Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Choose a good sunscreen & use it well

Boaters are often outdoors all day, so our exposed skin needs sun protection.

We need to be smart about using sunscreen to reduce our risks of sunburn and skin cancer. There are some new sunscreen technologies on the market that kayakers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts should know about.

1. "Your sunscreen must have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher with broad-spectrum protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB)," says New York University dermatologist Darrel Rigel. (webmd.com)

2. "When purchasing sunscreen, the Sun Protection Factor or SPF measures how effectively the sunscreen formula limits skin exposure to UV-B rays that burn the skin. The higher the SPF the more protection the sunscreen will provide against UV-B rays." (Library of Congress)

3. "Ingredients like benzophenones, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX), extend the coverage beyond the UVB range and into the UVA range, helping to make sunscreens broad-spectrum." (aad.org)

4. "Apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before being in the sun (for best results) so that it can be absorbed by the skin and less likely to wash off when you perspire." (cdc.gov) Many sunscreens tend to damage drysuit gaskets, so sunscreen is often applied in the brief moment after a whitewater boater gets dressed and just before jumping into the river. Thus, we typically don't get the full benefit of our sunscreen because we start washing it off before it has had a chance to absorb into the skin.

5. "Apply sunscreen often throughout the day ..." "... reapply sunscreen after swimming or strenuous exercise." (cdc.gov) Kayakers should make a habit of reapplying sunscreen at lunch, especially if their sunscreen application at put-in was done just moments before getting onto the river.

6. "Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn." "Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds." (aad.org) Put on the sunscreen no matter what!

7. "April 4, 2007 - Neutrogena, Coppertone, Anthelios, Blue Lizard and SolBar are the brands of sunscreen most recommended by the nation’s leading dermatologists to their patients and friends." “And Neutrogena has strengthened its leadership position this year, expanding its variety of formulations and using its Helioplex technology to make sunscreen ingredients more effective.” (coolibar.com)

Fellow boaters!! What is your favorite sunscreen??

Kayakers, rafters and canoers need sunscreens that won't sting our eyes whenever the whitewater gets splashed into our faces. Does anybody know of a sunscreen that is less damaging to our drysuit gaskets? What is your favorite sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection? Please add your comments on the blog.

More about: Reviews - Equipment and Supplies for Kayaking.

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May I add:

8. Don't put any Sunscreen on your forehead! I was blind for about an hour after a wet exit before I learned that :-)

Oh, and I like Coppertone Sport, because it smells so nice :-)

(Caution: This post had not been irony checked.)
Great tips for choosing right sunscreen and lovely guidance for applying this...
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