Last weekend my boyfriend and I took a little mini-vacation, and stayed at the new Palazzo hotel here in Las Vegas. One of my absolute favorite activities is to hang out by the pool, which is an unfortunate past-time to enjoy, considering my obsession with staying out of the sun as much as possible. Since we were on “vacation” I figured it was an excuse to be at the pool all day, plus I could try out some sunscreens extensively. I feel like a hypocrite, because I was just promoting the Road To Healthy Skin Tour and skin cancer prevention, but I’m also human, and like to have fun.
It was about 84 degrees that day, and we were at the pool from 12:30pm-5pm (the time you are supposed to completely avoid the sun). The UV index was probably 8 or 9 that day. I managed to not get any freckles whatsoever on my face, get no sunburn at all, and almost no tan.
The Hard Rock Hotel
The last time I spent this long at the pool was when I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel a few years ago, and I spent about the same amount of time at the pool, and it was also about the same temperature/UV rating. That time I got back to the room, and had a face full of freckles, and my face and body was tanned and slightly burned. At the Hard Rock Hotel I used sunscreen that had Avobenzene as its main ingredient, and I am convinced that ingredient just doesn’t work well to combat the sun. I reapplied once an hour, wore a hat and big sunglasses.
The other thing I did that time was go in the pool for about a half hour, and even though I was using a waterproof sunscreen, some of it could have washed away in the water. Water also magnifies the sun’s rays, making the sun even stronger.
The Palazzo Hotel
I was amazed when I got back to my room and didn’t have any extra freckles on my face after a day at the pool. This never ever used to happen in the past! I freckle extremely easily. On my face, every two hours I applied the UV Natural zinc oxide-based sunscreen I recently reviewed. Amazingly, even though it has Grape Seed Oil as one of its main ingredients (a pore clogger), I have not had any breakouts from this sunscreen, and I am very prone to acne. I still wouldn’t necessarily recommend this sunscreen to people that have acne or oily skin, but I’ve personally had no problems with it. When I wear this on a day-to-day basis, I apply powder foundation over it, which takes away the shine, and leaves my skin looking hydrated, but not shiny. The only problem with this sunscreen at the pool is that it leaves your skin extremely shiny, which attracts the sun. I took some pictures of myself, and my face looked like an oil slick without powder on. It’s so shiny that I think it can magnify the sun’s rays (maybe I’m just being paranoid), but I think a matte version of this sunscreen would be even more effective.
I also wore big sunglasses (I now want huge wraparound sunglasses), and a baseball hat at the pool. I also sat in the shade most of the time, and covered my face part of the time by putting a towel on my head. My boyfriend thinks I’m a freak.
On my body I used La Roche-Posay Anthelios W Gel SPF 40, which I bought last year for my face, but it made my face breakout horribly (I only get breakouts on my face). I couldn’t find the expiration date on the sunscreen, so I chanced it (again a bad idea). I just found the expiration date now, and it says 12/07. Ugh. Definitely check the expiration date on your sunscreen, and don’t use it past the expiration date. I applied this sunscreen every two hours also, and I got a slight tan, and very slightly red after the day at the pool. I still have a hunch that Zinc Oxide is a better sunscreen ingredient that Mexoryl, but given the fact this sunscreen was expired, it wasn’t a fair competition for the Mexoryl.
I didn’t go in the water at all because it was freezing, and I spent half the day covered in sweatpants and towels, and sitting in the shade, so that was my way of being at the pool, but not really getting the full effect of the sun. My next test will be to actually go swimming to see if any sunscreens can survive the pool! I also want to test more Zinc Oxide-based sunscreens against each other.
In the end, no sunscreen is 100% protection from the sun, which is why I generally stay out of the sun completely. But after this non-scientific pool experiment, I am even more convinced than ever that Zinc Oxide-based sunscreens are definitely the way to go.