Favorite Sunscreen for Sailing

Quickstep192

Anarchist
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Chesapeake
I did a search for sunscreen and it looks like the newest post is now nearly 5 years old, so I thought I'd re-ask...

Anybody got a favorite sunscreen that holds up to sweat and isn't greasy and hard to apply? (and works :)

 
As a dermatologist that takes a pragmatic approach to things, here’s  my typical response to this question…

A long sleeve rash guard or sun shirt and a big brimmed hat are best protection and minimizes surfaces that you need to apply sunscreen (legs, hands, etc) that aren’t physically covered.  

Believe it or not, one of the highest rated sunscreens by consumers report is the Walmart house brand “Equate” in spf 50 sport formulation.  

if you are looking for non greasy, try Neutrogena “Ultra Sheer”.   Dries to a sort of powdery texture.  Can sting a little in your eyes if sweating but if wearing a brimmed hat and sunglasses, really don’t need to put around your eyes.  

 

slap

Super Anarchist
Believe it or not, one of the highest rated sunscreens by consumers report is the Walmart house brand “Equate” in spf 50 sport formulation. 
I've been using Equate Sport spf 50 for the last few years.  They even sell it in a large container with a pump.   One of the few things I go to Walmart for.

That and a Tilly hat, bimini, dodger, and sunglasses.

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Many people think brimmed hats look goofy and are sometimes reluctant to wear them.  Want to know what’s really goofy looking?— Loosing the tips of your ears to skin cancer and having your glasses sit crooked on your face!

I’ve got a pumpkin sized head (7 7/8-8) so finding hats is a little bit of a challenge. 

My go-to brimmed hats that I can find in size huge are:

Outdoor Research’s Sombriolet— big brim, leightweight, floats.  Limited to wearing on beach and on the water or while hiking  as it looks a bit silly in social situations. Has strap  to secure under chin or behind head  

Filson’s Tin Cloth Bush Hat— big brim, thick canvass is bomb proof, can be a bit warm in hot weather necessitating a dunk in the water (freshwater Lake Michigan) and placing back on head.  More rigid brim is great for keeping rain off glasses. Lifetime guarantee. Another hat for functional use during activities but not really to wear out for drinks after being on the water.  If I remember correctly, the chin/back of head strap is a few dollars extra. 

Tilley’s TMH55 — compromise between headwear that can be used for a Mexican hat dance and fair protection.   Brim isn’t quite as large as others but better side  and back protection  than a ball cap. Floats if it goes overboard.   Lifetime guarantee. Has a strap but more like soft shoelace style.  I never use it.   Tilley makes hats with larger brims but I don’t own one.   

Be careful with mesh hats or straw hats with lots of holes in weave. (Mesh ventilation along sides near top like Tilley hats seems ok). I’ve seen plenty of bald patients that say “I always wear a hat” with some interesting sun damage patterns on their scalps.  

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
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Many people think brimmed hats look goofy and are sometimes reluctant to wear them.  Want to know what’s really goofy looking?— Loosing the tips of your ears to skin cancer and having your glasses sit crooked on your face!

I’ve got a pumpkin sized head (7 7/8-8) so finding hats is a little bit of a challenge. 

My go-to brimmed hats that I can find in size huge are:

Outdoor Research’s Sombriolet— big brim, leightweight, floats.  Limited to wearing on beach and on the water or while hiking  as it looks a bit silly in social situations. Has strap  to secure under chin or behind head  

Filson’s Tin Cloth Bush Hat— big brim, thick canvass is bomb proof, can be a bit warm in hot weather necessitating a dunk in the water (freshwater Lake Michigan) and placing back on head.  More rigid brim is great for keeping rain off glasses. Lifetime guarantee. Another hat for functional use during activities but not really to wear out for drinks after being on the water.  If I remember correctly, the chin/back of head strap is a few dollars extra. 

Tilley’s TMH55 — compromise between headwear that can be used for a Mexican hat dance and fair protection.   Brim isn’t quite as large as others but better side  and back protection  than a ball cap. Floats if it goes overboard.   Lifetime guarantee. Has a strap but more like soft shoelace style.  I never use it.   Tilley makes hats with larger brims but I don’t own one.   

Be careful with mesh hats or straw hats with lots of holes in weave. (Mesh ventilation along sides near top like Tilley hats seems ok). I’ve seen plenty of bald patients that say “I always wear a hat” with some interesting sun damage patterns on their scalps.  
Who are these "many people" of which you speak?

 

unShirley

Super Anarchist
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Ventura
Being of Northern European ancestry and a 3rd generation SoCal beach boy, I get carved up by the dermatologist 3 times per year.  Better late than never I am clothed from head to toe, especially when sailing.  In addition to foulies or wetsuit, sailing gloves and booties I also wear:

balaclava  additionally I use the Neutrogena “Ultra Sheer” that Jeffery K mentioned above on my face so that the wee bit that is exposed is still protected.

surf cap

When not sailing, in addition to lightweight but SPF rated long pants and long sleeve tech shirt I wear:

Cruz hat

backhanders

 
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IStream

Super Anarchist
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I’m a dermatologist.  The many people are the patients I counsel daily.  
I'm guessing they change their tune after they see you. 

Regarding the Filson hats, they tend to shrink a bit over time so if you go that route make sure you don't get a size that's tight to begin with. Also, the've started waffling on their "lifetime" guarantee now that they're owned by a private equity group, not to mention moving more and more of their manufacturing overseas. I own a lot of their stuff and not liking the changes I'm seeing.

 

NaptimeAgain

Super Anarchist
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Annapolis MD
Broad brim hats can catch on lines etc. so I suspect there are used more when the action is a bit sedentary. I don't sail anymore, but for golf and power boating I like long sleeves, a fishing neck gaiter, sunglasses, and a hat.  Hard to keep a broad brim steady going faster than about 15 kts, so I am more likely to use a baseball cap and use the sunscreen on my ears and the side of my face.  I tend to break out a day or 2 after using sunscreen on the face. The big brim gets worn more for golf or mowing the lawn.

 
I'm guessing they change their tune after they see you. 

Regarding the Filson hats, they tend to shrink a bit over time so if you go that route make sure you don't get a size that's tight to begin with. Also, the've started waffling on their "lifetime" guarantee now that they're owned by a private equity group, not to mention moving more and more of their manufacturing overseas. I own a lot of their stuff and not liking the changes I'm seeing.
Not sure how much change it really makes.  Kinda like a doctor telling patients to loose weight or to quit smoking.   Or pissing in the wind.  
 

People only change when they want to.  If I didn’t have the discussion I wouldn’t be doing my job. Some will make change but most will carry on with the habits they have.  It’s usually when they’ve had one or two cancers removed that the light finally comes on.  Plenty of people in their 60s ad 70s saying “I wish I had…” 
 

I have had shrinking problems with other Filson hats but this one, with the wax finish, doesn’t seem as problematic.  Haven’t had to ever use the warranty but even with marketing and types of new products, can definitely tell there’s been a change in the company. They are still one of the few that makes  big head hats.  

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
6,286
3,192
Bay Area, CA
Re hats, if you can find a vintage Kaufman Black Diamond rubber one, they're the bees bollocks for heavy air offshore.  A nice soft green lining, a strap under the chin, and ear flaps so you can't hear those idiots in the executive lounge back aft.

Even when it's blowing Poms out of pubs, that old sun is still shining.

image.jpeg

 
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