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Sunscreen - dumb question

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm going to the beach next week and I will need to use some sunscreen. Is it possible to get a sunscreen that allows some of the rays to tan you while filtering out harmful burning rays?

It seems like some sunscreens with really high SPF numbers just block all the rays, like putting duct tape on your skin.
post #2 of 17
Edited for stupidy. Please see the post below.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nibiyabi View Post
I've found that anything above SPF30 or 35 seems to only have one difference between itself and its "weaker" brethren: price.

As for wanting to shield yourself from the sun but still attain a tan, I may recommend relaxing in the sun for 15-30 minutes (depending on temperature) before applying your sunscreen.
Coming from the country that has the highest skin cancer rate on the globe, I DO NOT recommend this. Tanning is dependent on the UV ray strength. This is not necessarily related to temperature, in fact not at all. If you use a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15, you will get a tan. Note that you can still burn if you stay in direct sun too long. 30+ is better. Reapplication will most likely be necessary after swimming, dependent on the sunscreen you are using. Sunscreen should be reapplied regularly, at least hourly. Quite frankly if you don't regularly spend time in the sun, half an hour a day is the recommended maximum without sunscreen.

There are other factors that need to be considered such as skin type. I have an olive skin type which is less prone to burning and such. But I still burn if I do not take care.

cheers
Simon

Edit:- By the way this is not a dumb question, rather very sensible.
post #4 of 17
Yeah, you should stick to 15 at the very least, although 30 is recommended. Anything above 30 is really overkill, save for days where the UV index is really high. Best bet is to check out your local forecast the day of your beach trip and buy/apply accordingly.
post #5 of 17
Why would you want to be tan? Pale is the way to go.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalomaniac View Post
Why would you want to be tan? Pale is the way to go.
Got a nice programmer's tan, eh?
post #7 of 17
Sun Screen is for chumps....My dark skin probably helps me...lol
post #8 of 17
In case you want to know what the numbers in SPF XX mean, the xx is the amount of time you can be exposed to the sun and be protected before the need to re-apply. Most people don't do this and thus tan ( ie allow the UV rays to damage the underlying epidermis , thus promoting melanin production = tan ) Too much exposure and you burn akin to a mild radiation burn becoming "lobster man" or "beet head" and then your skin peels off. A very mild exposure will damage the cells enough to stimulate them to try and protect themselves. My advice, take good care of your skin while you are young, if not, in years to come the cancerous growths may haunt your dreams..dB
post #9 of 17
Here's a link to a recent third-party test/survey of sunscreens. You can search for the top scorers, on the basis of UVA/UVB protection, abscence of allergens, etc.

Skin Deep

Note that the highest ranked sunscreens employ a suspension of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, not the greasy organic compounds.
post #10 of 17
Note that UVA radiation contributes to aging, while UVB causes sunburn (and raises cancer risk). Many sunscreens don't provide broad spectrum protection against UVA, which was not considered dangerous until relatively recently.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbasanti View Post
Sun Screen is for chumps....My dark skin probably helps me...lol
You might not go red and peely and your risk of skin cancer is much lower if you have say type V or VI skin, but there is still a risk, even VI skin types have a medium risk of burning on high UV index days.

Personally I am type I with red hair ******* it which really sucks as I have to slosh factor 45 on every damn day even in Philadelphia.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hciman77 View Post
Personally I am type I with red hair ******* it which really sucks as I have to slosh factor 45 on every damn day even in Philadelphia.
I have red hair and fair skin as well and it doesn't seem to matter how much sunscreen I use or how often, I always burn. I have gotten a sunburn in northern Michigan in SEPTEMBER!

on a side note I think this is the cause of racism. White people are just jealous that the Latinos, Asians, Indians, Black people can stay in the sun without being burned.
post #13 of 17
I had a great aunt and uncle who were snow birds. Winter in southern Florida and summer in Ohio. They spent so much time in the sun getting tans that they ended up with permanent leather coats. Getting a tan is not worth it.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by no1likesme View Post
I have red hair and fair skin as well and it doesn't seem to matter how much sunscreen I use or how often, I always burn. I have gotten a sunburn in northern Michigan in SEPTEMBER!
Sorry man ! - hey we could start a league of red-headed men. My Sister who is similarly afflicted in the skin-tone and hair departments came over from blighty for a visit three weeks back and was an instant lobster.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by no1likesme View Post
I have red hair and fair skin as well and it doesn't seem to matter how much sunscreen I use or how often, I always burn. I have gotten a sunburn in northern Michigan in SEPTEMBER!

on a side note I think this is the cause of racism. White people are just jealous that the Latinos, Asians, Indians, Black people can stay in the sun without being burned.
Maybe not burned but I believe can still get skin cancer.

I live South Florida and drive a convertible. I put on sunscreen pretty much everyday on my face and neck. If I am going to be out for any length of time (beach, work outside house, music fests, etc) with shorts and t shirt, I put it on arms and legs. I use 15 or 30.
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