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Posted on April 20, 2016
With Tuesday’s post about athletes and skin cancer, I thought it would be a good idea to review a sunscreen. While there are many sunscreens out on the market, going over the new FDA regulations in regards to the packaging and selling of sunscreen made me a bit conscious about which sunscreen I should review. Fortunately, we carry Thinksport, a sunscreen that uses safe ingredients.
When I say safe ingredients, I say it is free of biologically harmful chemicals and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), like avobenzone, oxybenzone, or an UV chemical absorbers. The sunscreen is also free of nanoparticles, but truth be told, science is still trying to figure out whether or not nanoparticles are harmful. Oh well, just to be on the safe side, they left them out.
Another big difference between Thinksport and other sunscreens is it provides a physical barrier rather than a chemical one. A sunscreen that provides a physical barrier reflects the harmful UV rays off your body, whereas a chemical barrier will actually change the composition of the UV rays that hit your body. Also, a physical barrier does not need to soak into the skin like a chemical barrier. Some studies have also shown that the chemicals that make up the chemical barriers in other sunscreens are seeping into the bloodstream.
OK, enough science and data, onto the review.
The sunscreen is easy to apply, although it is a bit thicker, which may put some people off. Unlike other sunscreens I have used, it does not leave an oily feeling on my hands after I’ve applied it. Thinksport labels show that their sunscreen is water resistant up to 80 minutes, which is the FDA-mandated maximum for sunscreens since 2012. I used this sunscreen for the Redondo Beach Triathlon, I did not reapply any during the event, and I did not get burned. So that’s a plus.
To test it for a longer period of time, I used Thinksport sunscreen during a metric century on my road bike. To be on the safe side, I reapplied once, and again, did not get burnt. Or at least, I didn’t get burned on the skin that I covered with sunscreen. There were some spots I missed, and I certainly paid the price for forgetting to apply on the back of my neck.
Another thing: if you sweat a lot, you will need to reapply more than the 80 minutes or 2 hours that they recommend. Like we discussed on Tuesday, sweat increases your skin’s sensitivity and it can “wash” away the sunscreen from your skin. I gave a friend of mine (he sweats a lot) a bottle of Thinksport to try, and he works on wind turbines in the California desert. He did get sunburnt, but he let me know it was most likely due to his profuse sweating. He let me know he would stick to other sunscreens.
This sunscreen also has a pleasant smell, so you won’t walk/ride/run around smelling like sunscreens usually smell.
Thinksport is also great for people with sensitive skin. I know this because on one weekend, I had forgotten to apply my Thinksport sunscreen and had to borrow a friend’s bottle of SPF 75 sunscreen from a different maker that boasts an extensive line of skincare products (try to figure it out, it rhymes with “You throw Gina”). I read the label and found the chemicals that Thinksport refuses to use, and reluctantly put it on. I felt a slight burn as soon as I put the chemical barrier sunscreen on, and my hands had that “oily” feeling, which was also unpleasant.
The science behind the product drew me to Thinksport sunscreen, and the experience I’ve had with it and other sunscreens have sold me on the product. I won’t use another brand of sunscreen if I can help it.
If you’re interested in learning more about the product, please visit their website.
If you’d like to try it out for yourself, please visit us at either the Redondo Beach or Santa Monica location, or place an order with us on our website.
If you have any questions, please let me know. If you have had similar or different experiences with this brand or any other sunscreen, let me know.
Thanks for reading!
We thought we might challenge the sweaty outdoor worker. We have too many endurance athletes and pro surfers using our sun care lines with great experiences in prolonged and harsh environments. It is more likely that the person didn’t apply enough sunscreen to provide coverage. We hereby…challenge him to try it again. Per the FDA for a full body you should be using an ounce of sunscreen. If you overspread sunscreen you will quickly get very reduced protection. Let us expand on this further. The SPF number is logarithmic. If you apply 1/4 the right amount of SPF 50, you’re getting more like SPF 3. Indeed a recent study of aerosol and sunscreen wipes confirmed that people were not getting enough sunscreen to achieve the SPF numbers on the bottle. While our sunscreen does apply very easily. If you’re going to be participating in outdoor activities, be wary to not over spread it. This is true of all sunscreens. Due to the amount of zinc oxide that we use (>20%), we are also a truly broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sun care line. UVB is what causes burns, but UVA is what causes skin damage and attributed to the more harmful forms of cancer. Finally, our sunscreen falls into the highest level of water resistance called Water Resistant (80 minutes). While most sunscreens use petroleum and chemicals to achieve this, we use natural ingredients to provide maximum protection. You may find that it takes soap and water to remove it. We also recommend taking a look at your sunscreen active and inactive ingredients. As a general rule, if you don’t recognize the word, don’t apply it to your skin.
So…if Mr. Sweaty wants to step up to the challenge again, we’ll send him a tube to try. But..he must apply.
Also on a side note, we don’t pay athletes to use our products. You are welcome to contact these athletes for direct feedback.
Amy Marsh – Pro Triathlete
Brandon Marsh – Pro Triathlete
Patrick Evo – Pro Triathlete
Michael Lovato – Pro Triathlete
Amanda Lovato – Pro Triathlete
Desiree Ficker – Pro Triathlete, US Marathoner
Paul Terranova – First person to complete 4 x 100 mile runs + Ironman World Championships