Accidentally Adaptive: SolarBuddies Sunscreen Applicator

In my Accidentally Adaptive series, I share products or services that aren’t specifically designed to be adaptive but have a particular use for me as a disabled woman.

It is almost Memorial Day, and to me, that’s always felt like the sign that summer is on it’s way. It might not be summer temperatures yet in Pittsburgh, but it’s still always felt like the sign on the calendar that summer sun will be here soon. Which also means it’s time for me to be (even more) vigilant about sunscreen application. This summer, I have a new tool to make things a little easier: the SolarBuddies Sunscreen Applicator.

I have very, very fair skin and burn super easily. I had sun poisoning once in college and never want to experience that again! I was always a sunscreen wearer, but ever since that experience, I have been extra cautious about making sure to always wear sunscreen if I’ll be outside, even if it’s just in my own backyard.

I’ve tried so many different brands and formulations of sunscreen. I can’t easily apply it myself – my strength and my reach are just so limited. So when I test out sunscreens, they have to be easy for someone else to apply on me. Sprays are the easiest in some ways, but they also tend to end up covering my entire wheelchair, too, and they still need to be rubbed in too. And any sunscreen that really needs to be rubbed in super well is out – it’s just too challenging for someone else to make sure they’re really getting every spot, while also holding up my arm or my leg or wherever it’s being applied.

So I’ve found some that worked over the years, but it can still be an annoying process, and definitely deters me from re-applying as often as I should. But then I saw this SolarBuddies sunscreen applicator on Amazon, and was immediately intrigued. It was originally designed to be used for applying sunscreen on kids, but since I need a similar level of help, I wondered if it might work for me as well. And it does!

It’s basically a refillable plastic container that has a rollerball and sponge on one end. So you can use whatever sunscreen you want – you unscrew the SolarBuddies, pour in your sunscreen of choice, screw it closed again, and you’re ready to go. The roller ball helps apply it easily all over, and the sponge does the rubbing in for you. It’s a really smooth, seamless application!

Depending on your level of mobility, this might make sunscreen application an independent activity for you – the handle of the SolarBuddies is chunky enough that it’s easy to grab onto and hold, even if you don’t have great grip strength, and the fact that the sponge rubs the lotion in for you is huge.

I still can’t reach well enough to use it by myself, but it still makes it easier for someone to apply on me! The sponge makes it so much simpler to really get it quickly rubbed in everywhere it’s been applied, and the rollerball gets it everywhere it needs to be easily. It makes the whole process faster, too, which makes me more likely to re-apply later on in the day. The SolarBuddies Sunscreen Applicator is another “accidentally adaptive” win!

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