Monday, June 10, 2013


I've lost three friends to melanoma, and I have survived stage 2 melanoma.   The sun is not something to be taken lightly, but what can we do?  We love to garden, and that requires being in the sun.

My solution has been to slather the sunscreen on and wear long sleeves.  At first I thought this was going to be very uncomfortable, but what I've discovered is the cotton long sleeve shirt over a tee shirt actually feels cooler than just a tee shirt alone. Now you know why field workers wear long sleeves and pants in the sun

I have not tried the sun block shirts, or sun drapes, but this is something I will be looking into.  Here are some links.  You may be surprised by the available choices

dus-tshop   (Site Owner is in Chico!)

Sun Drape  

Sun Grubbies


UV Skins

About sunscreen...  The information can be a bit deceptive.  SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.  Sun screens are screens not blocks, and there is evidence that sun screens do not prevent skin cancer.

SPF ratings over 50 are not any better than 50.  
Currently "Broad Spectrum" does not mean that is offers both UVA and UVB protection, but legislation may change soon.
Waterproof sunscreens wash off, and the product should tell you how often to reapply.  If not use common sense and reapply after about 40 minutes.

Titanium dioxide and zink oxide are physical blockers .  Chemical blockers such as oxybenzone and avobenzone absorb into the skin.  EWG's research suggests that avobenzone is safer than oxybenzone, but the group recommends "sun blockers".

EWG offers a detailed report on titanium dioxide and zink oxide which I feel is worth reading, but the short version is that there is a lack of product information about the particle size which makes product review rather difficult, and there has been very little testing to find out if the nano particles in these products are safe.  But  the group still recommends these blocker which have become nearly invisible on the skin due to nano sized particles unlike the solid white paste which is still available.

So if you are in the sun cover up with clothing and/or a sun block.

I found the following sunblock products that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
I'm amused by Zinka which has chosen to flaunt the discoloration of their non-nano zinc oxide by boasting bold colors.   Team colors anyone?

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