Sunblock isn't as good as it used to be?

I remember that when I was younger sunscreen that we used to use was much lower spf … Like 15-25spf. To find factor 50 was pretty rare and people generally just used the lower factors.

Nowdays everyone I know including myself is going for the highest factor they can find, generally factor 50. And this sunblock doesn’t seem to be doing the job like it used to???

Someone told me a while back that formulas of sun screen were changed after some ingredients were banned (it could be just unfounded gossip).

I have tried lost of different brands but sunscreen just doesn’t seem as strong as it used to be, am I just looking back with rose tinted glasses or is anyone else finding this too?

Maybe my skin is just getting older and more sensitive.

Chemical sunscreens are bad for you. Make your own, it works:

Mix any oil, olive, coconut, etc with this:


Interesting stuff monkstar,

Is it super water resistant?

I might give that a try.

I’m sure you know about ozone depletion, and that UV ray levels are higher than they used to be, in some places much, much higher. So yes, the old sunblocks are less effective.

Paging Dr. Strange! This would be a good time to get your advice…

The best stuff I’ve found is called Babyganics. I forget the chemicals it leaves out, but it had the best ratings for chemical safety and a high SPF level. I follow the instructions on the bottle too (duh), put it on an hour before getting in the water. Then I use an opaque zinc coating on the beach. And it’s STILL not enough protection, I still get burned.

I hate how expensive all this shit is. Monkstar, can you tell be the ratio for the zinc/oil method you use? Thanks.


I make mine like a paste. I look like a ghost out there. It is semi water resistant. What’s nice is I know when it’s washed off when I see non-white areas. You can add melted beeswax to the mix to make it more waterproof. You can also add fragrance, I have a coconut fragrance that I add to mine.

I really just eyeball it, similar to mixing cabosil. Also, if you don’t want to make your own sunscreen you can get it pre made. Any good diaper cream has the same stuff. (Not kidding)

I haven’t noticed any deterioration in the standard of sunscreen. 

Desitin also has cod liver oil in it. Making you quite attractive to the wrong type of fish. 

The Doctor is in HAH!

I actually never used sunblock/sunscreen much. More of a “hit and run” surfer and not much time between hanging in the sun. So far so good with super high nutrient whole plants based diet only one small keratosis on scalp and one patch on face (the latter about 15 years ago and I disappeared it with carrot seed essential oil which seeme to totally erase and eliminate the damage).

Quite a number of the chem ones are estrogen mimics and may even promote skin cancer long run while still preventing obvious burning, so very counter productive!  When in the tropics I use zinc or titanium but NOT nanoparticle kind as that may actually enter cells and again, cause cancer all on its own!  Really boils down to look a bit like a circus clown now or like a pizza faced chemical burn patient later when the derm doc gets to have their way with you.

I do love me a good hat though! When in Ecuador awhile ago I saw a local derm doc for the one on my scalp and she told me that very big part of her income came from gringos from el norté who after a couple years living there had had their skin eaten by the tropical sun (worse where we were at about 5000 ft altitude) and they would come to her to have the grossest damage removed. Repeat customers as once it starts it tends to roll along on its own.

 So eat your brightly colored veg (both raw and cooked and lots of them) cover up when you can and use mechanical blockers (like zinc) rather than the chemical “screens”

And of course there is this:

Lathering up with sunscreen may protect against cancer – killing coral reefs 

Can’t get link to work so here is copy/paste version of course there’s this


Anything over SPF factor 30 is fiction.  Best thing is a true blocker with zinc in it, or, as I recently started doing, wear a hat.  Black, blue and red are the best for UV protection since you can’t block UV with any color, only wear colors that abosrb the radiation.  Light colored hats and clothing reflect visible light but let more UV pass than the aforementioned colors.  I got a DaKine full brimmed hat, and aside from how you look, the thing works well.  Never worried about it when I surfed in the AM before sunrise, but going later in the morning now since I can.

Hats do not stay on very well and do not protect your eyes very well. I tried most of them, and various surf-sunnies.

Best solution for me is a Gath helmet with flip-visor and a custom made full length 1mm super-stretch wetsuit. The helmet stays on reliably, the visor keeps the UV out off my eyes for 75-85% of the time, and flips completely out of the way when actually catching and riding waves. No fogging or drops when riding, no UV and no splashes when paddling and waiting. No sunburn on the scalp.

Add in a bit of Vertra sunscreen on the nose, face and back of neck. That stuff stays on like no other sunscreen I have ever tried: It requires scrubbing with oil or repeated soaping even after several hours of surfing to get it off. If I surf twice in a day and apply it twice, it’s a real chore to get it off in the evening. 

That keeps the sunscreen out of the ocean and  my skin and eyes from burning.

Thanks for all the replies.

I think that I might go for one of those hats, although having stuff on my head does annoy be a bit while surfing. Also sounds like I will have to white out my face with zinc (or other color as I was told once that white zinc can reflect more sun into your eyes)

Seems like regular sunscreen just isn’t strong enough for the face.

Maybe thats aleays been the case and its just my memory playing tricks.