Recommend a good sunblock

I’ve got red hair, pale skin and I go from pasty white to burned in about an hour. Oh, and my great grandmother died of melanoma. I’m going to be outside a lot this summer and I need something that is going to maintain my snow-white complexion. I’m talkin’ industrial strength, so-strong-it-would-protect-an-albino stuff.

Any ideas?

You could always use flesh-toned zinc oxide. Zinc oxide forms a physical barrier to the UV rays rather than just a chemical barrier. It’s that white stuff that lifeguards wear on their noses. [You can find an example here.

Do you want to stay lily-white, or do you just want to avoid sunburn? I’ve seen several brands of SPF 50 sunscreen out there. That, combined with severely limiting your exposure till you have a protective base coat ought to be enough to keep you from burning. Stuff with that high an SPF is often designed for babies and the elderly, so it should be fine with the other sensitive-skin issues redheads tend to have.

You should also wear protective clothing whenever possible, although that’s often not feasible in truly hot weather. Hats are always feasible, though, and they’re usually quite good at protecting the head and neck from the sun. A sturdy, tight-woven, wide-brimmed straw number ought to do nicely.

I’m a strawberry blond, fair-skinned person. Just buy something with an SPF of 50 and you’ll be fine. Reapply when you get sweaty, etc. etc. I just did a web search - I went to Orlando a few years ago and I religiously used some sort of sunblock, SPF 50, with a picture of an alligator on it - but I can’t remember what brand it was, sorry. It was great stuff - I was outside almost all day the whole week and never even tanned.

I’m by no means a pale person, but I do not want to get sun on my face in particular, because a medication I’m taking does not react well to sun exposure. However, most of the sunscreens I’ve tried on my face make me break out in horrible acne, even some that claimed they were non-comedogenic. Anyone with sensitive skin find a strong sunscreen they like that doesn’t cause a break-out?

I have oily, acne-prone skin, and I just recently found a really great facial sunblock. It’s Banana Boat Faces made specifically for “normal/combination skin that is prone to breakouts, has large pores on nose and chin and gets oily in the T-zone.” I’ve used it for about 2 weeks now and no breakouts (except for the monthly one I get with my period), it doesn’t feel particularly greasy, and it works really well as a make-up base. Unfortunately it’s only SPF 23, an odd number, but I figure I wear makeup over it too, so that’s got to add a little more protection.

As for sunblock for the rest of my body, I just use anything with a really high SPF. Waterbabies is good, but a little greasy, and I just bought some Native Tan SPF 30 and it smells so freakin good and isn’t greasy at all.

I dream of the day when I move to Pittsburgh and don’t need to worry about sunblock but for 3 months a year. Oh how I hate Florida.

Neutrogena’s UltraSheer sunblock in SPF 45 does a good job and is absolutely not greasy. I’m prone to breakouts and saw an improvement when I switched over. My sister is a red-head with milk-white, sensitive skin and it’s what she uses, as well.

I’m lily-white as well (that sounds a lot nicer than “fishbelly”), and I swear by Ocean Potion BabyBlock spf50. It’s unscented (make sure to get the Baby Block; the other stuff is a weird bubblegum scent), which I love, very light weight and not greasy at all. It literally feels like water going on and absorbing.

I tried this one Hawaiian Tropic spf70 once (silver bottle). BLECH! Horrible smell and I felt like a greased pig afterwards. Never again!

I found a link at the official Ocean Potion site for the Baby Block:

I second the Neutrogena rec. I’m a redhead who grew up in Florida and live in Texas and I swear by this stuff. And if you want to be really safe, get some good sunblocker type clothing (like this stuff) and a good hat (like this one). A regular white T-shirt only has an SPF of 8 (much less when it gets wet) so if you’re gonna be in intense sunlight, you need better protection.

I use ISDIN products from Barcelona. They have a wide spectrum sun block “Ultra 90” which works great for me. I haven’t seen their products in the US but you can contact them to find out where you can buy them.

My mom and sisters swear by Ombrelle - though I’ve always found it a bit pricy.
I usually stick to Coppertone in SPF 30 - one of waterproof ones, though it can get a little greasy.

I use Coppertone’s “active” formula (water resistant type, I forget the exact name but it comes in a blue bottle) in SPF 45. Be sure to reapply often. I wore this stuff when I went to St. Thomas for a week, in June no less, and when I came back people couldn’t tell I’d been anywhere tropical. I even snorkeled a couple of times while I was there.

More recently I also bought the Neutrogena sheer formula in SPF 45 for my face - very non-greasy and nice. I put it on in the morning before work, as I spend maybe a half hour outside during my commute (waiting for train/bus, walking to the station). Before I bought it, I’d gone to an employee health fair where I work, and a nurse in Dermatology had some kind of UV light box set up. You put your face in one side, she puts hers in the other side, and looks at your skin under the light. I was shocked to see (in a mirror mounted inside) my face covered with small purple blotches, maybe the size of a pencil eraser in diameter. When I protested that I wear sunscreen when outdoors for extended periods, she said it might even be from sun damage as a child, but that wearing sunscreen daily helps minimize further damage. (I also went out and bought eye cream - the skin around my eyes looked like raccoon eyes in that light. She said that’s because the skin was very dry, there apparently aren’t many oil-producing glands there.)

My college buddy and I went skiing in Colorado one March and it was bright as blazes riding the lift up. I pulled out some Zinc Oxide, that white, ultra opaque stuff and rubbed some on my nose as a block. My buddy asked for some too and I handed him the tube and then turned the other way to admire some scenery.

15 seconds later I turned back, looked at him and burst out laughing to the point I almost fell out of the chair. He’d rubbed the white on thick over his entire face thinking it became transparent once you rubbed it in. His face looked like a big 'ol paper plate. What was worse, when he tried to rub it off his face was so sunburned his skin started to come off in rolls. White rolls.

He had to ski down, take off his skiis and walk through the hoity toity lodge with his face covered with solid white plus white skin swizzles. I guarantee that under the white was a warm, beet red.

Aaaah, memories.

For what it is worse, sun block over 30 SPF is just window dressing.

I have read this in many publications ( sorry, no cite) and have talked to a dermatologist about this.

Any sunblock that is over 30, say 50, is not going to give you fifty times long protection. It might give you a couple more minutes out inthe sun, but only a few. Besides, you will probably sweat it off or swim it off.

It is a labeling issue that the dermotologists have had with the sunscreen makers. It is, IIRC, false advertising to say anything higher than 30 SPF. And I thought at one time that all the companies were suppose to change their labels accordingly.

I’ll have to do some googling to back myself up.

As I have fair skin and reddish hair and very sensitive skin, I’ll share my successes in SPF stuff:

Lubriderm Skin Renewal Anti Wrinkle Facial Lotion with SPF 15 I’ve used this for years and have been very happy. Not greasy. No blemishes. If they made it in a SPF 30, I’d still be using it every day. About $8, or so.

**Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer: SPF30 ** This just came out last year in three tinted shades: light tint, medium and No Tint. Hmmm, maybe there is a No Tint. I’ve never had a problem with break outs or greasiness. For some reason, in every store I’ve looked for this, it is always on the top shelf in the face cleanser/moisturizer section. Kinda hard to spot. About $10, I think.

Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moiturizer Sensitive Skin: SPF30 This is brand new. Pricey at $11 or so, but if you call their toll free number and ask a few simple questions, the nice peopel at Olay will send you a $2.00 off coupon. I like this one alot, but it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of anti-wrinkle/skin renewal. I like all the bells and whistles.
Body I gotta go with either No-Ad for sheer volume or Ocean Potion, because it smells like a creamsicle. Yummmmmmmm.

I use some neutrogena face stick on my kids and it seems to be the only one that doesn’t make them go running clawing at their eyes and shreiking about how it’s stinging their eyes. The stuff from Coppertone, blue face paint, is just vile in this area. I taste the metallic tang in my throat from just about every major sunscreen maker that I’ve put on my face and apparently, so do my kids. Yay for being High Maintenance!
Abby You don’t say how old you are, but it is an excellent idea to every one out there to always wear sunscreen on your face, neck and chest. Hands too. Every day. Even in winter. It is an excellent habit to get into. Sunscreen is my body lotion in the summer.

This is an excellent resource.

If you click on the above links section in baby care, there are some rather interesting things on products for babies that you don’t need and the prices…oy vey. Just thought I would share.

On the same aboveforementioned link, this is a section about sunscreen. A very interesting place.