I remember several years ago when I first realized that it was important to me to protect myself from the sun. I wigged out when I took a closer look at sunscreen ingredients:
After last week's jaunt into the desert and sunshine, it's obvious that my photosensitive skin that has been lulled into submission by the Pacific Northwest's cloudy winter is re-emerging and is cranky as heck.
I need to get serious about using sunscreen. Every day. No excuses. Or I'll find myself dealing with a repeat of last summer's ridiculously difficult splotch/hive episode.
So I'm on a quest to find a sunscreen that effectively blocks both UVA and UVB radiation, yet isn't laden with chemicals that could potentially create more problems than it prevents. As with most of my quests lately, this is proving to be a very complicated process.
Nothing is simple in Julia Land.Too true. It wasn't simple. Soon after writing this post, I embarked on a mission to find a safe, natural and effective sunscreen. After realizing what a difficult task that was, I gradually decided that I would use a commercially produced one but sparingly.
How times have changed.
These days, I buy gallons of this:
You can buy your very own here. Be sure to choose the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation as a charitable donation recipient on Amazon Smile.
It amazes me how incredibly sensitive my subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosis rash is to sunlight. A few days ago, I had meticulously applied lotion sunblock to my face and neck, but forgot to use the spray version to cover my arms and legs. I hopped into the car feeling smug and all UV protected, especially since I was wearing my hat and good sunglasses. But I let my left arm propped on the open window, which meant that where my 3/4 sleeve shirt left off, my unprotected skin began.
Later that day, I was irritated to see new lupus lesions beginning on my forearm. It took a minute or two to realize that I had forgotten a very important step this morning. Good grief. I think I was only in the car for about an hour, but what an effect that hour had on my arm.
I tend to use the Neutrogena products because they're unscented and seem to stick around on my skin longer than other products. (Wish I were reimbursed in some way for saying that, but dang. Nope.)
You can read more about sunscreens and photo protection here and here.
What's your favorite sunblock?