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Day 173: Frugal sunscreen = clothes

So, I know that I have not met many of the people reading this, so you probably don't know that I have a complexion similar to this:

I'm actually a bit paler than Queen Elizabeth I, with her lead face powder.

And when I venture out into the world without sunscreen for more than 30 seconds, I have a complexion similar to this:

I feel this woman's pain. Not actually right now, but two weeks ago definitely.
So, understandably, sunscreen is am important part of my life. And, unlike basically every other cosmetic product in the universe, I don't think there is a way you can make your own out of baking powder and vinegar. There are certain chemicals you need, and so I guess you can buy those chemicals and mix them up yourself, but I have some easier options to stay safe in the sun, and frugal at the same time.

1) Cover yourself up with clothes.

Sunscreen clothes!

You can spend lots of money for special sunscreen clothes, like these ones from Lululemon. I just remembered today that last summer I bought one of their Sunbeam Pullovers and I wore it today and felt very Lance Armstrong/Tour de France-esque biking along in my activewear. Also, I did not get a sunburn and it's super lightweight so not too hot either.

OK, OK. That is not a frugal option. That shirt costs like $98 (I bought it pre-Detox, honestly!)

But you can protect yourself from sun with a broad-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothes of a non space-age-sunscreen material variety. Marcia Cross is a famous pale-skinned celebrity who is constantly photographed wearing full-length clothes at the beach, like this:

I appreciate that her daughters are wearing long-sleeve shirts, too.

And like this:

A whole family in hats and long pants in the summer!

2) Using actual sunscreen. I mean, you can find fairly affordable sunscreen and it's a load cheaper to spend $8 on sunscreen than to pay for all of the healthcare you need if you get melanoma. I realized that I have like 5 different kinds of sunscreen now, none of which is more than a year or 2 old. And while this website says that you should be using so much of it (a shot glass full every day!) that it shouldn't last that long anyway, it does expire. But the stuff I have hasn't passed its expiry date yet.

Anyway, I am a bit of a sunscreen conoisseur, so here are my recommendations:

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen Milk
Yes, I bought it initially because the name sounds so odd. Sunscreen milk? But it's a great, watery sunscreen that goes right into your skin without that terrible pasty sunscreen look. Bonus: it feels refreshing.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

This works well, and is non-greasy, but it does kind of sit on top of your skin like a white shield. If you have skin my colour, nobody will notice, but this may not be your thing if you are not paley-pale like me.

L'oreal Ombrella SPF Lotion

This one combines chemical and physical block (not sure what that means, but am sure it's a good thing) and comes with a recommendation from a pharmacist friend of mine. Again, leaves some white residue on the skin, but everybody's walking around with sunscreen residue on these days, so no big deal.

Coppertone oil free sunscreen - this one is OK, but has an odd, grainy feel to it. No white pastey look, though!

The best sunscreen BY FAR is Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen. It has SHIMMER in it so it makes you SPARKLE like a Kardashian Proposal GLITTER PONY AND it smells like delicious coconut (all of the sunscreens listed above smell like sunscreen).

This is obviously Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony, not an actual Kardashian Glitter Mini-Pony.

And it may not be the best sunscreen in the world, but it smells so good and makes me so sparkley that I look forward to putting it on everyday. With the others, I sometimes think, "Well... I'll just stick to the shady side of the street and I won't be out that long and mumblemumblemumble" and then I go out without sunscreen and get burned. So anything that makes sunscreen fun is a good thing, I think.

3) You can also save money on sunscreen by staying inside of a cave all day and only venturing out at night. But that wouldn't be very fun.

Though, you would save money in air conditioning living in the cave, I guess.

4) Because aluminum foil reflects sunbeans, you could wear clothes made out of repurposed tinfoil, such as, old condom wrappers. Or the insides of chocolate bars. (Both of which would be found, in true frugal style, in garbage cans. Not purchased, OBVIOUSLY)


~Carla~ said...

Well gee... I think I need a new Lulu cover-up! ;) Jk, but I do love me some lulu!!

I want to try that glittery sunscreen you're raving about, and to smell of coconuts?! Yum! I always grab Coppertone sport/waterproof in at least a 35SPF.

I'll probably skip the old condom/chocolate bar wrapper clothes, but if you go that route, you'll have to post a pic of your outfit! :P

Frugal(er) said...

I think you're right--you and I are mirrors of each other. I too am super-pale, so much so that my mother has been insisting I'm anemic since I turned 12 (note: I'm not anemic, just pale).
I usually wear the coppertone ultrasport SPF 100 when runnning because it boasts that it is sweatproof. I think it's clogging my pores though.

I just got a super deal on the Aveeno Positively Ageless blah blah blah:
which I will be testing out on my vacation.

I'll report back.
And I'm bringing a big floppy hat :)

Annabelle said...

Frugal(er) you should try the new Neutrogena sunscreen that you can apply to wet/sweaty skin. If I didn't already have so many kinds already, I would totally pick that one up. It even comes in an aerosol spray!

Carla, I was all sunscreened up today and I smelled DELICIOUS. Like coconut mixed with cookies. And sparkley, too! I think Hawaiian Tropic should send me some free samples for all of the evangelizing I'm doing for them, but it really is BEST SUNSCREEN EVER!

Lindy Mint said...

My best friend growing up had the same complexion. We used to make fun of her when we'd go to California and she'd sit by the pool wearing a full bathrobe. Sometimes she wore turtle necks.

Now, she's the one with the perfect skin, so we don't make fun any more.

Annabelle said...

Lindy, I am totally in awe of gorgeous celebrities with flawless pale skin (like Anne Hathaway, Julianna Margulies, Marcia Cross) and they inspire me to lay off the self-tanner, load on the sunscreen, and stay out of the sun!

centsofacountrygirl said...

The sun and I are not friends. I'm just a shade off translucent, so I am well acquainted with sticking to the shade, wearing long sleeves, or slathering on the sunscreen. I like the ultra-mist sunscreen, but never ever ever wear that stuff with white clothes. It will stain your clothes.

I also just tried that new mousse sunscreen. It's awful. It's really hard to put on evenly and you just might end up with a speckled burn pattern, not that I have any experien e with that...

Annabelle said...

centsofacountrygirl, sounds like you and I have similar complexions! Thanks for the tips re: ultra-mist sunscreen and mousse sunscreen. A speckled mousse sunburn sounds particularly heinous!

minako said...

Chemical sunblock is PABA (which isn't actually used in sunscreen much anymore) -- the stuff that soaks in. Physical sunblock is zinc oxide. It sits on top of the skin and many natural sunscreens use it because people who like natural don't usually like the idea of absorbing chemicals into their skin, but it almost certainly will leave a film because it sits on top of your skin.

Annabelle said...

Ahh, thanks Minako. That makes sense for why so many sunscreens sit uncomfortably on the skin - they're supposed to!

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