Author Topic: Sunscreen  (Read 5984 times)

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Offline dombrosk

« on: May 18, 2010, 08:20:06 pm »
Bike commuting doesn't call for much sunscreen here in Minnesota during the winter, but when I did my first 50+ weekend ride last Sunday to get ready for summer touring, I was reminded of the need for some protection.

For us folks with sensitive/reactive skin, who can't use just any product, what brand/formula keeps you happy?

Offline kdiehl

Re: Sunscreen
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 12:17:48 pm »
I use one of these SPF-35 jerseys. The fabric breaths well and is quite cool as long as there's air flow.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Sunscreen
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 12:51:27 pm »
I don't believe in recommending a specific product but I would note the differences between a Sunblock and a Sunscreen.

Importance and Differences of Sunblock and Sunscreen

Sunblock-Although some believe that sunblock and sunscreen are both the same, they are not. Although they have similar properties and are both important in caring of the skin, sunblock is opaque and is stronger than sunscreen since it is able to block a majority of the UVA/UVB rays and radiation from the sun, thus not having to be reapplied several times a day. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are two of the important ingredients in sunblock.

Sunscreen-is more transparent once applied to the skin and also has the ability to protect against UVA/UVB rays as well. Although the sunscreen's ingredients have the ability to break down at a faster rate once exposed to sunlight, and some of the radiation is able to penetrate to the skin. In order for sunscreen to be more effective you'll have to consistently reapply and use a higher spf.[citation needed]

There are two ingredients that I would look for in the above, Aminobenzoic Acid or Zinc Oxide. 
UV-filter   Other names   Maximum concentration   Permitted in these countries   Results of safety testing

p-Aminobenzoic acid PABA   15% (5% EC-will be banned from sale to consumers from 8 October 2009)   EC, USA, AUS   Protects against skin tumors in mice.[51][52][53] Shown to increase DNA defects, however, and is now less commonly used.

Zinc oxide      25% (US) 20% (AUS)(EC-25% provided particle size >100 nm) (Japan, No Limit)
EC,USA, AUS, JP   Protects against skin tumors in mice[56

Finally, it is a myth, if you tan easily, that you are better protected from skin cancer. Depending on the rating, the higher the number the longer it will last, in a days tour, I would use a higher number and reapply every three hours if you use sunscreen. Be aware of cloudy days, when the uv rays could still cause skin damage. Applying the above may restrict the Vitamin D you get from the sun. If the above chemicals are not for you, there are several organic ingredients that may be effective too. 

Offline whittierider

Re: Sunscreen
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 01:42:10 pm »
I normally use any of the ultra-high SPFs (like 50) that are ultra-sweatproof as long as they don't have that offensive coconut smell.  I know you're supposed to avoid certain ingredients, and I should probably be more careful to keep the info handy when I shop; but fortunately in this case the law seems to be making sunscreens healthier just in the last year or so.

Water Babies is supposed to be good for sensitive skin, but a couple in my family don't like the smell of that either, so I think we've mostly been using Coppertone in the blue bottle.  One of our sons used Banana Boat in his work which sometimes has him outdoors for hours, but a year or two ago he noticed the smell changed when he got a new tube, and he got very burned that day in spite of putting on plenty of this high-SPF stuff.  At the same time, I went for a ride with it and got very burned.  I thought I must have either forgotten to put it on or just not put on enough; but the next time I rode with it, I made sure I put on lots, and again I got quite burned.  Enough of that.  Their SPF number was not true at all.  We threw out the Banana Boat and went to Coppertone.  Problem gone.

I sweat a lot, to the tune of as much as three gallons in a warmish afternoon (I drank 2.5 gallons, and still lost 5 pounds in spite of eating and never going to the bathroom, meaning I should have drunk another half gallon), and with all that sweat and salt on my skin like damp sand but really stuck because of the first layer of sunscreen, re-applying is out of the question.  If I put a good coat of SPF 50 on, I can be out all day and my skin acts like it had not gone outdoors at all.  I know you can still get skin damage from UVA even if the sunburn-causing UVB is blocked out, and that the sunscreen's UVB protection does not last as long as the UVA protection (or is it vice-versa?), but fortunately the last year or two have brought about significant improvements in UVB protection.  I'm not totally satisfied with what's available though.

Offline chrisbuzzell

Re: Sunscreen
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010, 08:39:13 pm »
I have sensitive skin too and found Water Babies to work quite nice. 

We rode cross country last summer and used that exclusively, we found one that has zinc oxide in it.  They don't all have that so look at the ingredients.  You wont get a burn with the zinc oxide but you also cant get the stuff off, it really took scrubbing it off with soap and a washcloth.  I switched to using the regular stuff about half way through as we weren't showering every day. 

Offline aggie

Re: Sunscreen
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010, 09:17:11 pm »
I can't use anything other than a zinc/titanium oxide cream.  Anything else including Water Babies and I get hives.  I found a brand in CVS pharmacies that works well.  Offhand I can't remember the name but it has a blue lizard on the front and says it is for sensitive skin.  I didn't find that it was overly difficult to wash off. 

I've tried just about everything that says it is for sensitive skin but they don't work for me.  I was fine when they had PABA but the new formulations just don't work for me.  The last time I used one that was for sensitive skin I had hives so bad I ended up at the doctors office.