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SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
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SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

Hello everyone, I'm new to this site and this is my first post, but the wealth of information I have already been able to read on these boards is amazing. So, thank you all for that!

I'm heading down to TCI in about a week for a 10-day trip. Was just wondering if some experienced travelers could shed some light on the sun down there in February? I hear all sorts of conflicting advice...some people say not to wear anything less than an SPF 30 or 45. Others say they wear an SPF 15 for the first day or two and then drop to an SPF 8...and are fine.

I'm just looking for some real advice so as not to get a sunburn and ruin the trip. I'm of Italian descent and tan relatively easily. I live in Chicago and wont really burn in the summer sun here, maybe just a little bit in the nose/cheeks if I spend all day on a boat or at the beach without any sunscreen at all (never any peeling or blisters). In late March (spring break) in Florida I get by just fine with an SPF 6 or SPF 8. I haven't really been in the sun since August/September of 2013, so I'm a little worried about my base, but I do still have all my tan lines! =)

Sorry for the long post, and excess information, but my girlfriend is insisting I buy several bottles of SPF 45 for the trip. It seems like overkill for me. I'm thinking more like an SPF 15 for a couple days followed by an SPF 8 for the remainder. Any practical advice from from experienced Caribbean travelers is VERY much appreciated. And thanks again for the wonderful posts on this site!

Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
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1. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

Forgot to mention, I'm only planning to spend about 3 to 5 hours on the beach each day. I'm NOT one of the 7 to 7 type die hard people...I'm more the noon to 5 type guy with a couple of cold beers starting around 2pm.

Finger Lakes Wine...
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7,630 posts
27 reviews
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2. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

Personally, I would say use 15 all the time you are in the sun and reapply often.

Higher level spf sunscreens are more concentrated and not as healthy for you.

Reapply 15 spf and you will safely tan yourself.

Just my advice.


Middle Caicos
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761 posts
87 reviews
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3. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

Start with 30. My husband is Sicilian and has gotten burned here. With 30 he gets a nice tan. Listen to your girlfriend this sun exposure is a far cry from Chicago sun exposure in the summer

Edited: 11 February 2014, 12:02
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489 posts
253 reviews
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4. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

I used SPF 70 on my pale, winter white Western PA skin and still managed a tinge of redness!! Very hot sun, which I dearly miss on this -1 morning!!

Burlington, Vermont
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1,955 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

I've never been to TCI but in Aruba which is very close to the equator, I bring nothing less than SPF 30. I am blond with fair skin. I do tan, but would burn if I sat out in the sun all day with nothing on.

Honestly, I think SPF 30 should always be a given if you are in the sun at the beach. There are other things to worry about besides just burning, like skin cancer.

Detroit, Michigan
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478 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

I always use 30 and reapply about every hour. After a bad burn on my face during my last trip to Provo (sweated through the sunscreen on my face) I invested in some of this just for my face:


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7. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

I agree with tcimike, 15 reapplied and you should be fine.

Edited: 11 February 2014, 13:24
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
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4,206 posts
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8. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

SPF 30. I am dark and can still quickly burn in the sun here. I would also recommend that you stay out of the sun altogether in the peak hours: 12-2 is a good time for lunch.

Long Island
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2,178 posts
37 reviews
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9. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

SPF 30 MINIMUM (and 50 for kids!)

its not just to avoid burning, its the long term effects too - I have been here for ten years and still often use 70 when out on the water etc

Atlanta, Georgia
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11,403 posts
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10. Re: SPF Sunscreen Recomendation...?

American Cancer Society recommends a minimum of 30 SPF. Re-applying often is the key. Stay safe out there..