Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: BikeFreak on February 15, 2012, 04:13:06 pm

 
Title: Which sunscreen?
Post by: BikeFreak on February 15, 2012, 04:13:06 pm
Hi,

As part of my tour across on the TA I will of course need plenty of sunscreen.

Reading the back label of common sunscreen is a full list of chemicals which sound very toxic and harmful.

Are there any good brands available in common super markets like Safeway, Walmart etc. By good I mean sunscreens which have a low level of harmful chemicals - something organic maybe?

Lucas

Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: johnsondasw on February 15, 2012, 05:35:54 pm
I don't know about organic sunscreens or any of that.  I just bring SPF 30 or above and use it on face, arms, legs and don't forget back of the neck.  I don't have a particular brand and just get what looks like the best deal. 
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: Pat Lamb on February 15, 2012, 05:58:55 pm
Long sleeves are the "safest" -- unless you're on the verge of heat stroke.  Titanium dioxide is probably next in line, except it needs some goop to make it stick to your skin.

I prefer gels, partly because I could never rub the creams into my skin so they didn't look like I was a leper.  Apply twice daily to start, once daily after you've got a nice tan, and wash off at night.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: George Mc on February 15, 2012, 06:08:33 pm
UP and UP from Target, got pretty good ratings.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: litespeed on February 15, 2012, 06:18:20 pm
I've degraded the skin on my forearms from touring in tee shirts. To keep it from getting any worse I now wear Under Armour long sleeve jerseys whenever I'm on my bike. I don't bother with sunscreen as it seems almost impossible to put enough on to really do any good.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: peterharris on February 15, 2012, 08:17:17 pm
REI sells several long-sleeve button-front and t-shirts ranging from UPF 15 up to UPF 50. These would have the advantage of almost total torso and arm coverage when you need it plus the ability to roll or slide the sleeves up if you wanted to. They're not cheap but they're not terribly expensive either. If you're pretty much dead-set against slathering yourself with regular sunscreen, this might be an option to consider. And REI is having a sale right now so you might be able to find something at a great price.

I'm sure there are many other places besides REI that would carry these UPF protective shirts.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: crosari2 on February 16, 2012, 08:56:43 am
I use "No-Ad" rated at 45UPF. Recommended by Men's Health Journal. Very inexpensive and you can find it at some of the chain drugstores like Walgreens. Also, Performance and Nashbar sell long sleeve jerseys rated at 30 and 50 UPF at about $35 each.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: DaveB on February 16, 2012, 09:56:12 am
Reading the back label of common sunscreen is a full list of chemicals which sound very toxic and harmful.

Are there any good brands available in common super markets like Safeway, Walmart etc. By good I mean sunscreens which have a low level of harmful chemicals - something organic maybe?
Lucas
Those chemicals which "sound very toxic and harmful" aren't.  They work and are safe. There are some sunscreens that claim to be "organic" but are generally ineffective and why is "organic" automatically assumed to be safe?
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: hem on February 16, 2012, 11:55:22 am
Neutrogena helioplex 70 spf

Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: Patco on February 16, 2012, 12:16:12 pm
My dermatologist suggested using Coppertone Sport SPF 50 (he said anything over SPF 30), and using the stick for around the eyes because it doesn't run. I apply once in the morning and reapply once midday. I have never had a problem finding Coppertone when on the road.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: DaveB on February 16, 2012, 12:18:47 pm
Neutrogena helioplex 70 spf

Quote
My dermatologist suggested using Coppertone Sport SPF 50...


These contains the same "very toxic and harmful" active ingredients all effective sun screens do. 
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: bogiesan on February 17, 2012, 07:59:59 am
Sunscreens are easily researched on the Net but even the medically sound the information is often inconclusive. There are two kinds of UV penetration prevention, chemical barriers and radiation barriers. They're weird chemicals but there's nothing toxic about them. There are various types of carriers for the barriers like evaporatives, solid and liquid oils and totally waterproof stuff made for swimmers. An SPF value over 20 or so does not appear to add any measurable protection in tests conducted by outfits by Consumer Labs so beware of marketing claims.
A bicyclist needs to consider convenience, how long an application will last, and how it feels on your skin. I also look at the packaging. I don't want a screw cap that can get lost; I want a captive snap cap. And I want a small size. I often decant to little squeeze bottles with flip tops but you've got to label them carefully and permanently or you can end up with sunscreen in your oatmeal. I use a separate product for my lips because my favorite body screens taste awful.
I prefer longsleeve jerseys these days and carry UV arm protectors like Sunskins.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen: some decent information
Post by: bogiesan on February 17, 2012, 08:06:08 am
http://www.consumersearch.com/sunscreen (http://www.consumersearch.com/sunscreen)
http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/07/20/natural-sunscreen-review-do-mineral-based-sunblocks-work-2/ (http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/07/20/natural-sunscreen-review-do-mineral-based-sunblocks-work-2/)
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: hem on February 17, 2012, 10:41:55 am
Quote
These contains the same "very toxic and harmful" active ingredients all effective sun screens do.

Well skin cancer isn't exactly the best thing that ever happened to me either.  If I were younger I would take the  risk of the "very toxic and harmful" over the more probable skin cancer. Every year I have the pleasure of donating some skin because I did not use sun screen.

And plastic surgery hasn't been a real joy either.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: indyfabz on February 17, 2012, 02:23:30 pm
Quote
These contains the same "very toxic and harmful" active ingredients all effective sun screens do.

Well skin cancer isn't exactly the best thing that ever happened to me either.  If I were younger I would take the  risk of the "very toxic and harmful" over the more probable skin cancer. Every year I have the pleasure of donating some skin because I did not use sun screen.

And plastic surgery hasn't been a real joy either.

I think you missed what DaveB was saying, which is that the alleged "very toxic and harmful" ingreedients the OP says are in common sun screen at not toxic and harmful at all.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: Pat Lamb on February 17, 2012, 02:42:58 pm
I think you missed what DaveB was saying, which is that the alleged "very toxic and harmful" ingreedients the OP says are in common sun screen at not toxic and harmful at all.

Except in high doses in lab rats.

Some people are frankly scared of (OMG!) Chemicals!  and Chemical Names!  And there is a limited set of peer-reviewed studies and scientific journal articles that indicates there may be some problems.

My personal opinion is that the risks of severe sunburn and skin cancer far outweighs the risk of sunscreen and sunblock indicated by these studies.  (And further, if we started publishing systematic chemical names to phytochemicals and antioxidants found in natural food, we'd start a trend of people who are afraid of the names starving themselves to death.  Or maybe gorging on Twinkies.)

Hijacking this thread ever so slightly: can someone who's used long sleeve sunblocking clothing describe what it's like riding in 90 degree weather with 70% humidity at noon?  That kind of riding in Kansas, Missouri, Alabama, and Tennessee leads me to sunscreen and the thinnest, lightest, short sleeve or sleeveless jerseys I can find.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: John Nelson on February 17, 2012, 04:54:35 pm
Step 1. Read all the articles about sunscreen chemicals.
Step 2. Read all the articles about sunscreen effectiveness.
Step 3. Figure out which articles you believe, if any.
Step 4. From the articles you believe, make a list of the dangerous chemicals and a list of the effective chemicals.
Step 5. Read the ingredients on the sunscreens in the store.
Step 6. Select one contains the effective chemicals but not the dangerous chemicals.

If we each apply this procedure, we'll all walk out of the store with different brands. Some will walk out with nothing. Step 3 is the difficult step.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: hem on February 17, 2012, 04:56:42 pm
I think you missed what DaveB was saying, which is that the alleged "very toxic and harmful" ingreedients the OP says are in common sun screen at not toxic and harmful at all.

Gessh I thought I was agreeing. 
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: Pat Lamb on February 17, 2012, 06:32:37 pm
Step 1. Read all the articles about sunscreen chemicals.
Step 2. Read all the articles about sunscreen effectiveness.
Step 3. Figure out which articles you believe, if any.
Step 4. From the articles you believe, make a list of the dangerous chemicals and a list of the effective chemicals.
Step 5. Read the ingredients on the sunscreens in the store.
Step 6. Select one contains the effective chemicals but not the dangerous chemicals.

If we each apply this procedure, we'll all walk out of the store with different brands. Some will walk out with nothing. Step 3 is the difficult step.

John,

I think you forgot  #7:
Step 7.  Buy the one that's on sale.

;)
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: rjones35 on March 13, 2012, 09:02:54 pm
I might be late replying, but here you go. http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/
I was worried about using "bad" sunscreens too.  If you ride enough you put a lot on, and those chemicals have to build up.  I like the All Terrain Terrasport.  Lasts all day, doesn't sting my eyes, rubs in pretty well, and does a good job preventing sunburns!!  I've also noticed that it helps keep me a little cooler.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: mucknort on March 14, 2012, 09:30:07 am
Neutrogena helioplex 70 spf
This is what my dermatologist recommended for our family's 4 month trip of daily application as being safest and most effective. It worked great. Only time will tell regarding chemicals vs skin cancer, but our dermatologist is highly respected. Clothing is the only anti-chemical alternative, but try to get clothes that are SPF rated.
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: DaveB on March 14, 2012, 10:40:16 am
. Clothing is the only anti-chemical alternative, but try to get clothes that are SPF rated.
Actually there are several shirts, etc. that have an SPF rating.  Campmor and other outdoor shops sell them and give the SPF numbers in their catalog decsriptions.   
Title: Re: Which sunscreen?
Post by: yumadons on March 14, 2012, 11:48:26 am
I'm a fair skinned Arizona rider who goes thru a spray can of sunscreen every 3 days and used to just pick the "on sale" brand of the day. Both dermatologists I've seen have recommend Neutrogena and it does have the added perk of not staining your clothes. I spent a half hour in Walmart one day looking at all the sunscreens to see if any were labelled as non-staining of clothes and there aren't any. So when you're touring with only 2 outfits, it's nice not to ruin them  ;)