neck gaskets and sun block

The dermologist who freezes abnormal spots off my face twice a year recommends sun block and a Tilley hat. My understanding is that sun block is damaging to dry suit neck gaskets. At the present time I’m using sun block, as neck gaskets are easier to replace than my skin. Is there a sun block that is compatable with neck gaskets, or less damaging than most?

A bandana or silk scarf
over your face? I use a baclava(sp?) that keeps much of my face covered.

Neoprene neck?
Kokatat is making a suit with a stretchy neoprene neck instead of latex. This can’t seal quite as well as neoprene, but if your head is under water for a long time, I’d say you have worse problems than a damp shirt anyway. Has anyone tried this suit? Does anyone think this would be a good option for paddlers who don’t spend a lot of time upside down?

Oil free?
I would think that it is the oil in many sunscreens that is detrimental to the latex. A Google for “oil free sunscreen” turns up a bunch of choices. I would think they might be less damaging to the gaskets. You could conduct a cheap test with some latex gloves.

Sunscreen will not instantly destroy a gasket, so if you wash the gasket with mild soapy water when you take the suit off you should still get many years of service out of if (unless you let Tsunamichuck wear it, in which case the gasket will instantly tear).

The Tilley …
will be damaging to your kewl factor :slight_smile:

Don’t be intimidated. Tilleys are way more cool than carcinomas. Years from now we will just shake our heads and go “Tsk, tsk, tsk” when we see the George Hamiliton wannabes and their skin grafts.


under a Tilley for three years now.

Skin grafts are kewl!!
No tattoos, just sweet grafts all over your face and no Tilley to block them. Come on…

Seriously, skin cancer is a killer, and I have had many pre-cancerous stuff frozen and cut off. But a Tilley? There are other options other than offering up your self respect. Just use a good sunscreen and a bandana and cap. Tilley’s don’t work in the surf zone, or anyplace else you want to feel cool air circulating.


It’s the beard. It cuts the gaskets.

Oil and alcohol are both bad
Both are damaging to latex.

bull frog
I had to test out the theory on a old gasket that I had torn and so I put Bull Frog gel on it several times with no detrimintal effects. I also found this to be the best sunscreen that I have ever used, and I used it everyday when I was In Fla and it saved my skin,

Skin protection, Tilleys, sunblock
Thanks to all who replied.

Bought my first Tilley hat in the first year they were made, bought a second when they made the model with wider brim that didn’t flop down as the first did. Bought them before Tilleys became desirable to one crowd, making them uncool to another. At 59, I’m at the age where I don’t give a damn about my image (hopeless) or the “image” of a product. My consideration is “does it work?” Protecting my face is the first priority. Will look into other sun blocks and try the bandana on the neck trick. Presently, I apply block lightly to face before arriving at put in. I wipe face, neck, nose, and ears to remove any excess just before putting drysuit on. Wash gaskets with soap and water after use and then apply 303. Someday, the way science goes, we will probably be reading skin exposure to 303 causes ----------.


A lot of fuss about tilley’s
Just get a desert-camo. boonie…instant KEWL.

Then strap a knife to your pfd and you’ll be downright intimidating.

Bull Frog contains alcohol…
…so it will damage latex seals over time. I use it myself, so I know what it will do. If you apply it and allow the alcohol to evaporate before putting a seal in contact with it, it should not be a problem.

bullfrog sunblock
Hi Brian,

What type of Bullfrog do you use? There are a number listed. I would guess the waterproof is the one chosen by kayakers.

I did buy the Scion Xb as you probably guessed I would. Early impressions are the ride is on the harsh side, as I noticed when I test drove it. Worse than a Civic (not a good riding car) and better than the Miata I once had. Handling is better than I expected. Good road feel- feels like a sport car- Have not pushed it as I’m still in break in time- suspect the “sports car” feel will quickly turn into drifting wide when pushed in a turn.

Felt ok with one kayak on top- will be trying two kayaks soon. Excellent radio and good speakers. Fun around town (5 spd) and less fun on highway. At 60 the tach is in high 20’s, 75 should be around 3200 rpm- feels and sounds buzzy. Fifth gear ratio is too low, very close to 4th. 1st tank of gas (50/50 local and highway) was 31mpg. 2nd tank was mostly highway with kayak on top, also 31 mpg. Third tank was mostly local and was 32mpg. Good room inside, good standard equipment with drivetrain (abs, tc, vsc) Limited inside compartments, cup holders, pockets and places to stash stuff.

Will update you after a year seeing how it does in snow and transporting two kayaks a distance. At this time I would say very good around town car, less desirable for long commute such as NH to Boston and back each day.


Multiple Bull Frogs
The stuff I use is in silver bottles, SPF 18 and 36. It’s a clear gel that’s very cool when you put it on, but it stings like hell if you get it in your eyes or an open cut, and the smell of alcohol is unmistakable. It’s the only Bull Frog sunscreen I’ve seen, but perhaps they have other formulas.

That’s for the report on the xB. I hope you enjoy it!

BTW, you mention the NH-Boston commute. Do you live up this way?

NH - Boston commute
Hi Brian,

Thanks for the info on bullfrog. I’ll look for the silver bottle.

I mentioned NH to Boston only because I knew you lived in Southern NH and probable go to Boston for work or play. I live in North Haven, CT and my “commute” is to Southern Maine to visit grandchildren.