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Mundane question number 632: What do people do about sunscreen down south? This was one of a hundred seemingly-silly questions that I asked our friends in the Caribbean. My thoughts were that I couldn’t imagine frugal cruisers spending loads of cash on the overpriced stuff that I see here in the stores. Did they buy it in gallon jugs? Did they just develop a tolerance to the sun and go without?

My friends shared that yes, they do still wear sunscreen, although not necessarily as much as they did when they first went south (they’ve been there 5 years now). Sun protective hats and clothing help them and they also use zinc on areas that easily burn (ears, nose, etc.*). As for the price, I was told that as long as we don’t shop in the tourist areas sunscreen can be found for a reasonable amount of money. One more mystery solved (don’t worry, there are many others).

*I wonder if those who sunbathe in the nude include other body parts in the list of sensitive areas worth protecting with zinc. If so that might look pretty funny!


  1. I hear that many use this and it is also a bug repellent – something you will probably need.

    Here’s a glowing recommendation from someone who uses it:

    Cactus Juice is what we use. We buy it by the case. Yes – it is a good insect repellent, and it is an excellent sunscreen – the only sunscreen that I ever use.

    Walker Mangum

  2. But it gets worse. Now that most sunscreens seem to contribute to rather than prevent cancer, what’s a sun worshipper to do? See: and


  3. You will find lots of places to buy inexpensive sunscreen, including no name (literally, that’s the name) brand. Works just as well as the expensive stuff. You will need more of it down south than you do up here, but lightweight, long sleeved shirts and pants can be effective. Not all cloth is sun resistant, check the labels. You will find SPF ratings on clothing which provides protection. WEAR A HAT! One with a wide brim. I’ll have to ask my nudist friends what they do about sunscreen on sensitive areas.

  4. After reading up on which components degrade fast, degrade in when mixed with each other, etc, we switched primarily to clear zinc + hats/shirts. Love it. And it makes my skin soft…you know that diaper rash stuff is made out of zinc oxide too? Good for sensitive skin.

  5. Or worse! I’m not sure the world is ready yet for that revelation!

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