Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Protection 101

Nope, I’m not talking about that kind of protection, you dirty minded individuals; I’m taking about protection from the oh-so-horrible-to-my-Irish-skin bloody awful sun!

I hate the sun, the heat, the beaches—anything that has to do with my skin frying while freckles pop all over my body like corn in a stove I run away from; really fast and hard! All my life I’ve used sunblock, and since I had a car and drove everywhere, didn’t live in a roofless house, only walked from parking lots to buildings, avoided the beach like the plague (though I’m from a tropical island in the Caribbean!) and pretty much refused to go to pool parties, picnics, BBQ’s or anything at all that involved standing in the sun and mingling—I think I’ve done pretty good so far with my really fair skin. But living in Spain has been another story altogether.

It’s not really the heat that bothers me; I’m used to it and even to worse. It’s walking everywhere under the blazing sun in a country where they seem to have an adversity to trees that’s driving me mad!!! My skin is being damaged beyond repair.** *sob* No matter how much sunblock I’ve been putting on, (a lot of it, all over) nothing seems to work. *sniff* How can my reliable 100 SPF sun protection cream not be working?!?!?! Shouldn’t it be guarding me 100% from the harmful rays of the sun?!? Why then are my freckles multiplying and my skin burning?

I needed answers to my woes so I decided to ask my trustworthy and unfailing friend, Google, and this is what I found:

Sunblock is different than sunscreen. A sunblock physically blocks the sun’s UV radiation of the skin, both UVA and UVB. Chemical sunblocks scatter, reflect, and physically block UV radiation. Sunscreens absorb ultraviolet light so that it doesn’t reach your skin. On the other hand, sunblock physically blocks the sun’s UV rays. Unfortunately, many products are labeled as being sunblock, but are actually just sunscreen. If you really want a sunblock, look for sunblock ingredients, including titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Mmmm... Maybe what I have is sunscreen? My face block has both titanium and zinc but the body one has neither! No wonder the freckles in my feet and arms have multiplied. Lying thieves!

SPF stands for the Sun Protection Factor provided by a sunscreen. It refers to a product’s ability to stop your skin from burning. The higher the number of the SPF, the longer you can stay in the sun before burning.

For example, if it normally takes 10 minutes of sun exposure for skin to get a sunburn, an SPF of 15 would ideally provide 150 minutes of protection. (In actual use, protection is less because sunscreen gets washed off by sweat and water.) An SPF of 15 blocks more than 92% of the UVB rays. Skin may still tan even if a sunscreen is used, since all chemical sunscreens allow some UVA rays to penetrate.

Huh? Say what? What the hell does that mean?!? All these years I thought SPF meant the percentage of the sun that your sunscreen/sunblock protected you from. Say a 45 SPF protected your skin by 45%. *confused* Anyone else believed this or am I the stupidest person in the world? (No smart-ass comments, Harlot!) And what do they mean, some rays may still penetrate? NO WONDER MY SKIN IS HORRIBLE THESE DAYS!

*Sob* Anywho, *hiccup* here are some tips that might help you guys when out in the sun. *sniff*

Sun Safety 101 - The Forgotten Areas

Your arms, legs and face are usually well-protected with sunscreen or sunblock, but it’s easy to forget to apply it to areas such as your ears, behind the knees and the tops of the feet. Skin cancer can turn up anywhere, like the hairline and scalp, so massage sunscreen into your roots and apply a lip balm with SPF 15 on your lips. Try going for a color gloss rather than clear, which will protect your lips even more. And, pick out a pair of sunglasses that blocks all UVA and UVB rays. Exposing your peepers to the sun may result in eye damage such as vision loss!

Sun Safety 101 - Play It Safe
  • The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. That doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors during these hours, but try playing in the shade instead of out in the direct sunlight.
  • Learn the Shadow Rule. If your shadow is shorter than you are, then the sun is high in the sky and UV rays are intense.
  • When you’re out in the scorching sun and sweating like mad, you lose a lot of body fluid. So drink plenty of water (at least eight glasses a day) to avoid heat-related illnesses.
  • Suffering a sunburn before the age of 21 greatly increases the risk of skin cancer, so slather on sunscreen, even on cloudy days!

Here are some links of recommended sunblocks that might work for you:

**Many people incorrectly assume dry skin leads to wrinkles and that moisturizers can prevent them. Not true. Research shows 90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun’s UVA light and sun damage is the #1 cause of premature aging in women and men. Even at low-level exposures, UVA light breaks down collagen, which causes wrinkles. Even worse, scientists have found that UVA is the main culprit for many melanomas because it reaches deep into the underlying support structure of the skin.


34 comment(s):

Blogger Harlot said...

I HATE HATE HATE the sun. I burn easily but thank god unlike some heathens, i don't have to suffer popping freckles that multiply like horny mice.

I have low heat-tolerance. I'd die without AC as i live in a country where the only seasons are hot and hotter. Not even a tiny bit snow. *sniff*

I didn't know about the SPF too. :/ I've always used SPF 15.

7/31/2007 03:10:00 PM  

Anonymous Crystal said...

I too hate the sun and try to stay out of it. I Usually always wear sun block and If I get stuck outside for more than 1/2 hour without it I go into panic mode. I will be 31 in September and looking at my skin you would never know it. Usually when people guess my age they guess around 25. And I like the fact that when I'm 50 I'll probably look closer to my late thirties. I don't smoke, and hardly ever drink and I'm sure that helps my skin as well.

Great info in the post. Thanks for writing it.

7/31/2007 03:24:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Crystal, good for you. I have fair skin but not like Trollop's--i'm Asian so my skin type is different. I never willingly walk outside under the sun LOL. The most sun exposure i get is 2 minutes walking to the parking lot, thank god.

7/31/2007 03:38:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

MY BROTHER JUST GOT ME GREAT SUNBLOCK! *SNIFF* Being poor and all it seems my body sunscreen wasn't good and BFF and brother got me one as gift now.

Being a student sucks. I remember the days I could buy my own sunscreen LOL Anyway, wont be poor forever I hope. Looking for a rich/handsome man to mantain me living like a queen until death do us part. Any takers for the job? :P

7/31/2007 04:02:00 PM  

Anonymous terrie said...


you can't imagine how thankful i am for this post. it's like a prayer answered! i'm heading for a trip to the islands with some of my friends in about a weeks time (totally their idea!) and i've been worrying myself to death about protecting my skin for the past few days!

but now i'm rather confused. was it the sunblock or the sunscreen which was better at blocking out the sun and keeping our skin fair? i've always thought that it was the sunscreen that works better.

7/31/2007 04:44:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...


Sunblock is better but you have to make sure it has Titanium Dioxide
Zinc oxide as ingredients b/c that's what really protects you from the sun.

Also, try to wear big sunglasses and a hat. Baseball caps are good (I use them all the time)but they dont cover your neck and ears.

Another thing to take into consideration is that some fabrics let the sun get through and they'd still burn parts that are covered by fabric so try to put sunblock everywhere! I put it even in my ears, top/bottom of my feet and in between toes etc...

I have tons more info but the post was going to be too long :/ I'll see if I can link more stuff in the bottom.

7/31/2007 04:52:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

Oh wow, this is fantastic. I thought the same thing about SPF. I guess I've been using sunblock forever and I just got used to the idea that the higher the SPF, the more protected I would be. Very informative post. Thanks Trollop!

7/31/2007 04:56:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Great post! I hate the sun too. And the heat and dirt...

I have a much harder time finding sunblock and I think it's usually quite a bit more expensive. There's a brand in Canada - Ombrelle - that I think works pretty well, but you can't get it in the USA; it's not FDA approved or something like that. I'm not sure why not.

I don't understand the SPF thing as well -- does it mean the lower the number, the better? or do higher numbers provide longer sunblock/sunscreen protection?

7/31/2007 05:05:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Check out this article it has tons of useful information you might like to browse.

Dance, the higher the SPF the more time you can spend under the sun. It says in general you multiply the SPF number by 10 and that gives you the minutes you can be under the sun w/o getting burned, but that depends on your type of skin. Surely for my fair/freckly skin I should probably multiply it by 5 or something like that just to be safe.

7/31/2007 05:15:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Oh, okay! Thanks! I was confused by the 10 minute thing. I thought that number changed too, with the SPF.

I have such a farmer's tan right now. LOL. But instead of tanning all over, I'd rather my arms get lighter.

7/31/2007 05:24:00 PM  

Blogger Babz said...

I think freckles are adorable :D

Harlot, where on earth do you live? Sounds like MY country, really. I'm Asian too, but thankfully my skin is quite dark naturally, and I never get sunburn. But it's not a good thing for a Chinese, having darker skin :( apparently you're not as 'pretty' as a Chinese if you're not fair skinned - hm, idea for a post.

That being said, can we have a list of color gloss with sunscreen? I'm a simple girl, I don't wear lipstick and such, just lipbalm, Neutrogena. And somebody please recommend me sunblock that's not sticky and feels like cream on your skin - I hate that.

7/31/2007 05:41:00 PM  

Blogger Pepper-Anne Doty said...

I am so glad to have read this!! I too am Irish and have been cursed with fair skin that is prone to sunburn and massive amounts of freckes. And, I thought the same thing about sunscreen. I run a horse farm and I am in the sun all day long and the effect the sun has on me in the summer months is awful...burn, fatigue, freckles, not to mention the future risk. Great post!!

7/31/2007 06:32:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

But Dance,
You're an equestrian. It's understandable to get tanned with all that horse riding. ;)

You won't say freckles are adorable if you see Trollop's freckles--they're scary! (LOL just kidding. She'll kill me. :/ Well, she's sleeping now anyway. :P)

I'm here in Manila. ;) I have very fair skin ("fair" on my country's standard) and usually, i'm the fairest girl around wherever i am. :/ (You can't see it on my "about" pic because it's red LOL. Here's
Trollop and me
from an old post.)

I burn easily, like a red eggplant. The sun really hurts my skin that's why i can't stand it.

Anyway, you're right about Chinese liking fair skin. Actually, i think most Asians have that preference. I'm used to people telling me they love my skin, that "i'm lucky" for having it. I'd just smile, but truth be told i think it's odd because for me, Filipinos have wonderful skin color. Olive. All my siblings have it and they have beautiful skin.

Another equestrian! :D Dance loves horses too. But you know, i think i'll die if a horse comes near me. :/

7/31/2007 07:25:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

You know it's funny... Westerners COVET tan skin. Hell, even actors make a fool of themselves by turning into orange! They tan, they spray bronze stuff, they sunbathe. (Hellooo... the fucking sun will AGE your skin!!!)

Now, on the other side of the world, Asians. God, you have no idea how Asians spend RIDICULOUS amount of money just to have fair skin. They would bleach, drink pills, buy tons and tons and TONS of beauty products just to have fair skin.

It's odd. Asians are DYING to have white skin when Westerners are KILLING their skin, wWILLINGLY aging it just to have some tan. :/

7/31/2007 07:29:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

Excellent post Trollop! I don't understand all that SPF thing as well. I don't even know the difference between a sunblock and a sunscreen! Thanks!!

7/31/2007 08:39:00 PM  

Anonymous donna said...

dont forget under the jawline, upper lip, your entire neck/decolletage always and more often.

i finally found a mock turtle sleek maillot bathing suit and illbedammed if the tiny boob slit wasn't a hazard, don't forget there either!

VT, i think your brother is a man among men.

also, scarfs and hats are not just for winter or fashion.

i love straw hats- huge smashing and sassy. there was a time when my roommate would laugh at me for watching 3 weddings and a funeral over and over. she knew i craved andie mcdowell's hat.

7/31/2007 09:32:00 PM  

Blogger Babz said...

OMG you both are way cute. I'm south from you Harlot, in Jakarta, but currently living in Kuala Lumpur. Never been to the Philippines though, but my bf loves it there. He's closer to you in Sabah ;)

Harlot, I KNOW! What's with Asians' obsessions with fair skin?? I have olive skin and I think I'm hawt LOL. No seriously, it's nuts. Even Indians who naturally have darker skin prefer the fairer skin, in their own race. When I was younger I'd kill to have skin like you Harlot, but thankfully some friends slapped some sense into me lol. The skin you are born with is beautiful. Don't manipulate or mutilate it.

Holy crap I just realised.. that means, Harlot, you stay up all night just like me *head-desk*

7/31/2007 10:09:00 PM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

I was born with freckles. I dont' think anything will ever take it off short of new skin.

Sunblock with Titatium dioxide and zinc or both is great for children and adult too. I used it, even though it makes no difference to my freckles. I've given up on my freckles.

8/01/2007 02:25:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I come from the land "down under" - New Zealand and we have the highest skin cancer rate in the world. I have extremely fair skin and cannot sunbathe or I burn to a crisp immediately. Very dangerous. SPF, the higher the number the better. We have SPF 30+ here and in our make-up too. Cover up and save your lives and don't wrinkle and burn your skin.

8/01/2007 04:48:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

That's what i'm saying. I think olive skin is beautiful. Look at those famous supermodels and pretty actresses, they all have olive skin. If you're fair, sometimes they think you're pale. :/ I didn't choose to have fair skin but that's what i got.

Oh, i've always had trouble sleeping at night. I suppose, like they say, the truly wicked never sleeps. :P Plus, how can i sleep when Trollop's bugging me? :/

Donna, Aggie,
I agree. Hats, scarves, even umbrella if you have to. Donna, i love straw hats. I go to beaches just to be able to wear them. :P

8/01/2007 07:31:00 AM  

Anonymous terrie said...


Thanks for the information. TBB is the best!

8/01/2007 02:01:00 PM  

Blogger David said...

Great post. Thank you for sharing.

As the most white man on the planet without being albino, I have to live with hats - hats and an English accent do not endear your the French when visiting Marseille.

8/01/2007 02:46:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

David, look on the bright side. These days, being English in Marseille doesn't automatically mean you'll get run through with a French sword. :P Welcome.

8/01/2007 03:28:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Great post! Thanks Trollop.

I am so tan right now. I like it but I need new make-up because my old stash doesn't go well with my tan.

I didn't know about the SPF too. I just assumed the higher the number the better. LOL

8/01/2007 04:56:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Great post. I agree with the use of hats, sunglasses and sunblock. Also, I think it's important to spend time in the shade between 10am to 5pm. Very important to protect your skin against the sun.

8/01/2007 08:06:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

I was thinking, if you are under water, does that make you safe against the sun's rays?

8/02/2007 01:41:00 PM  

Anonymous Babz said...

Jordis, I read somewhere that water doesn't protect you from the sun, instead it magnifies the bad effects. It's the same thing as you're not advised to lick your lips - it magnifies the sun's presence by 10x.

Or so I read, I might be wrong :)

8/03/2007 06:03:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Here's what i got about sunblock and UV under water:

"Water resistant" implies that a sunscreen's photoprotective effect remains after 40 minutes of active immersion in water; "waterproof" implies that the sunscreen can withstand 80 minutes of immersion.

The product should be applied generously a short time before going outdoors to allow for absorption, and it may have to be reapplied after swimming or according to the manufacturer's recommendation.

Dyes used to colour cloth may also absorb UV radiation. Darker shades such as black, blue and green increase the UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) value, whereas very light colours have little

UPF is reduced when clothing is wet. Water is thought
to reduce the scattering of UV radiation and thus increase
its transmission. (source)

8/03/2007 05:10:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

Ahhh thanks for the info ladies. I just thought being under water makes you safe. You can't feel the sun's rays under water, and maybe the molecules of water or whatever its composed of will prevent UV to penetrate under water. Apparently not.

8/04/2007 12:18:00 PM  

Anonymous Sarah McCarty said...

I am white white white, so pale you can trace the eins through my skin. However, the slightest amount of time in the sun, I will turn all nut brown. Fades just as fast however. I'm allergic to sunscreen, and I spend summers on an island, so my compromise is Sunscreen clothing, limiting my outside time to before ten and after three, along with heavy duty sun blocking umbrellas when beaching. (Though I'm usually beach combing). I don't manage to stop fully tanning, but I avoid the burn completely.

8/04/2007 06:57:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Welcome, Ms. McCarty. :)

Speaking of beaches, did i tell you guys i just saw Josh Hartnett the other day! OMG! He's here in Davao shooting a movie. I didn't realise he's actually cute.. and oh boy, tall!

8/04/2007 07:42:00 PM  

Anonymous Sarah McCarty said...

Thanks for the welcome. I'm a frequent lurker. *G*

8/07/2007 09:26:00 AM  

Anonymous Wendell said...

This is wonderful. Good post. Thank you for sharing!

8/11/2007 02:33:00 AM  

Anonymous mike b. said...

LOL! This is exactly what got me into where I am. I am FRIED right now!

8/15/2007 10:36:00 AM