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Old 22-04-2018, 20:55   #1
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pirate Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

I am sick and tired of replacing cushions and vinyl windows due to contact with sunscreen. Is there an effective sunscreen that does not damage plastics and is still effective?
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Old 23-04-2018, 01:38   #2
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

I'm right now getting the seals replaced on my dry suit after they literally melted from a spray on sunscreen that I had on my arms. More and more, I'm becoming a fan of covering up rather than slathering up. The chemicals in sunscreen seem universally wicked to anything they touch ...
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Old 23-04-2018, 02:46   #3
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

The spray on stuff is convenient but even stains fiberglass.

Covering up and staying in the shade seem to be the only other alternatives beyond living with it.
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Old 23-04-2018, 04:42   #4
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

Sunblockers that contain inert minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide might be less harmful to plastics, than are chemical sunscreens.
These active mineral/physical protectants do not absorb into the skin but, instead, form a protective, highly reflective barrier on the skin's surface.

On a side note: If you use bug spray that contains DEET, be very careful where you spray it. DEET will melt certain plastic glasses and plates, watch crystals, and the plastic cases and screens on many boat electronics. It doesn’t destroy all plastics.
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Old 23-04-2018, 05:40   #5
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

And what sunscreen is doing to your vinyl in NOTHING compared to what its doing to coral and plankton!
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Old 23-04-2018, 06:28   #6
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

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Originally Posted by Hobiehobie View Post
And what sunscreen is doing to your vinyl in NOTHING compared to what its doing to coral and plankton!
Indeed.
Reef-safe sunscreen?
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Old 23-04-2018, 06:59   #7
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
I'm right now getting the seals replaced on my dry suit after they literally melted from a spray on sunscreen that I had on my arms. More and more, I'm becoming a fan of covering up rather than slathering up. The chemicals in sunscreen seem universally wicked to anything they touch ...
Thanks for mentioning this!

I have moved to "cover up" after getting badly burned a few years ago while working on a ranch in Texas summer. I was foolish to think a few hours exposure wiukd not affect me as it did. Bad sunburn can be debilitating, causing a person to feel ill, like a fever, and forces one to avoid the sun for days. It can be very painful. I learned my lesson. Never again.

I now wear long sleeve light weight synthetic wicking material shirt that is SPF 50, a booney hat to protect ear tops and face, gloves, and long pants and socks. I also have a neck sleeve ( a thin tube of fabric, a turtleneck, seen as the yellow tube around my neck in my profile photo) that protected my neck especially the back of my neck and , a particularly sensitive and often vulnerable spot when sailing due to body position on a heeling sailboat

In cold water areas this is not seen due to other layers. In warm or hot areas it is, but saves my skin.

Last voyage started in Chesapeake in summer, and it was hard to not get burned on cloudless days with reflected glare light too. I wore fingerless sailing gloves, and my fingers got burned on the tops.
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Old 23-04-2018, 07:06   #8
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Sunblockers that contain inert minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide might be less harmful to plastics, than are chemical sunscreens.
These active mineral/physical protectants do not absorb into the skin but, instead, form a protective, highly reflective barrier on the skin's surface.

On a side note: If you use bug spray that contains DEET, be very careful where you spray it. DEET will melt certain plastic glasses and plates, watch crystals, and the plastic cases and screens on many boat electronics. It doesn’t destroy all plastics.


Thanks for mentioning the DEET, and how plastics can be harmed.

Zinc Oxide paste has been used on noses for many years, a favorite solution for lifeguards. Better than having skin cut off later in life.
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Old 23-04-2018, 07:33   #9
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

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Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post


Thanks for mentioning the DEET, and how plastics can be harmed.

Zinc Oxide paste has been used on noses for many years, a favorite solution for lifeguards. Better than having skin cut off later in life.
+1. We've had plastic drawer liners and cockpit cushions literally melted by exposure to leaky insect repealant bottles. Imagine what this toxic stuff is doing to your body!

Cockpit cushion pic attached. Melted Dri-deck in a locker too. Click image for larger version

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Old 23-04-2018, 08:45   #10
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

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+1. We've had plastic drawer liners and cockpit cushions literally melted by exposure to leaky insect repealant bottles. Imagine what this toxic stuff is doing to your body!

Cockpit cushion pic attached. Melted Dri-deck in a locker too. Attachment 168596Attachment 168597
WOW!

Thanks for posting those photos. It really helps to see the damage.
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Old 23-04-2018, 09:26   #11
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

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Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
WOW!

Thanks for posting those photos. It really helps to see the damage.
Yes, I was surpirsed by it too!

Scented oils work about as well, though they do require more frequent application, and you are not slathering a highly toxic pesticide on your body...or melting stuff on your boat.
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Old 23-04-2018, 09:39   #12
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

Sun screen is something you apply on your skin. You should be able to eat or drink it as your skin will absorb it like food.
If you even close your eyes while applying the screen, think poison. Would you eat that ?

Zblock, (www.zbloksun.com)gives you somehow a white look because of the zinc oxide, but is does not damage you skin and cushions...
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Old 23-04-2018, 09:46   #13
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
On a side note: If you use bug spray that contains DEET, be very careful where you spray it. DEET will melt certain plastic glasses and plates, watch crystals, and the plastic cases and screens on many boat electronics. It doesn’t destroy all plastics.
DEET turned the red plastic of my Swiss Army knife into red goo.
Not sure what is worse, though: Canadian deer flies or bad chemicals.
(note: I have HEARD Canadian deer flies LAUGHING at citronella. Laughing, I tell you.)
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Old 23-04-2018, 09:51   #14
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

Interesting… I’m well aware of how deet reacts to plastics. It’s always been a bit of a joke as I slather the Muskol or Deep Woods Off. Sure it melted plastic and numbs your lips, but it works! (And I’m taking the 98% stuff, not the wimpy 30% stuff they now sell ).

I was unaware sunscreens did the same thing. Is it all sunscreens, or only specific ones? I’ve been using the cream “sport” versions for years and never noticed a problem with plastics.

Of course, I mostly just cover up. My normal summer garb doesn’t look much different than my winter: long-sleeve shirt, pants and always a hat (my avatar ain’t lying ). This is why I prefer cooler climes. I’m not sure what I’d do in the south.
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Old 23-04-2018, 09:55   #15
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Re: Is there a sunscreen that does not affect plastics

A Bimini and loose fitting clothes for sun protection. I find that shirts with buttons are breezier/cooler than tee shirts.

I have not found a suitable cool hat.

For snorkeling, I've been using a rash guard, but I am considering switching to a swim tee shirt. On my legs, I've used some thin running/biking tights. When they wear out, I'll switch to swim pants. To cover my bald spot, I use a High UV Protection Buff. If I'm worried about my neck, I cover that with another Buff.

For insect repelling, I wipe myself with Listerine.
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