In college my friends used to call me the :SPF Police” because every trip to the beach or pool or picnic or lake would be accompanied by a huge bag of a variety of sunscreens in a variety of levels of protection and I would hand out the appropriate bottle and be kind of a pain in the ass about making them use it.  Of course I think the strongest level of SPF was 15 back then and I think I got a little misty eyed when a 30SPF lib balm appeared.  I used it on my nose.  I continue to buy lots of levels of sunscreen and although I like to try different formulas, my hands down favorite is Bain de Soleil SPF 4 and 8 in the Orange Jelly formula.  It comes in a tube and it is super luxurious and I have not seen it ANYWHERE in a couple of years…I miss it.

Now this may seem a little weird – even to people who know me – because I don’t burn in the sun.  Never have.  Even as a child my mother would always comment on how I turned “brown as an Indian” every summer.  But I watched both my sisters literally fry and get blisters on their noses, shoulders and back and it always looked so painful.  When I discovered sun screen in beauty school I thought it was a great excuse to use more body lotion and I used it daily from head to toe.

So imagine my surprise when I came in yesterday after spending less than 2 hours by the pool at a resort in Daytona Beach to painfully red blotchy skin on my face, neck, shoulders and legs.  Ouch!  I’m glad I never had to deal with this before but I figured it might possibly be a result of the HGH regimen I started last week.

Internet searches did not make any reference to this as a possible side effect but since there is so little information about it – especially when women are using it – I thought it might be good to mention.  It makes sense to me that there might be some sun sensitivity because of the almost immediate changes in my skin after starting the regimen.  Last night I applied several layers of moisturizer – letting them dry in between – and this morning I woke up to my usual tan – no redness.  I made sure I used a stronger SPF while we were at the pool today and snagged a chair under an umbrella just to be sure i didn’t get burned again.  The special care worked and we spent 5 or 6 hours out by the pool today with no ill effects.

Everybody should wear sunscreen every day – even when there’s no sun!  Reapply often – whether you get in the water or not – and make sure you don’t forget your ears!  Also – replace sunscreen every season.  Throw out the old stuff and spring for new.  Old sunscreen is the same as wearing no sunscreen.  Below are some of my favorite brands of sunscreen as well as a couple of sun-free bronzers when you can’t hit the beach.

Clarins Sun Care – $$$$$ – Great sun care line of products.  They go on nice and last extremely well.  This is my number one brand for boaters.  The Clarins formulas stand up very well to salt water getting sprayed in your face.  Yes – you will still need to reapply regularly but it doesn’t “sweat” off as quickly a cheaper brands.  I like both the SPF 15 and SPF 30 for faces…its a little thicker than the body sunscreen but has some pore minimizing characteristics that are nice.  They also make a sun screen stick if you are really lazy in a 30 SPF but it will melt if you aren’t careful  My husband Michael likes the sticks because they are easy and he doesn’t like the greasy feel of sun lotion.  Ok…AND he’s lazy about sun protection.

Do NOT use Clarins Bronzers…Streaky! Streaky! Streaky!  And they turn Safety Orange.  All bad things.

Panama Jack – $$$ – You can usually find this brand of sun care at a surf shop or hotel gift shop.  Its good stuff using a lot of natural ingredients and it was originally made for surfers so a lot of it is quasi-waterproof.

Australian Gold – $$ – You can get this anywhere and it is affordable and goes on nice and even.  It smells very nice but it has to be reapplied quite often if you are actually in the sun and definitely after getting out of the water.  I like all of the – formulas that have the bronzer in it – SPF4. 8 and 15.  The dry oils are nice too but I do not like the aerosol sprays.  They spray everywhere but where you point them and most of the sunscreen ends up blowing away in the wind.

Coppertone – $$ – Not a fan.  Does anyone else think it smells like you just left a chemical plant?  As for their bronzers…just say NO!

Neutrogena – $$$ but should be $$ – I like Neutrogena but I think it is over priced.  It – like Australian Gold needs to be reapplied often.  Bronzer collection is pretty decent.  Turns a nice gentle color and lasts about 5 days if you are careful.

HEMP Bronzer – $$$$ – Nice stuff if you can find it!  Its almost always at professional beauty supply houses so go get your hairdressers license and enjoy!  Never orange.  Smooth even application.

Fake Bake – also a professional product but you can sometimes find it at Ulta or Sephora.  It goes on nice but can turn a little orange on very light skin.