Forum home The potting shed

Tanning quickly using 50 SFP

FireFire Posts: 18,019
edited May 2021 in The potting shed
Here's a frustration: sunblocks do not seem to work. I have high melanin levels in my skin. Today, I was gardening for two hours in the afternoon sun. The ambient temp was around 20oC, but, yes, I was in full sun for the two hours, no hat, in a sheltered London garden. Before starting I slathered on SPF50 (full spectrum) from a in-date new bottle and I wore a long sleeved shirt. Taking a shower in the evening there was a clear dark tan line not there in the morning. My face was pinkish.

I get that we need to reapply regularly and sweating or exercise can reduce its efficacy. But neither of those should be the case. So, short of wearing a big hat and a scarf around the neck (which I do increasingly for much of the summer) what can be done and why should SPF on dark skin not work?

Any tanning is a sign of skin damage, even without burning. I have had radiotherapy and need to be careful on face, arms and upper body. I don't want any tan or skin damage. I am somewhat stumped.



  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,984
    I find it really depends on the brand.  You should think 50 spf would be 50 spf.. but my pasty white British husband is the first to show signs if a particular brand or type isn't good at blocking the rays.  He got pretty burned a number of times using the 'natural' types I had for the boys as babies.  Off brands also never seem to work as well as the expensive brand names.  We usually stick with Coppertone Water Babies 50 spf, as that is the best we found in this unrelenting Utah sun.  
    Utah, USA.
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,954
    edited May 2021
    I remember Which? magazine did a survey a couple of years ago. There is no standardisation of SPF so there is a  variation in the  efficacy of  products . More expensive  doesn't guarantee more effective.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 335
    I think Riemann P20 was regarded as being an effective sunblock. That and one other whose name escapes me, but the complaint for both was that they stain any clothing they come into contact with. The other one, which will come to me at some point, is like wallpaper paste.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,685
    Move to Edinburgh.  I lived there for almost twenty years and never got sunburned once. The summer of 1976 when everyone was talking about the endless summer? What summer? It was just a bit less grey than usual. And you can guarantee that if you do have one hot day, the next will be followed by a cold, dense fog known locally as a sea haar that lasts until dusk. 🙄
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    Unfortunately there is a huge variety in quality of such products, amazon reviews aren't trustworthy, magazine/media reviews mostly favour advertisers (or those who provide better perks). Best to ask around for personal recommendations or trial and error. 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669
    As well as SPF you need as many stars as possible. I am relieved, when I saw the post name,I thought,oh oh, some one wanting to tan while wearing SPF 50, perhaps you could ask the secretary of s Dermatologist at your nearest hospital. You are wrong about price and well known brands Blue onion. I signed up to Which? The Aldi products came up tops. I have a vested interest,I (blue eyed blond, white now) have had skin cancer, hubby,dark hair,(grey now) dark brown eyes also,my grandson has a Hairy Naevus,a rare skin condition,which has to have either 2 layers of clothing or one plus heavy factor,must never be exposed to sunlight. I wear at least 15 in winter. Have a pre malignant on my face. You have to apply it well before going outside,all year
  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 909
    edited May 2021
    You could try looking for products with high PA ratings. I use Sun Project Light Sun Essence by Thank You Farmer, a Korean brand available online in the UK, which has a PA+++ rating.

    Obviously much of the skincare industry is snake oil so it’s all about what you find works for your skin, but I’m quite happy with it in terms of non-greasiness, no whitish residue, and the fact it doesn’t sting my eyes. I’m already quite tanned so don’t notice much its effects in the anti-tanning department — I can only say now that you’ve brought up tanning I don’t think I get more tanned out in the sun with it on…

    “PA is used in Asian countries like South Korea and Japan. PA means Protection Grade of UVA. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB rays and cause skin aging. Also, UVA are the predominant tanning rays.

    According to the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association, PA+ corresponds to a UVA (PPD*) protection factor between 2 and 4, PA++ between 4 and 8, and PA+++ more than 8.”

    Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669
    Pansyface,we went to Glasgow,I think 15 years ago, I wanted to see the Macintosh stuff,(I actually ended up on TV in the tea rooms) the weather forecast said it was 10c lower than here in the sunny south,well it was really hot,got red legs (shorts, not too short!) and prickly heat!
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,685
    Ah, it has to be Edinburgh. It has it’s own microclimate. Drive ten miles out of the city and everybody is in shorts and tee shirts. Go back and it’s scarf and glove weather.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,810
    We use SPF50 stuff marketed for kids. Goes on like a coating of Dulux emulsion. Repeat often. SPF 50 means you will get some protection for 50 times longer than it takes unprotected skin to redden. If you start to burn in 1 minute you only have 50 minutes protection and only if you have used a good thick coating. My pale blue Scottish skin feels the burn immediately in strong sun so it is the old Slip, Slop, Slap routine for me.
    Friends in Bermuda used to laugh at Brits thinking SPF 15 or 20 max would do the job. They would tell them that wasn't suncream but just moisturiser. I saw some ladies gardening in a park in Okinawa and they had so much clothing on you would have thought it was deepest winter rather than a 30C summer's day. Skin fully covered with several layers and huge headscarves beneath those wide straw hats. Most of the locals carried parasols which we use for a different purpose :D
Sign In or Register to comment.