How fast does sunscreen wear off, really?
June 15, 2014 8:31 PM Subscribe
After a minor bout of skin cancer last year, I am required to wear sunblock every day. I have questions.
posted by Andrhia to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
First, I detest the feeling of sunscreen. HATE. And I have very sensitive skin, so I can't use most chemical sunblocks. As a result, right now I'm using a combination of physical sunblocks, to minimize how gross I feel at any given time:
* An Oil of Olay SPF 30 moisturizer for face
* A Eucerin SPF 15 body lotion everywhere else
* Or sometimes a Sun Bears SPF 50+/PA+++ for body if it's bright and I'll be running errands (I LOVE it but I'm almost all out and it is spendy)
* For fancy events, an SPF 50+ mineral powder for face
* For those times when I will be Spending Significant Time Outdoors, something in the Neutrogena Dry Touch family, SPF 70+.
My typical use case is working indoors at home all day, possibly near a sunny window; possibly walking 15 minutes to school and back to pick up kids; and maybe running errands in a car, which involves walking to and from the car a few times, and subjecting myself to whatever degree of UV comes through my car windows.
So my questions are: How long do these products last and have any protective effect on my skin? Are they genuinely protective for a whole day? If I apply an SPF face cream in the morning is it basically useless by 3pm without reapplying? Does it matter how much light I get in that time, or whether I exercise? Is it for sure not going to last into the next day, and I definitely have to put more gross stuff on my skin the next morning, even if I haven't washed anything off? Is a parasol an adequate substitute if I can't bear reapplication?
And while I'm at it, are there any lighter, less-goopy yet higher-SPF body lotion products I'm not aware of? Or is lotion a terrible form factor for sunblock in the first place? I don't *think* I need SPF ONE MILLION every single day, but it's super hard to find products that hit that sweet spot of not heavy or smelly, decently protective, and not super expensive. Halp, halp!