Background and Update:
The purpose of this post entry is to educate, encourage and remind us all on the benefits and health values of sunscreen. This post is published here annually and is constantly updated to offer new alternatives, ideas, suggestions etc. Please use the “comments” application for any concerns. Thank you!
If anyone has specific questions, consult your local health care provider or their assistant. Some solutions or resolutions may be available online. Otherwise, check with your local pharmacist or health agency.
Allow me to explain the title. I am in no way encouraging anyone to actually put on any article of clothing! That is simply not in my nature as a dedicated bare practitioner. What I am referring to by the title here is to remind us all – myself included – of the vital importance of the use of sunscreen whenever we go outdoors. No matter the length of time in either the direct or indirect sunlight; sunscreen is essential in the preservation of a healthy and protective skin covering!
While we’re reviewing the topic, another piece of information that is often overlooked. Sunscreen is equally important in the wintertime as it is during the summer! The UV rays from the sun are definitely not a seasonal spectacle. Unlike our nakedness, the UV rays do not hibernate!
During the colder seasons of the year, no matter which hemisphere one resides, the sun’s rays are reflected and intensified by the snow and ice. The use of sunscreen remains necessary on all exposed areas of the skin. Failure to do so may cause severe consequences.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the 2023 Summer season does not officially begin until June 21, annually. This also happens to be the absolute longest day of sunlight within this particular hemisphere. Due to the excessive amount of daylight on this date, in some countries, especially in continental Europe, it is also observed as Naked Hiking Day. The logic for this activity being the longer the natural daylight lasts, the greater the length of time for hiking clothes free! Now that we have noted Europe’s special designation, the USA claims it deserves equality.
In 2023, in the USA, the Memorial Day holiday (a three-day weekend) falls on May 29. This is the day on which the USA honours all the war dead. This holiday is also considered – at least in the USA and Puerto Rico – as the unofficial start of the summer season.
Confused? I am, too! That’s the reason why here on ReNude Pride we follow the official commencement of the 2023 summer: June 21!
For many persons, the summertime is synonymous as the legendary season of “fun-in-the-sun!” No matter which date one prefers for the arrival, there’s no denying the fact that warmer outdoor temperatures and longer periods of daylight are here. This means that the textile (clothed) folks are wearing less and that we bare practitioners are, as usual, nude. If we’re able to survive the winter naked, why expect anything differently from us during the summer?
It stands to reason that most (if not all) of us, bare or otherwise, are outside more than we were a month ago. While we are 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 from the barren dullness of winter and the colder temperatures.
In our eagerness to get out and frolic in the fresh air and warmer weather, many of us forget one of the basic rules of outside freedom and health: skin protection! We all need to cover up (protect) our skin before we uncover any part or all of our body. This protection 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 opportunities our summer plans may offer. The purpose of sunscreen is to protect ourselves from sunburn and other conditions of sun ray excess or worse.
Sunburn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and not heat. It is important to remember that multiple layers of the 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 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 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’s better to ask questions now than to suffer later! Please remember that everyone may or may not be allergic to certain ingredients contained within sunscreen.
What is sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a chemical that, to a certain degree, prevents UV (ultraviolet) radiation in sunrays 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, etc., the product should contain two elements for effective protection. Always look for a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that contains chemicals that block or prevent 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 the phrase: sun protection factor. It 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 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, racial identity, gender, 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. Mem with fair or lighter skin tones (of all races) 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, the armpits, back, chest, legs and the pubic region. If a person is acne-prone, choose sunscreens that are oil-free or non-carnodegenic.
For persons with sensitive skin, the chemicals in some sunscreen variants may cause skin 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 only on the skin surface to provide protection.
What’s the best way to use sunscreen?
If you’ve used sunscreen before and received a sunburn, it was either a) applied incorrectly, b) the wrong SPF, c) a very cheap deviant, d) insufficient amount of sunscreen, or e) expired product. Before purchasing a sunscreen product, check the expiration date. Verify the SPF level with your particular needs. Make certain that the instructions for the use of the selected variety of sunscreen are with the product.
For sunscreen to be effective, it must be in sufficient quantity, applied correctly and thoroughly applied prior to sun exposure. Reapply sunscreen as instructed following the recommended timeline.
Remember the lips! Use a lip balm with a minimum SPF15!
One ounce (the equivalent of a full shot glass) per adult per application is the minimally recommended dosage for the average person. Apply liberally all over the body, including behind the ears, on the ears both edges and ear lobes. Everyone should remember to apply sunscreen in the armpits and behind the knees.
When to apply?
Sunscreen should be placed on the body – entirely – at least 30 minutes before going into the sun. Reapply approximately 15 minutes later. The extra initial application helps to ensure that all exposed body areas have been covered, including those that may have been missed the first time. Once in the sunlight, either directly or indirectly, repeat the application process according to the instructions or at least every couple of hours, especially if swimming, perspiring and/or towel drying.
Who should use sunscreen?
Everyone needs skin protection. 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, will begin to experience sunburn. Bear and bare in mind that skin damage and serious, sometimes fatal, complications later are a result of the failure to protect the skin.
Do darker-skinned people need sunscreen?
Within the Black-toned and Brown-toned skin communities, it’s a common misconception that their melanin-infused (darker skin tone) skin completely eliminates the necessity for sunscreen as protection. Yes, darker skin does protect from some UV rays, but all persons, regardless of their skin tone, need to wear sunscreen.
For a long time, all races believed that the darker complexions of persons of African and Middle Eastern ancestry/descent were fully protected from the harmful rays of the sun. Despite the fact that darker skin tones have greater genetic protection than fairer/lighter skin tones, everyone has a natural deficiency.
At minimum, human skin needs at least an SPF30 for full protection from UV rays. Black people, on average, have at least a deficit of about SPF17 because their only offers a protection level of SPF13.
What does the expiration date mean?
Sunscreen usually remains effective and stable for a period of three years. After the expiration date, the contents (ingredients) 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 anus, armpits, penis and 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 15 minutes and then cover with sunscreen.
It is extremely important to wear sunglasses to prevent harmful UV radiation from damaging the eyes. Select a pair (and a spare) with UV filtering lenses.
Summer is a naturist/nudist paradise for a variety of nudecentric outdoor activities: aquatics, athletics, barbecues and cookouts, events, festivals and socials. It is also a time for quiet solitude such as gardening, hiking, reading a book outside or a casual stroll along a nature trail. No matter how we choose to spend our leisure time, proper prevention against sunburn and other skin damage 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!
In adhering to the above practices, protocols and our own common sense, we’ll all be able to look back in the autumn and know a good time was had by all!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, May 26, 2023, and the proposed topic is: “Skinny-Dip Duo!”