Sunglasses and a hat. Even with my pale Irish complexion, that's all I use. It covers my bald spot and shades my eyes. Everything else gets protected by shade (long sleeves count) and by slowly building up a protective tan.
I'm in the shade hat crowd. the bigger, the better. big enough to shade my shoulders is best, because I like to avoid shirts when the weather is warm. my nose and ears are the most important to shade, though, as they don't seem to tan ever, just burn. my neck is also important, though not as much.
if you do wear sunscreen, make sure it blocks UVA and UVB radiation. if it only blocks UVB, you'll prevent sunburn, but you'll also prevent any melanin production that would protect you from UVA, which will cause all sorts of havoc. I think that more sunscreens block both these days than in the past, but it's still important to check.
there was also talk about thymine dimer lotion a few years back. don't know if anything ever came of that, though. the idea was to simulate DNA damage, which would trick the skin into creating more melanin. so there's an actual protective tan instead of having to reapply sunscreen. the more readily available "fake tans" offer no protection, just an offensive appearance and odor. thymine dimer lotion should also not be confused with "tanning activators", which actually increase the amount of DNA damage caused by sun exposure creating more thymine dimers and more tanning (and higher risk of skin cancers). those are probably a terrible idea, though I'm told that Tuareg folks sometimes use a wild carrot to achieve the same result.
eating lots of anti-oxidants is a pretty good idea if you're going to be spending any time in the sun. probably a good idea even if you aren't.
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
posted 8 years ago
I try to wear sunscreen, along with a wide-brimmed hat and sleeves. I generally forget to reapply it though.
The UV rays in NZ are insane and my family all have a good dose of ginger, so whatever the issues with sunscreen, the risks of cancer are probably greater for me!
I spend most of my outdoor time in the woods, wearing a hat and covered from ears to fingertips to toes. No, I don't use sunscreen any longer.
I did the first summer after my retirement, until a spot on my nose opened up and wouldn't heal. Of course it was skin cancer, and had to be removed. While I won't suggest that using sun screen irritated sun damage from 50 years ago and tipped the growth of cancer cells ... I don't use sunscreen.
Dang, I just wrote out a long post about our sunscreen. I don't want to type it all out again so here are the bullet points
---wife and I have an online store
---really good sunscreen called from "thinkbaby"
--- google thinkbaby sunscreen
---bottles left from last summer
---retails 16.99 plus shipping
---our cost 8.50
---will sell to you for our cost plus shipping
---probably 11 bucks
---hate when people spam sites
---not trying to do that just get you a good deal on something we have laying around
---let me know I can get you information on how to purchase
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
posted 8 years ago
No sun screen for me, I wear a hat when the sun is out, definitely sunglasses. I tend to do office work in the middle of the day, so I am only outside in the mornings and afternoons, and I work in the shade, usually.
They say coffee consumption helps fight against skin cancer, and I have that covered.
One other thing, we have lots of ozone down here and year round sun, they say people have a lot less problems with skin cancer in the tropics than up North due to that, and that they always have a tan. Even my wife, who in the past thought she couldn't tan, now has a tan.
Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
I apologize for resurrecting this old thread, but when I searched for sunscreen, this one seemed most relevant!
I've been wearing a wide brim hat faithfully. I find that regular sunscreen can make me feel itchy, but I'm very fair skinned and now living at higher altitude then where I grew up, so am concerned about the effectiveness of natural sunscreens. I can't stand long sleeve shirts, even in winter I push up the sleeves unless it's actually cold. Usually I'm wearing t-shirts and shorts or a sundress in summer with sandals. I almost always forget to put sunscreen on my feet, because I usually start the day in shoes and then switch over as it gets warmer.
I've been using sesame oil on one arm for the last two weeks, and generic box store 30+ sunscreen on all other parts. I've been out in the sun for about 15 hours in that time. (It's been raining.) My left arm seems a little more tanned then the right arm, but only on close inspection. I've had a little burning on one thigh (canoeing and splashing water on lower limbs at noon is probably not genius-level behaviour.) Sesame oil warming on your body in the sun smells amazingly like toast! And no itchy. It also takes a lot less of the oil to cover area then I expected. The experiment is continuing...
My goal is to protect my head and eyes. So it's a hat with a wide brim and UV blocking sunglasses for me. I always wear a shirt that protects my shoulders and back from burning, even when I go swimming. They got burnt badly once when I was a kid, so they are sensitive to the sun now.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Raspberry seed oil has sun protection qualities, although fairly low. I am going to have to try sesame oil.
I used to use natural sunscreen and bug repellant, but natural poison is still poison when it is absorbed through the skin.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
Location: 7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
Unfortunately yesterday I was out yesterday (again at noon, which, yes, I know I should avoid, but some social events just happen then!) anyway, I got burned, on both arms, but noticeably worse on the sesame oil arm.
My conclusion from this, is that sesame oil is probably fine as a sunscreen in less-then-peak-sun times, but that the chemical store sunscreen (or the mechanical long sleeves/long pants) is better at high-noon type conditions.
My big hat protected my neck and top of my shoulders quite nicely.
I will either try and suffer through long sleeves in the future, or have to stick to the chemicals. Perhaps I'll look into natural mass-produced sunscreen.
I try to go with a gradually longer exposure to the sun until I get what passes for a tan on my uber fair skin (mostly a reddish kinda tan). I'll wear a big hat, but other than that I'm of the opinion that the sun is a good thing for your body. Especially up here in the oft times dreary inland northwest we need to take advantage of the natural vitamin D3 production when we can. I think the health benefits far outweigh the negative effects.
When skiing at 9000 feet in Breckenridge in April, my buddy and I would each use about two thimble fulls of No-ad in the morning and would be good for the entire day. Failure to make sure every spot had been covered resulted in peeling a few days later. These days, when working outside I wear an Asian conical hat (fantastic air circulation), long pants, and a bit of sunscreen on my arms and back of the neck. With that combination I'm good for the day.
I picked up some Kiss My Face brand mineral sunblock, and tried using it for a few days. I then became very itchy where it was applied, and so have given that up. I'm now using Ombrelle Kids Titanium Dioxide formula, when I use sunscreen at all. I'm now nicely tanned, so haven't been using anything (except the giant hat) for most of the time I'm outside in the early mornings and evenings. So far so good with this new system.
Never use it. I don't go out in the hot sun unless I'm covered. I'll get the shirt off and the shorts on 4 hrs either side of midday for a bit but won't expose long enough to get anywhere near going pink.
Sit in the sun with sunscreen on if you don't like your skin/life. Otherwise cover up.
I live about 20km from Los Cristianos, Tenerife, which NASA described as the sunniest place in Europe.
I have used many different types of sunscreen without ill effect. I don't burn and I'm not wrinkly at 51. I still wear long sleeves and a broad brim hat. I also plan my work so that I'm in shade most of the time.
The most important time for me to wear sunscreen is it I must wear a hard hat which offers less protection than my other hats.
This is my typical work outfit. Sunscreen attracts dust, which makes it more effective.
Build exposure to a light tan and try to avoid extended all day exposure. Always cover head and have one of those brimmed hats with the back flap/curtain to cover back of neck. Wear lightly tinted safety glasses as sunglasses/antiglare anytime I go outside. Use lots of moisturing oils, (coconut and aloe vera gel). I am at altitude so our UV is more brutal. Here we are so far over we should be in next time zone, so 2-6 pm I try to limit exposure or use a nice tree or building shade to work in. (would be noon to 4 pm for most mortals on when to hide). Though around 4-6 pm is when all the mosquitos hide also, so I might venture forth then to pick crop. Once our summer arrives (it has) I wear shorts and teeshirts pretty much all summer. Backs of elbows to the sleeve and back of knees like to burn as does back of neck and top back of shoulders. I try to keep the last two covered.
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
posted 4 years ago
What works for one individual may be different than what another needs. We have differing abilities to produce melanin... I am fair skinned and light eyed with brown hair. I sunburn badly, though my life long friend, blond and also blue eyed, has different heritage. She tans and never burns. That was a remarkable discovery for us at about 10 years old.
What I do is wear my shade, as do many other posters above, broad brimmed hat, long sleeved very light weigh cotton weave. In the summer the cotton shirt works as an evaporative cooler as well (arid climate). I do use a hand made sunscreen at times, one that relies on NON micronized zinc oxide. I use it on the prominent places on my face, top of my brow, cheekbones, nose, top lip, there in the center where it curves out, chin, all the places I have pre cancerous lesions, I'm guessing because they catch more rays. I live in a high altitude, arid climate, where the atmosphere does not provide much protection.
At night I use a topical preparation from a controversial herb, not illegal where I reside, to heal the lesions. I have to cover those places with a weird plastic substance called "duoderm" to keep the ointment in place. I also use that on the backs of my hands where I have "age spots" and precancerous lesions as well.
I believe I NEED the solar radiation to maintain my supply of vitamin D, which is crucial in maintaining healthy bones and possibly heart function as well, as calcium is part of the communication (at the cellular level) that keeps our heart muscle contracting , beating in the rhythm of life.
Best luck: satisfaction
Greatest curse, greed
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
posted 4 years ago
The nature of my environment protects me most of the time. For the last several days I've been working where there are large evergreen trees. It's been so foggy that I can barely make out the houses on the other side of the inlet.
My children's mother is from Pakistan from a family that were formerly Sikh. They get almost as white as me in the winter but the moment the Sun hits them, they develop a tan. Given the same amount of sun, I don't develop much of a tan and I don't try to. Europeans have conquered vast areas of the globe that provide brighter sun than where our ancestors are from. In Brazil there is a type of monkey with a bright reddish pink face. The locals call it the Englishman. This is not the best-looking monkey, so I take it as derogatory, and funny.
We use a homemade lotion with non-nano zinc oxide powder added and it works very well in our Denver sun. It also doubles as a deodorant that works amazingly well. We're both northern European descent and don't tan at all.
For any skin damage from past exposures, we use frankincense oil once or twice a day on any spots. It takes a few weeks/months but we've both had some odd spots/growths go away permanently after the frankincense treatment.
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
posted 4 years ago
Oh YAY! I've got frankincense oil. It sounds a lot easier and faster than what I'm using, and a lot easier to get (I grow then make my own extract), and to travel with. Less expensive too.
I use coconut oil on face and scars and tattoos, otherwise nothing. I only go out for short stints during the peak 12-4 hours. Most of my gardening is before or after that. Works well for me, but I do not have extended exposure.
An old thread but still relevant and I've learnt 2 things. I will try vinegar and oil sun tan lotion and also the use of frankincense.
I don't burn and take forever to tan. Living in England I don't see much intense sun, as you do in other countries so can happily avoid sunblock. I'm also outdoors as much as possible so hopefully building up some resistance.
Theckla, I lived in Colorado for a long time on the eastern side of all the big hills... at 6500 feet. Add 2-4 to your regular SPF number for the UV type altitude. I moved a little lower but still need to respect the sun.
Whoever mentioned Frankincense oil, thank you. I need to try that.
My mom is of white European Caucasian descent but she was always dark of tone and she would turn very dark in the summer. My father burned some (his mother was a ginger, it showed in his beard), and I sort of burn if I don't watch it. Backs of my hands are prone, and my NOSE will always just peel and peel and just ONCE I actually got it to tan. Hence hat with brim.
Vitamin D helps you absorb, and use, calcium. Calcium, Vitamin D, and Potassium are important for heart health and function. (I know this the hard way). Natural doses don't hurt at all. That said I use the route of some exposure, lots of moisturizer and using as little chemicals as possible, period.
One thing, cotton does not block UV. I found this out at a farmer market under one of those cotton with wood frame umbrellas. I burned the backs of my hands so badly I needed medical treatment! I invested in an EZ-UP with a silver tarp like UV blocking cover for the next weekend. And wore some gloves with no fingers or palms for a few weeks to protect the backs.
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
posted 4 years ago
Cotton doesn't BLOCK UV, but I think it reflects it. I just know that under my shade layer, it is cooler and I don't burn and very very slowly I develop a bit of a tan, so I just conclude that it is "shade", of the same value as shade from trees. I use a light color because it reflects more, and speaking of reflection, it'll burn just like straight sunlight, depending on how much is reflected, like in the snow. I get more solar gain inside, through my windows, and more burn if I'm outside, than without the reflection, so I get more sunburned when the ground is snow covered than when it's just exposed dry vegetation.
When I'm in conditions where sunlight is reflected I have to be diligent with sunglasses, too.
And I get burned through cloud cover and need my sunglasses then too.
Definitely agree that prevention in the form of long clothing and a hat are the heathiest options.
Please be careful when using natural oils as a sunscreen as they only have a relatively low SPF. Coconut oil and olive oil seem to be the best, with an SPF of around 7. In this study, sesame oil has an SPF of 1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/
Very sun sensitive so I try not to garden between 1100-1600. I had some carcinoma on my face and it was quite the surgery to remove it. My friend who lives in southern Texas slathers on the sunblock everyday even if she covers up. She has had several skin cancer spots removed in the past and she is paranoid of getting a melanoma. She became very sick a few years ago and it was titanium poisoning from all that sunblock she'd been slathering on. She still does she just knows the symptoms to look out for. I won't use the stuff.
I tend to side with Dale,that wearing it would be an attractant for dust and earth. I would look a mess! Not that I give a .... I already look quite the mess when I come from the garden.
My strategie is:
- no shampoo, no shower gel, only plain water. Natural skin fat is a great protector
- big hat
- slowly grow a tan
- eat food with beta carotene (mainly carrots and sweet potato)
- shirts and pants (no t-shirts or shorts)
- drink lots of water when exposed
- avoid sun exposure when my shadow is shorter than me
- if really necessary use coconut or olive or linseed oil.
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
Just for the summer months I will increase my intake of omegas with a supplement of essential fatty acids. I try to control my sun exposure and usually start with a half hour duration in spring. I increase this to an hour as I build a tan. I don't prefer to do much more than an hour in general and especially won't if I plan to work outside for most of the day. I typically choose the AM hours for this sun exposure. If I plan to be outside for more than one day in a row I will keep my skin covered. It may seem counter intuitive, but long sleeves and pants can keep a person cooler in the long run. I find it far more comfortable to not have the skin radiating heat at the end of the day. I use coconut oil on exposed skin to prevent dryness and reapply during the day as needed. I use vinegar when the misfortune of over-exposure happens to prevent the skin from peeling. I love a wide brimmed hat and feel naked without it. I haven't used sunscreen in along time.
I am in the long sleeve shirt, long pants, and wide brimmed hat group. I will wear a sunscreen designed for babies when swimming since I will burn in 20 minutes when on the water.
I wear glasses all the time and I always get poly-carbonate shatter resistant lenses. They block out 100% UV rays without any coatings and they are less likely to shatter than regular plastic lenses. They have kept countless things out of my eyes and I am just starting to get crows feet wrinkles now that I am in my mid 40s. Trivex lenses do the same thing but I haven't tried them yet due to cost and my prescription.
My husband and I follow a fairly primal/paleo lifestyle. We haven't used sunscreen in years. Yes, our skin gets red early in the season, but it never burns painfully and never peels. Sunburn is at least in part an inflammatory phenomenon, so when you consume an anti-inflammatory diet, you can avoid it almost entirely. Granted, we live in a very northern area, so we don't get the intense rays of the tropics. On the other hand, we have cold weather from October to May, so we definitely lose our tans every year.
One of the paleo gurus writes a good blog. Here are some of his suggestions for helping boost your resistance to the damaging effects of the sun:
Thekla McDaniels wrote:Oh YAY! I've got frankincense oil. It sounds a lot easier and faster than what I'm using, and a lot easier to get (I grow then make my own extract), and to travel with. Less expensive too.
Thekla -- did you mean you grow the tree that produces frankincense oil yourself where you live, and make extract yourself from it? If so could you share how you do that either here or on a new thread? Frankincense is great for the skin.