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Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Sunscreen on 08/05/2013 11:47:41 MDT Print View

Which sunscreen do you use? I've been using Banana Boat but I have heard good things about Neutrogena.

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
doesn't really matter on 08/05/2013 11:58:38 MDT Print View

I work outside for a living during the summer. Cant say I've ever really noticed a difference between any brands, as long as its a sport lotion that can stand sweating. I've been using the target brand up & up sport spf 50 for the last couple years. Cheap and effective. Also, always lotion, never spray.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Aveeno is good! on 08/05/2013 13:04:56 MDT Print View

I wear long sleeves. That being said, I dated a girl with sensitive skin so I got her Aveeno 70SPF. She said it saved her life, but that may have been flirting.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Sunscreen" on 08/05/2013 13:31:06 MDT Print View

Neutrogena gets good reviews but it doesn't have zinc and/or titanium. From what I've read, zinc or titanium are excellent--the best--for sun protection. They're also awful in the sense that they leave a white residue on your face that takes a while to disappear, if ever.

Badger zinc/titanium block is just bomber. It stays on for hours; hard to sweat it off. Very high percentage minerals. Looks awful.

CVS zinc block isn't too expensive and looks better than most blocks, imo. A pretty high percentage of zinc.

(I can never remember if these mineral blocks contain zinc, titanium or both, so I'm just writing Zinc to refer to "some kind of mineral content".)

I believe that consumer reports gives Neutrogena high marks, so their formula must be pretty good as well.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: "Sunscreen" on 08/05/2013 13:58:31 MDT Print View has a sunscreen guide

The say that sunscreens are better at filtering UVB which causes sunburn which is a good thing, but don't filter out UVA very good which causes skin cancer and skin ageing.

Best is staying indoors, in the shade, or wearing long pants, sleeves, and hat with brim on all sides.

Zinc and Titanium oxides are good, but they stay on skin surface so come off easily, like there's this white stuff that gets on your clothes. They usually make it into nano-particles, so it's less visible, but then there are some questions about whether it will turn into dust, get into your lungs, and cause lung cancer

Avobenzone works some. It quickly breaks down so you have to re-apply. There's something (homosalate?, octocrylene, and octisalate) that makes it last a little longer before breaking down so you don't have to re-apply as often.

Oxybenzone, 4-MBC, and octinoxate may mimic hormones that interfere with normal development.

Vitamin A can cause skin cancer when applied to sun exposed to sunlight - exactly what you're trying to prevent.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: "Sunscreen" on 08/05/2013 14:01:31 MDT Print View

Coppertone Sport High Performance has avobenzone, all three stabilizers, and no oxybenzone, vitamin A, or the other bad ones.

Of course they often reformulate and change products so you really have to look at the label.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
my three on 08/05/2013 14:37:48 MDT Print View

all terrain terrasport in cream and stick, and blue lizard sensitive.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "Sunscreen" on 08/05/2013 17:12:51 MDT Print View

" From what I've read, zinc or titanium are excellent--the best--for sun protection. They're also awful in the sense that they leave a white residue on your face that takes a while to disappear, if ever."

+1 Cover up as much as you can and for the rest use something with a lot of zinc or titanium oxide. My favorite: Boudreaux's Butt Paste Maximum Strength. It's intended use is for diaper rash, but it is also an excellent sun block with 40% zinc oxide. It looks like the dickens, but where I go we're not entering any beauty contests anyway.

Desert Dweller

Locale: Wild Wild West
Sunscreen on 08/05/2013 17:21:07 MDT Print View

I've been using the Neutrogena since spring and its working well. Doesn't clog my pores and seems to dry quickly. I reapply every few hours if I'm sweating hard. Here we dress completely covered (if yer smart) so the burn we may get is from reflection off the ground and rocks.

Eric N.

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sunscreen on 08/05/2013 17:50:08 MDT Print View

I've been happy with Banana Boat 50, as far as suncreens go. But the best investment I've made in sun protection is a Sun Day Afternoons Sport Hat:

It's just excellent shade on your face, ears, and back of neck. Does a nice job of shedding rain too. And it packs flat. There's a velcro tab on the neck cape so you can pin it up when you don't want it.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Sunscreen" on 08/05/2013 18:38:00 MDT Print View

+1 to Sun Day Afternoons hat. Like a sun umbrella, only better.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Cover-up is better on 08/05/2013 21:29:23 MDT Print View

Honestly I wonder why there seems to be so much more skin cancer nowadays. I have concerns that sunscreen is only preventing burning but not other damage that can lead to cancer. There are so many good breathable thin fabrics now that I just go with long pants/long sleeves and a good hat (like the Outdoor Research Sun Runner).

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Sunscreen on 08/08/2013 06:59:31 MDT Print View

Regarding zinc/titanium oxide ointments.

They may rub off and are greasy to certain extent, but they stay on better than most when wet. They also reduce skin drying better than other sunscreens.

This is one reason that the drug store unscented 20% zinc oxide ointments are so popular with people who do outdoor water activities.

I also like the fact that it has many other uses on the trail.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
generic zinc oxide on 08/08/2013 10:42:40 MDT Print View

Can it be used as antichafe without getting too smeary or ground into your clothes and socks? And can the generic stuff be spread thinly enough to not be TOO white and still give protection? It'd be an awful lot cheaper than the mineral sunscreens I currently use, which, re: greasy, I actually find to be drier than regular sunscreen and less prone to make me break out.

Edited by spelt on 08/08/2013 10:43:55 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Cover-up is better on 08/08/2013 11:24:50 MDT Print View

Randy: +1.

As a guy who has had 6 skin cancers carved off me (age 52) and with an MD wife: YES, we know bad burns correlate to skin cancer. We know sunscreen prevents bad burns. But we puzzle over why skin cancer rates are up while sunscreen use is up.

Sun burn is easy to study (<24 hour period). Skin cancer is hard (decades and multi-factorial - being a Celt with a Mediterrian (California) childhood doesn't help, but my bigger risk was probably a year of arsenic exposure via drinking water).

I go to a dermatologist who has his own strain of basal-cell mice. He says, "roof, hat/clothes, sunscreen". Most docs leave off "roof". I'm not willing to give up the outdoors, so I err towards more full-coverage clothing.

Our kids whine about sunscreen but have been receptive to Johnson & Johnson's "Purpose". Hard to find in my town, I google it thru on-line stores. I should stock up in case it stops being marketed. SPF 15 you wear is better than SPF 50 you don't.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Sunscreen on 08/08/2013 13:15:10 MDT Print View

Hat and long sleeves. Never wears off, never runs out. Sawyer makes great sunscreen, though. Here's the page on their sunscreen technology:

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
generic zinc oxide on 08/08/2013 16:50:50 MDT Print View

Re: Spelt's questions,

Zinc oxide ointment can be greasy and does leave a white stain on clothing.

The white stain does wash out and the greasiness has never been an issue with me.

I could care less if I have white stains on my clothing when hiking or other activities. It's the price I pay. Other hiker related stains are usually more noticeable and so the zinc oxide stain is just part of the grungy hiker look.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
More Skin Cancer. on 08/09/2013 21:00:11 MDT Print View

> Honestly I wonder why there seems to be so much more skin cancer nowadays.

People live longer. Other more deadly diseases receding.
Detection is much better.
Compliance (cover, SPF) is still modest at best.

Edited by Bolster on 08/09/2013 21:02:08 MDT.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Coleman Spray vs OraLabs SunFrog on 06/24/2014 21:28:08 MDT Print View

I need sunscreen for nose tip, ear tips and sometimes neck. Been looking for a lightweight no-mess option (no refilling).

I have been using the Coleman SPF 24 spray at 0.8 oz but worry it is a liquid and could leak/spill.

Recently got OraLabs SunFrog Stick at 0.6 oz. Looks feels and smells like chapstick but claims "oil free." SPF 50.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Sunscreen on 06/24/2014 22:00:26 MDT Print View

I haven't looked into this for a couple of years, but when I did, I found that the sunscreens marketed for kids have less of the scary chemicals and more of the titanium and/or zinc. I surmise that they figure the kids are not concerned about any white sheen and the parents (if they read about this stuff) might want the safer stuff for their kids. But when it comes to adults, forget the white sheen left by titanium and/or zinc, adults want to look sexy, cancer be damned!!