Soft-Touch Cases and Suntan Lotion Do Not Mix: A Gear Diary PSA


I love a minimalist iPhone case with a soft touch feel. among my favorites are the Feather cases from Incipio. I have one for my iPhone 4 and I also bought one for my iPad 2. They look and feel great. Here’s what Incipio has to say about them:

Measuring less than 1mm in thickness, the feather® for iPhone 4 is a slim, form-fitting case that offers low-profile protection. Don’t like feeling the added bulk of a traditional case? Go lightweight and sexy with the feather®.

With the largest variety of color selections to choose from, the feather® is the most diverse and colorful carrying case solution. Choose from a rich and ever-expanding pallette that grows with fresh new colors of each season.

Our popular feather® for iPhone 4 allows complete accessibility to all ports and buttons. Charge your device with ease through the open charge port while your device remains protected in this sleek case.

Yes, they are great cases it you want to protect your device from scratches but don’t need TOO much protection. And at under $25 they are a good deal. (You can order yours here.)

One word of advice though… use a different case if you are spending the day at the beach. You see, a soft touch finish doesn’t play well with… suntan lotion.

I found out the hard way when suddenly my Incipio Feather case started looking like this yesterday.

Photo 4

And as the day went on it only got worse.


Yes, the soft-touch “feather” finish all but fell off the case. I emailed the company to see if this was a common issue. To their credit they were VERY responsive and offered to send a replacement. (Love dealing with companies like that!!) I was more interested in whether or not this was a common issue. The response was VERY telling. They wrote-

…any petroleum based products may have caused this issue. Please be aware that any product that contains petroleum may have caused this to occur on your case such as certain lotions or sunscreens. Also, sunlight may cause the polycarbonate to be more sensitive to peeling.

That is exactly what happened here. Because I was at the beach I was using a lot of suntan lotion and, within a day or two, it caused the finish to separate.

Again, It is worth noting that Incipio was AWESOME about replacing the case and their customer service was second to none. I have, however, suggested they make a note in the product description. (Or they could simply link to this post.) 🙂

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.