Author’s Note: The rapidly approach of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere and the seasonal transition in the Southern Hemisphere validate the importance of the annual “manifest” of the health and safety benefits attained through the consistent regular use of sunscreen. No matter where we live, our racial identity or the amount of time that we spend outside, the proper use of sunscreen is vital to us all! Please read! Appreciate, learn and practice!
The summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21, here in the Northern Hemisphere. However, in the USA, two weeks from today, Monday, May 31, is the Memorial Day holiday. Most people in this country consider this date the unofficial beginning of the legendary season of “fun in the sun.” No matter which date one prefers for the arrival of the summer, there’s no denying the fact that warmer temperatures and longer daylight are here. This means that textile folks are wearing less clothing and that us clothes free enthusiasts are bare, as usual!
That also means that most (if not all) of us, bare or otherwise, are outside and for longer periods of time, than we were a month ago. While outdoors, we’re all exposing more of our skin to the sun’s rays. This baring of ourselves in all of this sunshine is a welcome change and relief after the forced hibernation of this past winter.
In our eagerness to get out and frolic in the fresh air and the warm sunshine, many of us forget one of the basic rules of summer health. We all need to cover up (protect) our skin before we uncover any part or all of our body. This cover up entails the use of an appropriate sunscreen applied adequately (sufficient quantity) and, when necessary, reapplied diligently. Using sunscreen allows most of us to enjoy the most of whatever our summer plans may offer. The purpose of sunscreen is to safeguard our skin from the condition known as sunburn (or worse), which is shown on the back on the man in the photograph below.
Sunburn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and not heat. It is important to remember that skin can burn even on overcast or cloudy days, cold winter days and while under shade (shelter from direct sunlight). Sunburn damages or destroys the skin, which controls the amount of heat our body releases or retains, holds in fluids (hydration) and protects us from infection.
Reactions to sunburn range from mild irritation to serious pain. Sunburn may cause fevers and nausea (depending on the severity of the burn) and makes the dead skin peel away. Sunburn may lead to serious health complications and issues later in life.
The information below is very general and is offered as a guide to use in selecting the type of sunscreen that’s best for personal protection. Keep in mind that every individual is just that, an individual: a unique person. What is applicable for one may or may not be the same for another. When in doubt, consult a health practitioner. It is better to ask now than to be sorry later!
The format for the remainder of this posting here on ReNude Pride is in a “question and answer” style. I thought this would enable visitors here an easier and speedier search if they had specific questions or topics to pursue.
What is sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a chemical that, to a certain degree, prevents UV radiation from reaching the skin. While there is no product that totally eliminates UV radiation damage, many variations, when used properly, can and do protect the skin adequately.
What should I look for in a sunscreen?
Regardless of where the sun activity is taking place – backyard, ball-playing field, court or course, park or waterfront, the sunscreen product should contain two elements for effective protection. Always look for a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that includes chemicals that block both UV-A and UV-B radiation from penetrating the skin surface.
While no product is completely “waterproof,” select a “water-resistant” type that is designed for long-lasting wear, especially if sweating heavily or swimming. Choose a variation that is both easy to apply and feels good on the skin. There are numerous commercial brands available: creams, gels, lotions, moisturizers, solid sticks and sprays (aerosols). After applying whatever commercial brand that you choose, gently and evenly rub the ointment into the skin to ensure full protection. In order for the protection to occur, the sunscreen must be absorbed into the skin.
What is SPF?
The initials SPF refer to sun protection factor. It is the measure of the effectiveness of the sunscreen in absorbing UV-B radiation. If someone sunburns after 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure, using a product of SPF15 extends the amount of time before sunburn occurs to approximately 150 minutes or two-and-one-half hours. After this amount of time, it should be reapplied to continue protection.
In terms of percentages, a product of SPR15 blocks almost 93% of the UV-B sunrays. One of SPF30 blocks almost 97% of radiation and one of SPF50 blocks almost 99%. The difference in protection may not justify the added expense of higher SPF sunscreens.
What’s the best sunscreen for me?
This depends on many factors, including age, activity, skin type, race or ethnicity, time of day, location (proximity to the equator) and the UV index. For most skin types, a sunscreen with a minimum SPF15 is recommended. Men with fair or lighter skin tones (of all races) and low sun tolerance (burn easily) should use SPF30. For minimal sun exposure, 90 minutes or less, a moisturizer cream may suffice (with correct SPF level). For extended periods of sun exposure and higher activity engagement (either sports or excessive sweating) use a longer-lasting product such s a cream, gel or lotion. Sprays (either aerosol or pump) are beneficial for hairy parts of the body, including arms and armpits, chest, legs and the pubic region. If a person is acne-prone, select sunscreens that are oil-free or non-carnodegenic.
For persons with sensitive skin, the chemicals in some sunscreens may cause skin irritation. Use a product that contains only physical blockers (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). A physical blocker does not penetrate the skin layers as do chemicals. Physical blockers remain on the skin surface to provide protection.
What’s the best way to use sunscreen?
If you’ve used sunscreen before and sunburned, it was either a) applied incorrectly, b) the wrong SPF, c) expired by age. For sunscreen to be effective, it must be in sufficient quantity, applied correctly and thoroughly, applied prior to sun exposure and reapplied when necessary. Remember the lips! Use a lip balm with a minimum SPF15!
One ounce (a full alcoholic shot glass) per adult body per application (minimally). Apply liberally all over the body, including behind the ears and on the edges of the ear and ear lobes.
When to apply?
At least thirty (30) minutes before going out into the sun. It is best to reapply 15 minutes later. The second application helps to cover body areas that may have inadvertently missed the first time. Once in sunlight, reapply when recommended in the sunscreen directions. More often if swimming, heavily perspiring or towel drying.
Who should use sunscreen?
Everyone needs skin protection from the sin’s rays! All ethnicities and races are susceptible to sunburn. Men with darker skin complexions or skin tones may have a higher tolerance for sun exposure but at some point, will begin to experience sunburn. Keep in mind that skin damage and serious complications later are a result of failure to protect the skin.
What does the “expiration date” mean?
Sunscreen usually remains stable and effective for a period of three years. After the expiration date, the contents will begin to decompose and will not offer the intended protection. Always check the expiration date before application! Discard any product that is past the expiration date.
Sunrays also have an impact on human eyes. Sunglasses are an important tool to help safeguard vision and eliminate radiation. There are sunglasses available that reduce UV radiation. Take care and protect your eyes, too! Caution: do not apply sunscreen into your eyes!
Suggestions For Bare Practitioners:
All of us bare practitioners (bisexual or gay men who are also naturist or nudist) should keep in mind the following suggestions on sunscreen.
- When in public, it is best not to have a friend or intimate partner to apply sunscreen to your genitalia and vice versa. Often, people have been expelled from facilities for “indecent or lewd conduct.” Discretion is advised.
- Apply sunscreen to the entire body. This includes the anal area, armpits, penis and testicles (both front and back). Follow the reapplication guidelines. Body areas that may not receive direct sunlight absorb UV-A and UV-B radiation indirectly. When in public, be discrete in applying sunscreen in the genitalia.
- Manscaping (body hair removal), no matter the method used, creates sensitive areas on the skin surface. First, apply a gentle body lotion, wait 15 – 20 minutes and then cover with sunscreen.
- For all-day visits to the beach or lakefront areas, a time device is encouraged in order to monitor the reapplication process. An alarm is ideal for alerting the time to reapply!
Being outdoors and in the sunlight is a pleasurable time for practically all of us but especially when we are just as clothes free as possible! There are an endless variety of nudecentric (bare focused) activities that we enjoy, from reading alone or to someone to a full athletic event with both participants and spectators. No matter how we plan to spend our leisure time, proper protection against sunburn ensures all of us freedom from concerns over our health both now and in the future. One less worry as we go about our business of having “fun in the sun!”
In following the above protocols and recommendations and our own “common sense,” we’ll all be able to look back and know that “a good time was had by all!”
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Friday, May 21, 2021, and the proposed topic is “Spring Cleaning!”