen, plus the waste of towelettes and individual foil packets? I’ll stick with bottle and hand.

    1. Most sunscreens have a pretty short shelf life. I think you’ll find that buying a bottle every year is probably as wasteful as a pack of these, if not more. How many applications are there in a bottle? If your bottle lasts you three years or so, you’re probably doing it wrong :)

    2. These seem like just the thing for backup/unexpected applications(as a blue-eyed redhead who just hasn’t been as tanned since he switched to LCDs, getting caught without really sucks…). Packets are tiny, can be shoved almost everywhere, and are unlikely to leak even at the bottom of the bag or with in-flight pressure changes.

      As you say, though, individual foil/plastic laminate packets, $13 for 25, is absurdly expensive and wasteful for routine use. The summer-staple biggest-bottle-available-of-whatever-brand-isn’t-a-complete-rip-off is hard to beat.

  3. Dont be an ididot this has Benzophenone-3, a know photocarcinogen, increases the production of free radicals thoughout your body. It’s blamed for the increase in melanoma  cases of sunscreen users and may cause breast cancer, acts like estrogen to your body. This stuff stays in your urine for 5 days. Banned in Sweden but perfectly fine in the states. 

  4. Is there a way to opt out of this stupid advertising that’s bringing down the whole quality of the site?

    1. I don’t know if BoingBoing is getting a kickback from this; I doubt it. I’m sure a good fraction of readers consider this “wonderful”, and therefore it fits into the “Directory of wonderful things” clause.

      More to your question, yes. Find the button with a circle and a little vertical line cutting through the top. Hold it down with your finger. Walk away.

      1. “Find the button with a circle and a little vertical line cutting through the top. Hold it down with your finger.”

        Easier and faster:

        Find the RJ45 connector on the cat5 cable going into the back of your computer.
        Remove it from the computer.

        There you are, fully functional computer
        and no annoying or dangerous intehwebs!

        (There will be a switch if you have RF
        link instead…)

      2. “More to your question, yes. Find the button with a circle and a little vertical line cutting through the top. Hold it down with your finger. Walk away.”

        What you say?

      3. While it’s not a kickback, these posts are absolutely, 100% generating revenue. Cool Tools and Boing Boing have a joint Amazon Associates account, and they’re receiving a percentage of every Amazon purchase made by someone who follows the link in this post (

        The “cooltoolsbb-20” at the end of that link is what tells Amazon they referred you. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s pretty standard practice on blogs that link to products. But I would appreciate if BB was more transparent and explained what the Cool Tools business is all about, and who exactly is profiting.

      4. I don’t see any “button with a circle and a little vertical line cutting through the top”. Perhaps because I disable Javascript or whatever.

        1. Heh. The button should be on your monitor, keyboard or computer case, or, if you have a laptop, all of the above :)

          I’m going to check out this EWG report that keeps being mentioned.

    2. I don’t like all the cool tool posts but I’ve found some useful information from some of them and even bought a dough whisk after one of them. On the other hand, I hate the steam punk posts which is why I go into those comment threads and demand they don’t get posted … oh wait, no I don’t, I just skip them and move on with my day.

      I don’t like the waste of this one but can definitely see how it’d be handy to have for those days/times when I’ve forgotten to plaster my redheaded-easily-burned child with sunscreen before we leave the house.

  5. As a cyclist, these things have saved my skin (ha!) dozens of times. You can slip one into your baggie of stuff in your jersey pocket, and forget it’s even there UNTIL you are out in the middle of nowhere and need to apply, or reapply sunscreen before you get crispy baconized. That’s the best kind of tool; the kind that’s always there when you need it, without having to remember it.

  6. Currently where I live (Seattle) and with my lifestyle (nerd) I don’t have to apply a lot of sunblock but being a red-head, I do have to carry sunscreen for those times when I am outside. Something like this seems pretty awesome, since I am ALWAYS worrying about the bottles bursting. Or running out, since the little tubes and bottles don’t always accurately convey how much you have left. It’s sad when you go somewhere and go to put on your sunscreen and all your bottle can muster is a pathetic little PFFFT and a glob that will barely cover your face.

    And let’s not get into the whole TSA flying thing, where I forgot that my larger-than-4oz-tube of sunscreen wouldn’t make it through the airport and had to abandon a fresh tube purchased on vacation. These wipes would make it through, I’m assuming. (Stupid TSA.)

    I’d definitely give these a try.

  7. I kind of find these posts annoying because they are clearly posted by a person, “I have 4 kids.” etc. but there is no tagline. Can we have a face and name on who’s posting?

  8. It also seems these would be simple to manufacture at home.
    Cut a roll of paper towels in half. Then somehow infuse with the ecologically correct sunscreen of choice. The sunscreen might need to be thinned – the process needs development(anyone?). Place a small colander on top of the half roll and allow the product to soak downwards. Maybe invert or place the roll in a bowl for a more even distribution. It’s an idea worth pursuing, given price and availability.

  9. why does convenience always seem to come with added waste? is life truly so difficult now that we can’t just squeeze a little from the bottle and apply? no, we need towelettes. we need more things to throw in the garbage. we seemed to get taxed for everything. why not add on a garbage tax to things based on the amount of garbage they produce….this being a good example.

  10. Wow, this looks like an incredible waste generating device. Instead of just using liquid, now we get to make a bunch of paper waste. The kids get to drop it on the ground, and it gets blown into a forest where some deer eats it and dies from the chemical crap all over it. Or, we put it away in our bag, for later placement in a landfill. I rather just use spray or a tube, less waste, and a one -time disposal instead of 20.

  11. UGGH!! OK Cool Tools is a great website, so stop ripping them off and let those who are interested simply go there themselves.

    As for this product. YAY . . . let’s throw away more stuff!!!!! The disposable economy is just what Boing Boing promotes on a regular basis. Hmm . . . seems to me that I can get sunscreen in a small bottle far far cheaper than these scraps of paper towel, and as a Red Head I know quite a bit about sun screen. I spend a good deal of time in the tropics and have learned not to burn. These sun wipes will never be found in my bag. This uncool tool reeks of SPAM.

  12. Yeah I can only agree with the “wasteful” comments. If someone is really using these for regular applications of sunscreen for four kids, it’s going to get expensive ridiculously fast.

    I do see the utility here, of course, as a backup solution you can stick in various places (glove box, bike saddle bag, backpack/shoulder bag etc.) in case you need it, especially if you’re particularly prone to sun burn.

    Personally I hate sunscreen because of the greasiness. However, these days there are non-greasy sunscreens available. It doesn’t seem like these wipes use the non-greasy stuff though. The nicest one I’ve found, and which I’ve been using exclusively (though generally I don’t need it very often even though I live in southern california) is by Neutrogena, it’s got “Sheer” in the name I think.

    Works well (there’s a range of SPFs to choose from), goes on very nicely, smells nice (which is a big reason why it’s often worth it to pay a little extra for things like this), and it really isn’t greasy at all – it feels really nice actually. Plus this year the bottle design is new – it’s pretty clever and seems like it shouldn’t cause any spillage either in transit or in use (not like a standard bottle which very quickly becomes covered with greasy sunscreen so you have to store it in a plastic bag or something). It’s similar to those fancy travel containers you can get in stores like REI or EMS these days that don’t spill, and the new Hershey’s chocolate sauce bottles that also don’t spill or drip.

    Also it’s not really that expensive; even store brand sunscreen will set you back 6 or 7 dollars… and if you buy the smaller size (for 7 or 8 dollars) it’s more than enough for one or two people for a year or so if you’re not heavy users. Since (supposedly) sunscreen loses its effectiveness after sitting on the shelf for a while, you kind of need to buy a new bottle every summer anyway, so it may as well be a slightly smaller bottle of a higher-quality product so there’s less wasted.

  13. Don’t forget that while sunscreen is needed if you’re exposing yourself to long periods of solar radiation, you are advised not to cover yourself in it every time you go out on sunny days.

    “… a [1993 study] of over fifty years’ worth of medical literature … found that whilst frequent regular sun exposure acts to cause cancers that have a 0.3% death rate with 2,000 U.S. fatalities per year, it also acts to *prevent* cancers that have death rates from 20-65% with 138,000 U.S. fatalities per year.”

    So – looks like the sun is not the enemy. Give yourself regular doses of it, but avoid burning.

  14. Google North Safety SunX. The first Amazon hit was $65.99/100. If you have access to a health & safety supply store, they can be even cheaper.

    These were standard issue for field techs when I was corporate H&S. It was more cost effective than having a bottle of sunscreen in their PPE pack, and I didn’t have to worry about these leaking onto their respirators.

  15. Well, they are just a bit cheaper ($11.80) at Amazon but I don’t doubt that anyone could find them cheaper with a more thorough search.

  16. “Feeling hot and lonely in the summer heat? Don’t worry, SunX Sunscreen Towelettes have your back, and everywhere else! When you are without intimate hands, choose the number one sunscreen towelette brand! SunX Sunscreen Towelettes! Now in new Fun Size!”

  17. See also the variety with the insect repellant mixed in

    You can attach the used towelette to your hat or pack or whatever to keep on repelling bugs even after you’ve used up the wipe.

  18. A natural sunscreen is available at the vitamin counter in any drug store. It is called PABA which stands for Para Amino Benzoic Acid. It is an unnumbered B vitamin.

    1. There are reasons that PABA isn’t much used anymore. Besides the fact that some studies suggest that it increases UV damage, it’s notably allergenic.

  19. Keep COOL TOOLS on BB. It’s not spam. Lots of handy ideas there. Far preferable to some of the other BB post categories that genuinely do stretch the definition of “wonderful things” beyond tensile specs.

    I’m not sure 25 zip-open packets of this product will generate much (or any) more waste than an empty plastic bottle of sunscreen, but I’ll grant you that consideration and explain why I’ll still be using this product: Because I can stash one in my pocket, flat, for those times when I don’t plan to find myself in the sun for a long period, but do.

    I burn easily. There’s no way I can reasonably carry a messy, leaky bottle of sunscreen in my pants or shirt pocket at all times, every day, just in case (although I do keep one in my glove compartment at all times, just in case). But I can keep something flat like this in my pocket at all times, every day, just in case.

    1. Thanks for the link to the EWG site. I had no idea of the risks/unknowns related to sunscreens.

  20. Please don’t use these on your kids. While they may be easier, they are certainly not safer. Check out Environmental Working Groups sunscreen report. Mineral based sunscreens are much more effective (and safer) than the chemical sunscreens. My husband and I are also in the super white, burn instantly category of life and so this is something I have researched a lot. California Baby (available at target) makes a great face stick that is super easy to apply to kids faces without getting in the eyes. I worked in childcare and have applied sunscreen to hundreds of children. That being said, regular sunblock for the body and a face stick for the face is quick, easy, and the kids don’t mind the face stick at all (once they realize it won’t get in their eyes). Badger sunscreen is awesome and super natural. Alba mineral is a cheaper option ($3.99 at Wegman’s)and top-rated by EWG.

  21. Hmm. Did my comment get denied by a moderator? Is it against the comment policy to make light of a product featured in a Cool Tools post? Just wonderin’.

    1. Your comment should show up. I’ll unpublish and republish it.

      As to some of the others, off-topic comments may be removed. Cool Tools threads are supposed to be about the product under review.

  22. I agree that this is incredibly wasteful packaging. A bottle may use just as much plastic, but it stands a much better chance of being disposed of and even recycled than a bunch of little bags and towelettes. These things are often discarded or dropped, it’s not just ignorance, it’s human nature. They will carry their sunscreen chemicals, plastic, and fibers into whatever natural setting you need the sunscreen for. The bottle will drop in one place, hopefully a trash can or recycling bin. That’s a big difference. And the price is absurd as well. A ‘wet-wipe’ dispenser for a reasonable price would be at least a little better, for the stated ‘things are dropped and blow away’ reason.

  23. Fun Fact: The main ingredient in this sunscreen is detectable in urine for five days after applying.

  24. What I need is for more manufacturers to go back to selling combined sunscreen and insect repellant. I tend not to use sunscreen unless I’m at severe risk of cooking myself. I *will* use insect repellant at a much lower level of annoyance. The combined product gets me to use both more reliably.

  25. Great.
    Some over reproducing puppymill-for-humans spins an ad for single use, individually plastic & foil packaged, unhealthy (homosalate containing) sunscreen that costs maybe 40 times what a good and healthy one in a bottle costs to use.
    Can we hear how much they like their SUV and disposable diapers too?

  26. Hi All! Made an account just to for this thread- sunscreen really gets me worked up. My mom’s been “dying” of skin cancer for over ten years now, and feels pretty strongly that one should wear sunscreen. Lawrence of Arabia really stuck with me, and I’ve always seen the sun as poisonous; I take breaks in the shade and wear a good wide-brimmed hat when I need to be outside, which is a lot in the summer- I work at a few festivals, and attend many more. I haven’t worn sunscreen in over 10 years, and I haven’t gotten burnt but once in that time period (not even at burning man). Which brings me to a tangent: baby wipes are a pretty important part of my burnkit, and these made me think- but they wouldn’t give me any added utility, because I’m always wiping off right before I get into some shade to chill out. Anyway, I’ve always felt, with very little data I’ll admit, that sunscreen probably gives one cancer anyway (remember PABA?), and there’s a very high chance that my mother, and I, could die from it.. anyway, I’m pretty sure the sun is poisonous, and sunscreen gives you cancer. Peace!

    (I do realize that this post is about a product, and particularly using this product on children, and it does seem pretty handy for that.. and how can anyone complain about teh morals of getting payed for clicks and visits in today’s InterNets? BB has ads..)

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