We showcased SolarAegis at the Greg Norman Shark Shootout Golf Tournament in Naples, FL. back in December and a lady asked me if SolarAegis would burn her eyes. She went on to tell me how her sunscreen always runs into her eyes when she starts sweating and having to deal with the imminent sting and discomfort that soon follows.
My answer is that if you get anything in your eyes it has a tendency to burn, hurt or feel uncomfortable, so I never like to tell anyone that a dose of SolarAegis in the eyes is going to be a pleasant experience. I’ve actually rubbed it in my eyes, on purpose, to get first hand knowledge of how it feels. The advice is to avoid if you can. The good news, however, is that SolarAegis doesn’t feel like many of the chemical-based sunscreens which have UV filters, like avobenzone, which really sting in the eyes and even occasionally the skin. If you’re active, stay away from products with the chemical UV filters like avobenzone and choose a product with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, especially for application on the face.
I asked this nice lady if she wore a hat when she was outside and she exclaimed that she “always wears a hat outdoors”. I went on to ask her why she applied sunscreen above her eyes if she always wore a hat?? Her answer: “I don’t know, I never thought about it”. Obviously, if you have a hat with a brim covering your forehead, it’s not imperative to apply sunscreen above your eyes, but this exchange made me realize something…that people seem to have some strange habits when it comes to applying sunscreen. Some of these habits may be innocuous, but after a little research, it appears we all need a little primer in this department.
I took it to task and visited the American Academy of Dermatology website to delve into the recommended protocol. Here is what they say:
“Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes BEFORE going outdoors. When using sunscreen, be sure to apply it to all exposed areas and pay particular attention to the face, ears, hands, and arms. Coat the skin liberally and rub it in thoroughly — most people apply only 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body properly. Don’t forget that lips get sunburned, too, so apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Sunscreens should be reapplied approximately every two hours or after swimming or perspiring heavily. Even so-called “water-resistant” sunscreens may lose their effectiveness after 40 minutes in the water. Sunscreens rub off as well as wash off, so if you’ve towel-dried, reapply sunscreen for continued protection.
Also, there are a number of combination cosmetic products, such as moisturizers that contain sunscreen, but it is important to remember that these products also need to be reapplied to achieve continued UV protection.”
A couple of other tricks I’ve learned over the years:
- I almost always have a hat on when outside so I typically do not apply sunscreen to my forehead where it could run into my eyes.
- Depending on my activity, I will apply a thicker layer of sunscreen to skin surfaces that are on a more direct angle with the sun’s rays.
- I assure I get adequate protection around my ears, including behind them. Remember, sun damage is cumulative so protecting even lesser exposed areas is important.
- I always wear sunglasses that block 99% of UVA/UVB rays.
- I apply sunscreen to my shoulders during the summer months in Florida. Although I wear a shirt all the time, UV can get through many fabrics, especially in geographies with intense sunlight and/or if there is a long exposure period during the middle of the day (my summer golf games are a good example).
Get outdoors. Have fun and keep yourself protected from the sun!