Hello everyone – Last week Sailing Scuttlebutt (www.sailingscuttlebutt.com) featured a conversation about what sailing pros use in the way of sunscreen. While we look to some of these sailors for coaching advice this advice about sunscreen may be the most valuable of all. Check out the forum at http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=7198. - Doug
Here are a few quotes:
* Greg Fisher, J/22 World Champion: “I like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 sun block as it is less sticky and doesn't burn the eyes as readily as some of the other stuff. It's not totally waterproof but I've been told that you need to reapply every few hours anyway for any sunscreen to remain effective. I've tried some other sunscreens that claim to have "anti-wrinkle" properties. They don't seem to have quite the screen qualities as the Neutrogena nor do they seem to actually turn back the clock on what the sun has already accomplished!”
* Paige Railey, 2006 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year: “I use a sunscreen called Roc for babies. The reason I prefer it is because it's a mineral cream. I always wear rashguards so the only thing exposed to the sun is my face. The sunscreen is so thick that it makes my skin white. It looks like I wear zinc on my face. When it starts to wear off then the color will start to fade. So I reapply. This is the reason why I look like a ghost in all of my pictures. I use the same for my lips. I need to protect them because when I was younger I never cared for them so now I have had two spots removed. Let’s say I take the sun very seriously!”
* Zach Railey, 2008 Olympic Finn Silver Medalist: “I use sunscreen called Ocean Potion. SPF 30. It is very waterproof and also sweat proof for hot weather. I think it was originally designed for surfers.”
* Chris Larson, 1997 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, 7-time World Champion: “Growing up in Florida, I was exposed to the sun from an early age. I’ve had my share of “AK’s” actinic keratosis (pre-cancers), and biopsies. In addition, I had a full lip ‘laser’ resurfacing and Efudex treatment, a "topical chemotherapy" chemical face peel. Trust me; these are not things you want to experience.
“I currently use Coppertone Sport 50 SPF breathable sunscreen and have always come back to Coppertone products over the years. It just seems to work best for me. Sunscreens work differently on each individual due skin type and makeup. Trial and error is the best way to find something which gives you the most protection.
“Application is ABSOLUTLEY the most important factor in sun protection. I have a morning ritual of taking a shower and then immediately applying 3-4 coats of sunscreen. Heat and moisture from the shower open skin pours allowing it to absorb significantly more product. This method covers me for the whole day.
Applying sunscreen on the boat just doesn’t cut it and I inevitably come away with too much sun.
“In addition, Lip protection is a must. Zinc Oxide is the best for ultimate protection; however any lip balm w/ a SPF over 30 will work. Lastly, it’s important to see your dermatologist every 6 months.”
* Kevin Burnham, 2-time Olympic medalist: “Been through a lot of treatments. Lip laser burn that left my lips open and raw for weeks. Face peels with Efudex and numerous direct hits with the laser on various parts of my body. I had both eyes operated on from the sun burning them and creating pterygiums that had to be removed.
“I use the sunscreen called Aloegator that is made in Irving, Texas. I use the Kids SPF 45 cream that soaks into the skin. They have another SPF 45 that is a gel that causes me to sweat. The kids stuff does not burn the eyes either. The technique is to start with a shower in the morning and apply the first application, as soon as I get out and dry off. For my lips, I use Zinc oxide PASTE - not ointment. This stuff is mixed with a wax of some sort and stays on much better than the ointment. I order kilo jars of it from the pharmacy. When I am not on the water I use Neutrogena 30 lip balm. It is clear and does a good job. I am now wearing Patagonia gloves for my hands, while driving the car and on the water in Miami. It is SPF 30 and they do a good job. My hands have become a real concern due to the thinness of the skin there.
“All and all I believe that the most damage was as a child growing up three houses from the beach in Florida (in the 60’s/70’s). They did not have sun protection back then and I was always one huge blister in the summers. I think that if we had the sunscreen lotions that we have now, I would not have incurred so much sun damage to my skin. I feel that down the line I will be treated for serious melanoma problems. My skin type was never meant to be in the tropics and my love of the water combined, makes for a deadly combination.”
Curmudgeon’s Comment: Thanks to everyone that shared their sunscreen stories. Tips from Russell Coutts, Anna Tunnicliffe, Greg Fisher, Paige Railey, Zach Railey, Gram Schweikert, Betsy Altman, Bill Hardesty, Morgan Larson, Morgan Reeser. Bill Munster, Doogie Couvreux, Terry Hutchinson, Ken Read, Chris Larson, and Kevin Burnham are all on the Forum to view. Do you have any sunscreen advice? Post it here: