Best Waterproof Sunscreen / Sunblock for Swimming?

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  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    And for those struggling to apply sunscreen to their own backs and not wanting to have to ask a complete stranger... http://www.backbliss.com I used one of these in Spain recently while away on my own, and didn't get burned at all (using SolRx Prosport 44).

    IronMike
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    That looks like a useful item to have in the swim bag. I've used a spatula for that. It didn't exactly work very well.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    My solution - go to Dollar Tree and get a bamboo back scratcher for $1.00. You can put the sunscreen on the flat side and apply it readily.

    Another solution is to attach a sponge on the flat side of the back scratcher and then put Urethane glue (sold many places in the U.S. as "Gorilla glue") on the sponge surfaces. Put the glue on and then wipe off as much as you can. Once it dries it will coat the sponge and prevent much of the sunscreen from being absorbed by the sponge. You can also use it to attach the sponge to the bamboo. Urethane glue, when dry, is waterproof, won't dissolve in sunscreen (or nearly anything else) and is very tough.

    -LBJ

    flystorms

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited August 2016

    Riemann P20 has been getting some mentions on the Channel chat group. I'd never heard of it, but it sounds like folks are getting some good results from it.

    61u024whe8L._SY355_

    pavlicov
  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    I've just swapped to P20 because the Prosport brand (SolRx in the US) has been taken off the market here in the UK - there's been a big quality control product recall and you can't get it anywhere at the moment. Hopefully it will be back, but I'm very happy with the Riemann's too. It's a spray-on clear liquid rather than a cream, so I find it hard to have faith in it, but it seems to work well.

    pavlicovJenA
  • pavlicovpavlicov NYC USASenior Member
    edited August 2016

    @KarenT That is really interesting! I just bought 3 tubes of SolRx in the USA on Amazon and the consistency was rather waterish instead of the paste I am used to and I got severely burned after 2h on the sun. It is definitely not the same product. I was about to call them and complain on Monday but then work happen. Now I will do it for sure. I will try the P20.

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    edited August 2016

    I just used SolRX Waterblock SPF 50 Sunscreen in my 6-hour Issyk Kul swim. Sun came out about half-way through, so was already in the water for quite a bit beyond the promised coverage (80 min?), but I came out of that swim w/o sunburn.*

    Highly recommend it.

    *Almost no sunburn. There was a small band between the top of my trunks and where the sunscreen started that my daughter missed. Do you blame her? I'm sure she didn't want to dig into that area of dad's lower back/upper butt.

    SydneDKLow

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • pavlicovpavlicov NYC USASenior Member

    @IronMike Please, read my and @KarenT posts above. SolRx is currently not the same. It has different consistency and it does not work. I strongly DON'T recommend buying SolRx right now.

  • swimrn62swimrn62 NY, NYMember

    P20 is available in cream....I just ordered some from Wiggle.com to give it a try. The price was better than on Amazon. I like(d) SolRx and am at the end of a large bottle. Going for something new after hearing about quality issues, but it worked well for me if applied twice.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    I bought some SolRX products earlier this year, I got the pump spray. It was shipped in an envelope, which broke open in the mail and leaked all over everything else in the order. I haven't tried it yet, since my aerosol spray from last year still has some left. Very disappointed to hear about this. The dry zinc 44 has been my go-to for my face because it's been very effective and doesn't cause my goggles to leak. :|

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    pavlicov said: @IronMike Please, read my and @KarenT posts above. SolRx is currently not the same. It has different consistency and it does not work. I strongly DON'T recommend buying SolRx right now.

    I did, but admittedly after I posted mine!

    Funny though, I just bought my tube a couple months ago from amazon. Wonder when the consistency changed? I had never used it before, so I have nothing to compare it to. It was what I expected from a sunscreen, so I guess watery? It certainly worked though. I used nothing else on my back, legs, face and arms. I used baby butt cream under my arms and around my neck.

    pavlicov

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • JaimieJaimie NYCCharter Member
    edited August 2016

    I've tried the P20 and for me it prevents burning but not tanning which I don't like but might be ideal for normal people. It's oily and has a slight brown tint.

    SolRX is good for me for a couple of hours and slightly easier to take off than zinc so I use it on shorter ones, but I think I missed the bad batches so far.

    I am tempted to try diaper cream over the P20 but I think the oily-ness of the P20 might cause the zinc to slip off.

    One random note on the diaper cream - I tried the large pot of Desitin and it came off much more easily than the stuff in the tubes - appears to be a different consistency and doesn't work nearly as well.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about sunscreen.

    IronMikerosemarymint
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    I hadn't used Desitin before last Saturday. It really did the trick and I had zero abrasions/chafing around my neck, shoulders & armpits. When I got home, I thought, "how the heck am I going to get this off?" I rummaged around the cupboard and found some cold cream, which seemed to cut through it, somewhat. My arms were way too tired to do much scrubbing, so some of it just stayed where it was. I think it mostly wore off within 36 hours. What do others use to get Desitin off?

    On the subject of sunscreen, I'd tried Safe Sea SPF 15 ( jellyfish sting preventative) on a 4 hour training swim last month. It seemed to last about 2.5 hours, then I noticed that it wasn't working any more, just before I hit a huge swarm of jellies. My strategy for Saturday was to keep the lotion on longer, since Puget Sound seems to be full of jelly-bits this time of year. I coated myself (face, arms, upper body) with Safe Sea, let it dry, then applied a coat of SolRx over that. I got a coat of spray-on SolRx on my back shortly before getting in. I didn't get burned at all and the Safe Sea lasted about 6.5 hours under the SolRx. I suddenly felt the jelly bits stuck in my suit after that point and I caught a loose tentacle on my goggles near the end. So, Safe Sea works, if you can keep it on.

    Jaimie

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Goop! I have that! B-)

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • Nadia_BBNadia_BB Casablanca - MoroccoMember

    Hi everyone, Can you please recommand anything that can be found in France ? Unfortunately i can't find the SolRx Thanks in advance,

  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

    zinc is the best, i use desitin which is for baby's diaper rash. the other option that seems to work well is p20 and neutragena baby which is 22% zinc. best to test out before the big day ,

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    I started this thread in March 2012. I was still new. I didn't know what I was doing. I was still hopeful that marathon swimming would not be the nastiest sport out there. But, since then, I'm here to tell you: Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, is better than Desitin. I've tried so many products. It's thick, it's nasty, but if you truly don't want to get burned- put on Desitin. If you put it on thick enough, you can swim for at least 48 hours without reapplying to arms and face and at least 56 hours without reapplying to your back. I use regular sunscreen for 4 hours or less, Desitin for more than that. I get weird looks at the little lake I swim at in the summer. It's worth it. I feel like a million bucks covered with lanolin and Desitin, but if I'm burn and chafe free- then, that's what matters. Just do it.

    evmoIronMike
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    sarah and ryan

    There you go- that's what your lanolin and desitin looks like after 56 hours. Still there. Still not letting you get burned. I added more to my face and tops of my arms at 48 hours. You can't see my back, but it's still covered. Took two showers of Ryan scrubbing me down with baby oil to get it all off.

    evmo
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    desitin back

    How thick do you put it on? This thick. Wear gloves.

    lakespray
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 2017

    Do Johnson & Johnson do athletic sponsorships?

    I'm serious, they probably have no idea their product is being used for this purpose, and there must be an ambitious marketer somewhere in their org chart. In contrast to, say, Carbo Pro, this is a company with ~$72 billion annual revenue.

    Let me know if you need a letter of rec, @ssthomas ;-)

    ssthomasrosemarymintpavlicovCathyInCAjendutcurlymjstaples
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    We had kids that needed Desitin years before I discovered marathon swimming. But I gotta tell you: the moment I did my first swim and came out with one of those painful rashes, I knew right away what product I was gonna buy to prevent it. In full agreement with the incredible @ssthomas Desitin rules!

    ssthomas

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • JSwimJSwim Frostburg, MarylandMember

    @ssthomas do you bother trying to get Desitin out of your suit?

    ssthomas

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    JSwim said: @ssthomas do you bother trying to get Desitin out of your suit?

    The suit above was old- I tossed it.

    Sometimes, I do try and rinse as best I can so I can get a few more uses out of the suit. Doesn't always work, but it's ok to have a grungy suit for long outside swims either way.

    JSwim
  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Member

    @Nadia_BB : In Spain, the only one I found with 40% Zinc oxide is this one http://www.isdin.com/producto/nutraisdin/zn-40-pomada-reparadora-0 , but I can't see it in the French part of the web.

  • swimrn62swimrn62 NY, NYMember

    I'm very fair skinned and have used P20 (SPF 50) for an 8 hour swim without any problems, not even a tan line. Two issues with P20: It does stain anything so apply it early and naked at least 10 minutes before you need to touch any fabric. And I haven't found a way to travel with it because it seems to (and this is a bit scary) destroy silicone and plastic containers. So I use it in the container I bought it in for any swims I drive to and am still trying out options for swims I fly to. Zinc is truly effective but such a mess.

  • WarmWaterWarmWater SingaporeMember

    +1 for desitin, I did a 7 hour swim in sunny conditions and wasn't burned in any way. As a lily white Englishman believe me it's good stuff.

    That said you need a more user friendly 50+ cream for daily/weekly training.

  • Kate_AlexanderKate_Alexander Spring Lake, MichiganMember

    The best solution for removing Desitin that I've found is a mixture of Dr Bronner's liquid soap and baking soda. The baking soda acts like a mild scrub. I also found that brand name baking soda works better than generic. I mix it in amounts to make a runny paste. The baking soda softens over time so I make up a week's worth at a time.

    I tried all the other recommendations on this site - Goop, baby oil, foot scrub, etc. and they didn't work as well for me as the Bronner's and baking soda.

    Banana Boat SPF 100 for up to 6 hours, Desitin for longer swims.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    I expect that boater fees are going to rise exponentially with the increasing popularity of desitin. Boaters hate it for the same reason swimmers love it...... it don't come off easy.

    Be courteous..... wear a robe when on board.

    ssthomasIronMikeBridget

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    david_barra said:

    Be courteous..... wear a robe when on board.

    or a garbage bag.

    david_barramjstaples
  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    ssthomas said:

    david_barra said:

    Be courteous..... wear a robe when on board.

    or a garbage bag.

    Oh great! Now you will be considered a trashy woman... :))

    ssthomas
  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    It's the middle of winter in chilly North Yorkshire, so obviously, I'm thinking about sunscreen.

    Some news for UK swimmers who are missing Prosport 44 - I just discovered that Solrx is now being marketed in the UK (http://www.solrx.co.uk). The UK brand Prosport, made by Solrx, was subject to a massive recall in 2015 and never recovered, but has now been re-launched in the UK as Solrx. It's a different product from the Prosport 44 that lots of swimmers used when I was Channel swimming, but I tried the SPF 50 with zinc oxide in the summer (ordered from the US), and it's really effective. I don't think it beats nappy-rash creams like Desitin / Sudocrem, but it's much easier to get off, especially if you're on your own. Great to see it available here.

    As a mineral-based barrier product, they make environmental claims for it as oxybenzone free and 'reef safe', but I'd welcome any views on those claims from those with better science / environment literacy than me.

  • JaimieJaimie NYCCharter Member

    @KarenT I used SolRX a bit before the bad batches and it was okay for an hour or two for me. Probably longer for normal people. It's definitely a physical block so imagine it would be okay for reefs but I'm not an expert.

  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    Oh I really liked SolRX for Key West. It worked great in the 6+ hours I had it on and didn't burn or even turn pink.

  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member

    I used P20 and a thin layer of Desitin for Catalina. Worked like a dream.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    Thanks @Jaimie @flystorms and @KatieBun. I like both the Solrx and the P20 and I'm really pleased that both are now available in the UK.

    My problem is that I think I want something that doesn't exist - environmentally safe, vegan (so no lanolin) and able to withstand multiple hours in the water. I've tried wearing a rash vest but that ended with unbelievable chafing after a couple of hours (although a solid-backed costume definitely helps). I've also tried several vegan / eco sunscreens, and they're fine for regular walking about but hopeless in the water. At the moment, I'm planning to go with some combination of Solrx / Sudocrem, but happy to hear about alternatives that might limit environmental impact without sacrificing efficacy in the water.

    Not that blazing sunshine is much of a problem here in the north of England... but I'm flying south next week and just the shock of seeing the sun may cause me to spontaneously combust.

    SolossthomasKatieBun
  • Copelj26Copelj26 ChicagoMember

    Sol Rx got me around Key west for 5.5 hours and no issues for my fair Irish skin at the border buster for 8 hrs

  • Keep an eye on the expiry date. I have used Sol Rx for the last four years on my swims and it has served well even for twelve hours. However the same bottle I used for that twelve swim I used again for five swim in 12 January 2018. The expiry date was 31 January 2018. I was very burnt at the end of the swim, luckily we start ed at 8am. I will now subtract three months off to be safe.

    Jaimie
  • earnd193earnd193 New Member

    I tested P20 at the Miami 10K earlier this month (May). I came from the Midwest and thus saw pretty much no sun on me until the swim (fancy way of saying I was stark white). Although 10K may not qualify as a marathon swim, this test of P20 passed with flying colors, no pink, not even a tan. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • swimrn62swimrn62 NY, NYMember

    Just came back from the Cancun 10k, experimented with other sunscreen brands, and it ended badly. Back to P20 SPF 50. For plane travel, I bought two 100ml bottles of P20 and will refill them for travel (the product does not travel well in typical TSA approved bottles).

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