Author Topic: What do you use for sunscreen?  (Read 7219 times)

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Offline jinx

What do you use for sunscreen?
« on: June 27, 2012, 11:41:46 pm »
I hate sunscreen. But I need it.

I find myself not wanting to ride because I can't stand to use sunscreen. I dislike the smell, the stickiness, the way it burns my eyes, the way it collects dirt and the way it won't let my skin breathe while I sweat. I've tried different brands but they all suck in one way or another. And some say the chemicals in sunscreen may be as harmful as the cancers I'm trying to avoid. I've used the white grease-based sunscreens and the spray/alcohol types and find them both miserable to wear.

I have a long-sleeve white shirt but most of the time wearing it is uncomfortably warm. I admit I'm an over-weight weekend cyclist wanting to be reasonably comfortable while trying to have fun. Cycling is supposed to be fun, right?

What do you use to keep from cooking in the sun?


Offline bogiesan

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 11:47:58 pm »
Any of us Boomers survived childhood with zinc oxide and baby oil.
Consumer and sports magazines run sunscreen tests and evaluations in their spring issues. Try researching the reviews; there are millions of people who don't like sunscreen for various reasons and there seems to be a brand and potion to satisfy every one of them.

I like the nanoparticle stuff myself. But I carry sun skins for my arms.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent


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Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 06:15:19 am »
Based on what Consumer Reports says, I buy whatever is cheap and alcohol-based, not liking the greasy stuff any more than you do. The alcohol-based ones are more like shaving lotion to apply, they dry quickly and have a totally different feel on the skin. Try one.


Offline indyfabz

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 08:18:24 am »
I buy No-Ad brand:

The GF uses spray on Neutrogena, which I used during a ten day tour last year. It has a strange smell. Every time she puts it on I am transported back to somewhere in SW Montana, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Offline DaveB

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 09:14:57 am »
I buy No-Ad or Walmarts's house brand as they work well and are far cheaper than the name brand stuff.  I don't mind the lotion type as it does wash off in the shower and the stickiness is not bad when it's on. Both are nearly odorless.

As an alternative, most of the outdood suppliers (REI, Campmor, etc.) sell very light weight long sleeve shirts intended as sun blockers but should not be too hot.  I know a rider who is extremenly sun sensitive and uses these shirts successfully.

Offline aggie

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 10:18:31 am »
I either use a long sleeve shirt or a titanium/zinc oxide sunscreen.  I can't wear most of the recent formulations of sunscreens.  They have added something that gives me hives.  I don't like the sunscreen I can use because of the stickiness, etc but it's better than a sunburn.  I do put a little on my nose, ears, face and neck and then use a wipe to remove them after the ride. 

My next step is to see a dermatologist to find out if there is a non-sticky sunscreen I can use.

Update.  I just bought two sunscreens by Neutrogena.   The firs is their "pure & free" liguid.  The actives are Titanium and Zinc Oxides.  It doesn't have a greasy feel and seems to disappear into the skin.  I also have their "Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion".  It says it is non greasy but I find it leaves a very slight greasy feel to the skin.  It does disappear so the skin doesn't take on the white zinc oxide look.  Both are a little pricey.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 06:19:50 pm by aggie »

Offline johnsondasw

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 02:08:50 pm »
I use any brand that seems like a good deal.  Admittedly, some of them feel greasy when applying, but once its on I don't notice it again.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline dombrosk

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 08:13:45 am »
For folks with 'non-reactive' skin, almost any sunscreen may work fine.  If, like me, you tend to be prone to rashes, it gets more difficult.

Here's one to try:  Aveeno Face SPF 30... although it's sold for face I use it as my primary sunscreen without having any skin reactions.  In the past I've had good luck with some of the fragrance-free Neutrogenas.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 08:36:50 am »
I use nothing for sunscreen (well, melanin), but I will occasionally wear clothing to keep me cooler. As long as air is moving over the body, black is the cooler color because of its greater absorption. White reflects radiant energy, including the energy that the body is emanating. White is great for sitting still, but when moving on a bicycle, white is also reflecting your own radiant energy back into your body.  (user:waynemyer)

Offline gpshay

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 01:13:14 am »
Well I live in Phx Az. so I am very famila with the heat .. I dont wear sun screen for the same reasons you mentioned .. but I do wear leg and arm protection .. if i am going to be on the bike more that 1/2 hour ... i have found these to be the best protection so far ...
I also ride a Goldwing MC in the heat and found soaking ones shirt with water will help break the heat .. carry a couple extra water bottles for squirting down your arms and legs will help with the heat .. Glenn

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 10:39:36 am »
Has anyone used the sun protectors in humid areas?  I'm curious if they're usable in humid heat. 

For comparison, I've got a very thin, polysomething, long sleeve jersey.  It's too thin to wear below about 55 (F) without another layer, whereas I can go 10 degrees cooler with some other jerseys.  Yet I can't tolerate the thin jersey above 80, even when the humidity is a relatively dry 50-60%.

Offline csykes

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 10:26:51 pm »
Pearl Izumi makes a black version of the arm sun protectors.  Has anyone tried them?

Offline ridergirl50

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 06:02:07 pm »
I've had good success with "arm coolers" from SOL SKIN, Sugoi, Pearl Izumi and others.  They are white and made of a wicking material.  As you sweat (only a little bit with these) the air movement you create while riding pulls the moisture away and your arms are cooled.  I end the ride, pull off the arm coolers, and my arms feel clean and cool, much better than they would with the sun beating down on them all day and the sunscreen grabbing all the grit and hanging onto it.  You can find a good selection at and at  Good luck!

Offline Galloper

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2012, 08:33:30 am »
I think I'm going to sulk!   We've just had the wettest April, May and June since records began and July isn't turning out much better.   Come to the UK, you won't need any sunscreen just lots of waterproofs :)

Offline awbikes

Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 10:28:50 pm »
Ridergirl50 is dead on the money with her assessment of arm protectors. I live and ride in Florida in 98 degree heat. Can not stand sunscreen and don't use it. My Pearl Izumi (white) arm protectors are comfortable and do not feel warm and if anything shade my arms and produce a cooling effect by the process of evaporation. When I stop and go into an establishment I forget I'm even wearing them. I have tried the baggy long sleeve fishing type shirts and I feel the sweat running and the shirt feels sticky and miserable. Do I think I look weird with the skin tight arm protectors? Yes, but they ABSOLUTLEY work. Incidentally m wife wears Canari brand and they work well also. Just be sure and get the light weight sun shades and not heavy black winter arm warmers.