Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Sunblock Situation

Before I begin: A warm and hearty welcome to the most recent addition to the Domesticity blogroll: Makeup and Beauty Blog, written and edited in the Bay Area by the fabulous Karen. Her blog is a very valuable resource for nearly anything and everything makeup... and, of course, any beauty blogger who's fearless when it comes to drugstore finds is a real gem in my book. :)

Now, on to the rest of the entry...

Photo taken from through Google Images.

I have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen. Part of it has something to do with the post-high school rebellion I had when I moved here to Hawaii, where I abandoned my Manila-princess insistence on maintaining my "porcelain" skin (ha!) in favor of the sun-loving bronze glow of my classmates. Never mind that I had more of a "workman's tan" (complete with short-sleeve demarcation lines) than the beach-babe bronze of my classmates, which they've obtained through varying combinations of genetics and ditching classes in favor of chasing tasty waves at Banzai Pipeline and Sandy Beach. Never mind that my supposedly tanned skin also becomes surprisingly sensitive and "porcelain-like" when it gets nasty sunburns, complete with unattractive peeling.

Most days, however, I think of sunscreen as an unnecessary bother: True, I do burn when I spend hours in the sun... but it's not like I get the same kinds of sunburns from swimming as I do when I'm just walking around doing errands, right? Besides, I don't really go to the beach that much, to be honest, and every single time that I do always ends up as "the last time" because of the burning and dehydration, not to mention excessive amounts of aloe and Advil for the pain.

This year, however, was the beginning of my pursuit of physical activity. It started with volunteering at Lyon Arboretum, then continued into my Cleveland trip (where Scribe and I sweltered through hot bus stops as we went through our errands); now that I've started swimming laps at the public pool again, I believe this physical streak is going to continue for as long as there's a body of water for me to swim in.

Which also means that if I'm going swimming again, I might as well arm myself with some powerful sunblock. And that's what I've been doing lately, using the following products:

Face: I've been using Ocean Potion's SPF 45 Clear Zinc Oxide Face Potion, which promises to be "very water resistant." I started using this when I started hiking. because I love the cream formula for this - it's easy to slather all over the face like a balm, and still have enough left over to coat lips, lids, scalp and ears. Sometimes I even put this stuff on the backs of my hands to keep them protected, too. As for the "water resistant" claim, believe the hype - I had my doubts at first, but after a straight hour of 100-meter laps (and a "cleansing" pre-swim shower) my face did not show any signs of burning.

Body: While I love the Ocean Potion cream just fine, everything else below the chin (and under my ponytail) needs a sunblock that I don't have to bother with rubbing, especially when it comes to the hard-to-reach spots in my back and shoulders. For this I need the heavy-duty Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30, which does a great job with covering the aforementioned hard-to-reach areas as well as it does for my arms and legs. And when I say "heavy duty," I really mean it - doesn't scrub off, doesn't rinse off... and you'll DEFINITELY know when you've put on too much, because 1) one thin film is enough - otherwise it won't dry and you can't rub it in to spread it; and 2) if you do put on too much, you'll emerge from the pool with an ashy film that won't come off unless you use soap on it. Let me tell you - after years of using generic sunblock (including one that peeled off on me during a diving trip), I'm insanely glad to find something that really, truly works in keeping me burn-proof in the water. Seriously, buy this now.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for tips!


kuri said...

Thanks for the recs! Coppertone is actually available in Japan now, so I will check out the sport spray. I've been wanting a spray on sunblock.

meimei said...

@ash and kuri: You're very welcome! I'm actually getting addicted to these new spray-on, no-rub sunblocks lately - they're totally a Godsend, at least in my opinion.