A few weeks ago we had a family reunion on the Magnolia River in Alabama. My cousins and I rented some paddleboards and went out on daily “missions” to see how many of the little inlets we could explore. Some of the missions turned out to be longer than we expected. Normally I am a complete zealot about applying sunscreen every day, even if it’s just driving back and forth to the office during daylight hours. So I had plenty of spray-on waterproof “sport” sunscreen with me, applied it twice during the first day, and didn’t think much about it.
Well I guess I wasn’t very focused on my task when I was applying the sunscreen. I missed a few spots, and they were big spots. I ended up blistered, itching, peeling, the whole nine yards, and now I would like to share the results of my sunscreen research with you:
1. Mineral-based sunscreens are better for your skin and offer more effective protection than the chemical-based products.
2. Look for these key ingredients: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
3. Use the spray mist stuff as a backup. Apply plenty of the old school lotion formula in the morning before you go out, and bring some spray with you. For backup. But the primary layer in the morning should be a lotion formula.
4. I emailed my dermatologist to ask whether a product like Amlactin (with alpha hydroxy acids) would help increase cell turnover rate and help the burn heal faster. He said the acids in that type of lotion would irritate my skin even more, not to go that route. He suggested Cera-Ve, Sarna, and ibuprofen or Benadryl.
5. I recommend Elta MD sunscreen. It’s expensive but totally worth it, at least for the face, where in our ageist society I would rather take zero risks. Amazon has a super size for $35.
6. Learn from my mistake. Please read the directions on your sunscreen and follow them. Reapply every 2 hours, etc.
Still, even with the sunburn and all that, the pain was nothing compared to how good it feels to paddle. I loved every minute of it.
PS, we rented our boards from Salty Dog Paddlesports in Fairhope. Highly recommend them, they deliver to some locations within Baldwin County.