It is the month of May and for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, our Summer is rapidly approaching. In order to help remind everyone of the realities of living as a bare practitioner, the message is: we all need to act for protection of our skin! There is enough potential for disaster in our lives already. Failure to act to protect ourselves from over-exposure to the sun is a risky procedure that none of us need to make. Our health is fragile as it is!
Annually, usually during the month of May, I post a summation of the steps we should follow in protecting our skin from the sun. We enjoy our body and clothes freedom, a simple notation of the process to ensure continued fun and pleasure during the summer months is an effort towards the health and safety of us all. To all of our bare practitioners residing in the Southern Hemisphere, earmark this post in preparation when “fun-in-the-sun” season returns to you!
In our eagerness to get outside and frolic in the fresh air and warm sun, many of us forget one of the basic rules of outdoor health: we all need to cover up (protect) our skin before we uncover any part of or all of our body. This cover up entails the use of an appropriate sunscreen applied correctly, adequately (sufficient quantity) and, when necessary, reapplied diligently. Using sunscreen allows most of us to make the most of whatever our sunlight plans may offer. The purpose of sunscreen is to protect ourselves from sunburn (or worse).
It is strongly recommended that bare practitioners and naturists/nudists earmark this post for the duration of the season. In doing so, it is easily available for reference should the need arise. Our health is a vital concern for each one. Please protect yourself and others around you!
Question and Answer Format:
The “Question and Answer” (Q&A) style has been the format for this post entry here since I began publishing in 2017. Those seeking information appreciate the brevity and the focused subject of each inquiry. This type pf presentation encourages additional research if more information is needed.
New this year is an Addendum: Update section featured as a summary for this post entry.
What is sunburn?
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 retains or releases, holds in fluids (hydration) and protects us from infections.
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 later in life.
The information below is very general and is offered as a guide to use in selecting the type of sunscreen that is 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!
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, park or beach, the product should contain two elements for effective protection. Always look for a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that contains 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 swimming or sweating. Choose a variation that is both easy to apply and feels good on the skin. There are numerous commercial brands available: creams, lotions, moisturizers, gels, sprays and solid stick types.
What is SPF?
The initials SPF refer to “sun protection factor.” This is the measure of the effectiveness of the sunscreen in absorbing UV-B radiation. If someone sunburns after about 10 minutes of sun exposure, using a product of SPF15 extends the amount of time before sunburn occurs to 150 minutes or two-and-a-half hours. After this time, it should be reapplied to continue protection.
In terms of percentages, a product of SPF15 blocks 93% of the UV-B sun rays. One of SPF30 blocks 97% of radiation and one of SPF50 blocks 99%. The difference in protection may not justify the added expense of higher SPF sunscreens.
What is the best sunscreen for me?
This depends on many factors, including age, skin type, activity, time of day, location (proximity to the Equator) and the UV index. For most skin types, a sunscreen with a minimum SPF15 is recommended. Persons with fair or lighter skin tones – of all races and ethnicities – and low sun tolerance (burn easily) should use a 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, use a longer-lasting product such as a cream, gel or lotion. Spray (aerosol or pump) are beneficial for hairy parts of the body, including the arms and armpits, back, chest, legs and the pubic region. If a person is acne-prone, choose sunscreens that are oil-free or non-carnodegenic.
For individuals with sensitive skin, the chemicals in some sunscreens may cause irritation. Use a product that contains only physical blockers (zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide). A physical blocker does not penetrate the skin layers as do chemicals. Physical blockers stay on the skin surface to provide protection.
What is the best way to use sunscreen?
If you’ve used sunscreen before and burned, it was either applied incorrectly or the wrong SPF. For sunscreen to be effective, it must be in sufficient quantity, applied correctly and thoroughly, used prior to sun exposure and reapplied often. Remember the lips: use a lip balm with a minimum SPF15!
One ounce (a full 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 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply 15 minutes later to ensure that you didn’t miss any part of your body. Once in sunlight, reapply every couple of hours, especially if swimming, perspiring or towel drying.
Who should use sunscreen?
Everyone needs skin protection from the rays of the sun. All races and ethnicities are susceptible to sunburn. Men with darker skin complexions may have a higher tolerance for sun exposure but at some point, they too will experience sunburn. Bear (and bare) in mind that skin damage and serious complications later are a result of the failure to protect the skin.
What does the expiration date mean?
Sunscreen usually remains stable and effective for a period of three (3) 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.
For the bare practitioner/naturist/nudist:
Apply sunscreen to the entire body. This includes the anal area, armpits, penis, testicles (both front and back). Follow the reapplication guidelines every couple of hours. Body areas that may not receive direct sunlight absorb UV-A and UV-B radiation indirectly.
Manscaping (body hair removal), no matter the method used, creates sensitive areas on the skin surface. First, apply a gentle body lotion, wait fifteen (15) minutes and then cover with sunscreen – completely.
Summer is a natural season for outdoor freedom and a variety of nudecentric outside activities: aquatics, athletics, barbecues and cookouts, events, festivals and countless socials. It is also the time for quiet solitude such as gardening, hiking, reading a book or a casual stroll down a nature trail. No matter how we choose to spend our leisure time, proper prevention against sunburn ensures all of us freedom from concerns over sun exposure. One less worry as we go about our business of having fun in the sun.
A cautious word on sunglasses! It is important to remember sunglasses to prevent harmful UV radiation from damaging the eyes! Even on overcast days, radiation is still available. When purchasing sunglasses, a pair with UV filtering lenses is highly recommended.
Bare Notations: 2022:
If you are a “newbie” (recent arrival) to the bare practitioner world – welcome! If you are a veteran of the body and clothes freedom comity (community and/or culture) – you’re welcome here, too! A new sectional feature here on ReNude Pride’s annual guide to sunscreen protection for us all are these “Bare Notations.” These notations (reminders and/or suggestions) are offered in a nonjudgmental and nonthreatening way to help us all guard and protect the “skin we’re in!” Please feel free to offer your own ideas in the comments area below and remember to have fun and be safe in the sun!
Tan-line: in order to remove all evidence of swimsuit (or other clothing) wearing, generously apply sunscreen all over your entire body – not just the tan-line area. Too many times people only cover the tan-line evidence and neglect the rest of their body. For the best protection, use sunscreen; faithfully and religiously!
Sunglasses: (once again, another subtle reminder) the use of sunglasses is essential in protecting visual health. The shaded lenses guard our eyes from the UV radiation emitted from the sun’s rays. Carefully select a pair that’s comfortable, treated with UV filtration and sturdy. Fresh slices of cucumber may be calming and fine for soothing the eyelids after sun exposure, but they don’t protect against UV damages!
Genitalia: (buttocks and crevice, penis, testicles) are sensitive parts of the body that are usually the least exposed to any sunlight. Carefully and completely cover with sunscreen – and a second thorough application is strongly recommended before sun exposure happens. This ensures full coverage has occurred. Remember the underside of the penis and the backside of testicles. UV radiation is not merely contained to sunlight! Don’t forget the crevice area between the left and right buttock!
Armpits: (underarms) are sensitive parts of the body that are usually a secondary site of minimal sunlight exposure. Armpit hair (underarm fur) – no matter how profuse or sparse – does not eliminate UV penetration. Apply sunscreen the same as you would other areas of the skin. Due to heavy perspiration in the underarms and the human tendency to wipe away heavy amounts of moisture, armpits/underarms may require additional monitoring.
Have a fun and safe summer!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry planned for here is Friday, May 20, 2022, and the proposed topic is “Summer Plans!”