Best kind of sunblock

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Warbaby Fox
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Best kind of sunblock

Post by Warbaby Fox » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:56 am

i might be in the wrong sub group, but I wanna know the best kind of sunblock to bring. I'm thinking the spray stuff with at least a 50 SPF would do fine. Maybe something different for the face. Anybody have luck with something different?

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by LowePro » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:03 am

Variety pack: Face stuff, spray stuff, sweat-resistant, lipbalm w/ SPF, and a few sample size sunscreens you can put in your pocket for excursions. You leave camp for the bathrooms, then get distracted and are gone for 3 hours. The sun is no joke out there. Reapply!
I like Olay brand face sunscreen personally, but everyone is different.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Warbaby Fox » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:18 am

About how much do you bring? 3-4 normal sized things? Maybe more?

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by LowePro » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:23 am

Depends, how many to you plan on losing? I plan on losing at least 1, maybe 2.
So I bring 3 or 4 plus several chapsticks and a handful of sample-size bottles. But I hate sun damage and have a big vehicle. Also a cowboy hat. And umbrella. Did I mention I hate sun damage?

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Melonblue » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:31 am

I'm a Ginger. Pink skin and freckles, blue eyes, red hair.

The Sun is my nemesis (burns, heat stroke, dehydration are my biggest risks)

My favorite places to holiday are sunscapes. The more sun the better. So I have to be prepared at all times.
My arsenal includes a serious amount of UV protection. Including sunscreens.

I use 2 different sunscreens

1 for face (cuz I hate getting that stinging in the eyes when a sunscreen melts) - SIDENOTE - your eyeballs also get sunburnt so sunglasses are essential to prevent this!!! (I like BB Natural reflect 50) for this as it has Zinc (the stuff that makes it thick and white like halloween makeup)

1 for body - here's where I'll likely do a combo of thick cream like BB AND a chem' spray for that extra protection.

Sunscreens are tricky - laws vary in different countries about the labeling of "sunblock" vs "sunscreen" and what the labeling has to say about "SPF" ratings (there really isn't anything above 40, all those others higher numbers are really just jockeying for the .01% increase in effectiveness)

SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB rays.
SPF 30 and higher sunscreen blocks 97% of UVB rays. They are not twice as effective as SPF 15.

You want something with UVB and UVA (or Broad Spectrum)

There is a fire-raging on in the sun sensitive communities about the toxicity of certain sunscreens. Some are pro-mineral (like titanium), others are absolutely against it. Those spray on ones are referred to chemical screens (and there's even more debate as to toxicity and absorption)

But as a risk for a week - I'd rather take my chances with a chemical screen; than suffer irreversible damage from a high UV index burn.

The best place to read up about different sunscreen options, in my opinion is http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/
It can feel a bit intimidating and a bit brand bash'ish, but I like knowing my options as a consumer and what my best options are for prevention :)

But I guess truly the BEST sunscreen - SHADE, hat, sunglasses, UV protective clothing :)

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Warbaby Fox » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:45 am

I shall bring lots then. Maybe a few large ones for camp and a few small ones for on the go. I shall do my damnedest to not get burned. That would really be a drag on the week.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:56 am

You might experiment at with cream vs alcohol-based ones at home and how they wash off with whatever you are doing for washing. You will get a mix of crystallized sweat and sunscreen over body and scalp. I wash off daily and reapply. Others never wash, except for their faces, for an entire week. I did find that spots like the underside of my nose, ears and chin can get burned by sun reflecting off the playa. Friends help friends apply sunscreen.
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:09 am

Spray on gets points for convenience, but it must be applied more often than creams/lotions. Don't be fooled into thinking a higher SPF will protect you for longer, as all sunblocks should be re-applied throughout the day. The SPF factors as well as brand preferences will vary widely, since we all have different skin. I've tried some brands that work great for my gf, and I don't care for it. Trial and error will probably help you figure out what to get. Make sure it's a new-ish bottle or can, as the stuff does do a poorer job over time and it usually has an expiration date. I'd recommend getting something now and using it over the coming weekend. If you like it and think it'll work, great! If it's not for you, gift it to a friend/family member and try something else. Good luck!

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by mudpuppy000 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:26 am

Best sunblock is clothes. :D I always try and cover up as much as possible since I burn pretty easy. You'd think it would be hot, but it's not as hot as standing in direct sunlight with bare skin.

Other than that I like the coppertone sport sunscreen for exposed areas.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Wigwam » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:44 am

I love the spray spf 50. I also try to find a lotion with a clip attached. They can be tough to find but worth it. Now if I could just find spray with a built in clip, I'd be good. Hmmm. Maybe I'll make something. But yes, reapply. I bring 1can per 1-2 days on the playa. I don't always use it all, but it's easy to use next year.
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by rideincircles » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:46 am

I was about to ask how long suncreen lasts for, but the answer I found was 3 years if its not been in high temperatures the whole time. Some will have an expiration date though.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifes ... q-20057957

I will add that spray suncreen has been on sale at some of the big box stores lately. Its usually way cheaper than single bottles elsewhere. I now have 4 SPF 70 and 3 Spf 30 spray bottles along with a bunch of cream. Better to be overprepared then underprepared.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Wigwam » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:59 am

Agreed! I tend to think, "should I spray on more sunblock?" That's when the answer is always, Yes!!!
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Warbaby Fox » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:13 pm

Is higher than an SPF 30 required for daytime on the playa? Or will that do?

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Drawingablank » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:19 pm

I prefer spray on as it can be applied through my hair to protect my scalp. Since it is so much more convenient to use, I actually use it more often as well.

Absolutely avoid any sun blocks with bronzers (read labels carefully as they are not always obvious). Bronzers I was unaware of have tinted much of my playawear (looks orange on white clothes and looks dirty on colored clothes). Nothing I have found will remove the stains.

How much to bring will depend largely on how much exposed skin you will have. It takes several ounces of lotion to completely cover a body.
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by lucky420 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:54 pm

Just wear a burka

You'll be fine
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Jackass » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:03 pm

45 or 50 spf, at that altitude the sun feels like a friggin laser.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Warbaby Fox » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:07 pm

I do plan on wrapping my head in a plain white t shirt, Haji-style. That gives me good face and neck protection. And is doubly useful in dust storms cause it can cover everything except the eyes. But the goggles will take care of that.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:20 pm

My girlfriend is pure nordic ginger and she will burn in the shade, she applies sunscreen like 83 times a day on the playa whereas I am usually quite tan by the time BM rolls around and maybe put it one once or twice a day.

Heres a tip: Always keep some sunscreen with you. Always. We got stuck on the opposite side of the city for hours one morning when the sun came up unexpectedly and we didn't have any. Luckily, the folks at the bar we were drinking at had some. However unluckily, they insisted that we drink of all their booze before they would give up the 'screen. We were held up for hours before we were deemed drunk enough to walk home and given some sunscreen.

You don't want that to be you. Stash one of the travel sizes in your night bag.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by jeanerz66 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:38 pm

I'm porcelain AND have sensitive skin, but for facial sunscreen, I like Neutrogena's line. For body I like Hawaiian Tropic's moisturizing sunblock.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by caffeineslinger » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:14 pm

I use NO-AD at camp. It's a lotion but is inexpensive and works great. Any generic spray for touchups while I'm out and about.

Don't forget a good hat or head cover and shades.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Roundabout » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:22 pm

My eyes are very sensitive to the slightest bit of sunscreen getting near them. They will burn and tear up for hours. I have found that the fix for this is to use only Chapstick style push-up sunscreen sticks on my face.
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Eric » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:40 pm

Warbaby Fox wrote:I do plan on wrapping my head in a plain white t shirt, Haji-style. That gives me good face and neck protection. And is doubly useful in dust storms cause it can cover everything except the eyes. But the goggles will take care of that.
Get a keffiyah & learn how to wrap it (lots of videos on YouTube), much better than just a t-shirt on your head. The keffiyah covers your head & neck (if you leave the back part down), and becomes a dust-mask in 5 seconds without have to unwrap anything. Just make sure they're 100% cotton, and make sure it's large enough for you. To check size - fold keffiyah in half so it makes a large triangle, grab at the long ends and stretch your arms to full length. The keffiyah should be as long or longer than your arms stretch. I find them at thrift stores in SF for $8-15, depending on color, and bring at least 7 with me every year. I have to head out & add more this year.

This is basically the way I wrap mine (and, yes, once you get it down it really can be done in about 30 seconds)
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Warbaby Fox » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:48 pm

Awesome! Now I know what they're called. That would be a lot sharper looking too.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Omnicia » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:24 am

I don't know if there is a version sold in the US... but there's some "Once a Day" brands of sunscreen in the UK - Boots (drugstore chain) has one that's "8 hours" (Soltan Once) and there's Reimann's P20 (which I think is supposed to be 10-12 hours)

The Reimann's stuff is kinda pricey, but I know 2 girls who used it while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Sri Lanka one summer (applying in the morning before going to a worksite all day with minimal shade) - one of them had a burn in one strip of her back where she clearly missed applying, but otherwise they just got nice tans.

I used the Boots lotion version (still pricier than normal stuff... I get mine during sales... there is a spray kind as well, I think, which I haven't tried) at Burning Man (2013) and at Nowhere (Spain) last year (will be trying it again at this year's Nowhere) - would apply it in the morning everywhere and I was fine.

Though I did usually touch up my face at least once or twice more in the day (not sure I had to... but did anyway) and try to stay under shade as much as possible during the height of the sun's powers...

I might be deluding myself that it's actually any better than normal stuff.. or I will find out there is something very very bad about putting it on your skin.. but I like it
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by skippy3k » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:24 am

mudpuppy000 wrote:Best sunblock is clothes. :D I always try and cover up as much as possible since I burn pretty easy. You'd think it would be hot, but it's not as hot as standing in direct sunlight with bare skin.
I just wanted to x2 this and not let it get lost in what is all actually very good advice on sunblock. I, too, go the route of covering up as often as possible. It's amazing how just a long sleeve shirt makes a difference. I still use sunblock on my head (since my hair is, for all intent and purposes, gone) even while wearing a hat. Straw hats with any sort of wide weave will burn my head. I even wear knit gardening gloves with the fingers cut off (the gloves fingers, not mine). This not only protects the backs of my hands from the sun while biking, but also allows protection when climbing off and on art cars and whatnot.
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Token » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:59 am

The absolutely best sunscreen in the world is the one you remember to apply correctly.

Understand what SPF represents and how it will work for your skin type.

Understand that once you have reached the exposure limit of what the SPF protection provides, gooping on more sunscreen won't prevent your imminent sunburn.

So how the hell does the SPF number relate to my situation?

SPF is a multiplier, a constant you use to determine how quickly you will get sunburned.

1. How long can you be in the sun (minutes) before you sunburn? Call this variable T.
2. Take T, in minutes, then multiply by SPF = TSPF = New time in minutes before you reach the exact same sunburn.
3. Take TSPF and divide by 2 = The number of minutes of direct sun exposure before you need to don the Burka.

Adding more sunscreen after you reach your exposure limits WILL NOT protect against sunburn.

Good luck and hug that shade!

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by mudpuppy000 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:46 am

Eric wrote:
Get a keffiyah & learn how to wrap it (lots of videos on YouTube), much better than just a t-shirt on your head. The keffiyah covers your head & neck (if you leave the back part down), and becomes a dust-mask in 5 seconds without have to unwrap anything. Just make sure they're 100% cotton, and make sure it's large enough for you. To check size - fold keffiyah in half so it makes a large triangle, grab at the long ends and stretch your arms to full length. The keffiyah should be as long or longer than your arms stretch. I find them at thrift stores in SF for $8-15, depending on color, and bring at least 7 with me every year. I have to head out & add more this year.
Yeah, the standard size I've found online (~44x44) seems too small for me. I suppose I could just find some good cloth and make one myself. I think I can handle cutting out squares. :D

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Warbaby Fox » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:11 pm

I just ordered three nice shemaghs from Amazon. Neon green, khaki sand, and blue. So stoked to get them. Dakotah Jennings' video on Youtube showed me seven different wrap methods.

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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by Eric » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:44 pm

mudpuppy000 wrote:Yeah, the standard size I've found online (~44x44) seems too small for me. I suppose I could just find some good cloth and make one myself. I think I can handle cutting out squares. :D
As long as you follow the rule of thumb below for sizing it you can make it - just remember that you want a thicker weave cotton, you do not want light weight (I'd bring a keffiyeh with you fabric shopping to make sure you get the right weight). The thickness is as important as the length, it both helps block the sun - though I wear sunblock under it - and gives it the thickness to be a highly effective, yet breathable, dust-mask when needed.

Rule of thumb: fold in half diagonally, hold the longer side & outstretch your arms. Keffiyeh needs to be as long as your arms or longer to fit properly.
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Re: Best kind of sunblock

Post by thnkfl » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:45 pm

I'm not a ginger, but am half-Finnish. I don't personally use sunblocks other than clothing; I usually deal with this kind of problem as it arises.

Yes, I know.

Anyway, I highly recommend bringing a fresh bottle of "pure aloe vera" gel. The moisturizing and healing qualities of aloe border on the truly magical. Last year (and the year before -- I know) I slathered my completely red and smarting legs with several applications (inside of ten minutes) after a day on my trike. Instantly cooling. All was back to normal within a few hours. The tan on my legs lasted for months. A freshly cut piece of the plant is even better (if one could bring a plant for medicine and not decoration.)

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