General Question

2TFX's avatar

What kind of sunblock should I use?

Asked by 2TFX (356 points ) February 19th, 2014

I don’t know what SPF to use. My skin tans lightly I burn easily on my back and shoulders at the beach.

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12 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

SPF 15 at least, most Dermatologists recommend that or higher.

Mileage may vary, depending on driving conditions.

livelaughlove21's avatar

If you’re looking to be completely protected, the higher the better, especially if you burn easily.

Seek's avatar

I live in Florida, where on even a cloudy day you can end up with ridiculous burns.

I try to keep minimum SPF30 in the house at all times. My daily moisturizers are by Aveeno, and the body one is SPF 15, and the facial one is SPF 30. For the beach, 50+ the sweatproof sport solution. We’re ruddy Irish complexions – no frakking around with this sun. Be warned: It will turn your clothes orange. We just buy black bathing suits. Haha.

muppetish's avatar

You should seek out sunscreen that uses zinc oxide as its main ingredient. Also, don’t forget to reapply throughout the day especially if you plan to be in the water.

creative1's avatar

I would start with at least a 30 and once you get a nice tan layer I would drop down to a 15. I typically start off with a 75 then go to 30 when I get a little layer of color and then once I get a bit darker I go to the 15 and then stop using it all together since I am low on vitamin D and need the sun.

Cruiser's avatar

SPF 50 and get the kid friendly and waterproof kind. Liberally re-apply every 3–4 hours. And wear a hat!

JLeslie's avatar

I burn in less than 30 minutes. If I use 8 I don’t burn, I barely get any color at all even being out for three hours. If you want to be sure you are well protected and worry about sun damage go for SPF 15. Especially if you are rarely in the sun. I don’t recommend above 15, the lotion is usually sticky or greasy when you go into the higher numbers. I am extremely loyal to Coppertone, and I recommend it.

cazzie's avatar

I would second what @muppetish says. I would find one that uses both a physical (zink oxide) and chemical. Reapply frequently. Wear clothes and a hat.

JLeslie's avatar

FYI, SPF 30 does not have double protection of SPF 15. Both have over 90% protection from the sun’s UVB rays. Anything over 30 seems a waste to me, especially if it is more expensive and more icky feeling. The difference between SPF 30 and 50 is insignificant from everything I have read.

Good point about the hat @cazzie. When I get skin cancer it will be on the top of my head. I have burned where my hair parts so many times. A casuality of having thin hair.

Plus, SPF blocks UVB, but I worry about the other rays too. So shade and clothing is the best for that.

livelaughlove21's avatar

^^ Ugh! The hair part burn is the worst. Blow drying is nearly impossible for a few days afterward. I have thick hair and I still burn there a couple times every summer.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Now my husband watches out for the top of my head. Sometimes I wear my hair pulled back in a barrette to get rid of my part instead of a hat. He lets me know if the hair starts slipping and my skull starts showing. Years ago I saw a woman who had a small scarf like cover for her head that she wore in the pool. It was cute, looked like eyelet fabric. I need to look for something like that. I asked her where she bought it and it was in her country, I don’t remember where she was from.

Stinley's avatar

As high as you can go – 50 spf, maybe drop to 30. Tanning is so bad for your skin. Sunblock tends to be quite heavy and drags on your skin and it’s also is annoying at the beach as it lies on top of your skin so the sand sticks. Yuk. I’ve used the kids spray ones which go on green then disappear when you rub in. These are nice and light. So much easier to apply and keep applying.

I have very fair skin and from your description, it sound like yours is fair also so you need to be very careful.

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