Drowning in Suncream

This is my latest haul …

Our Northern European guests often bring hand luggage only, with limits to 100ml bottles of liquids, so they buy big bottles when they get here and then leave them behind. These are all within date and barely used and it seems such a waste to throw them away. The Husband and I don’t use much since we are shade-loving creatures and anyway too busy running the Airbnbs to sunbathe!

I’m thinking of putting a selection of different factors in a basket in each bathroom suggesting guests help themselves if they like. Obviously some people have their favourite brands but apart from that can anyone see a reason why not? I would, of course, clean the bottles and the tops.


Nope! Sounds like a good plan to me.

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Absolutely! Waste not want not!

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You might even want to mention in your Listings that you have enough sunscreen to last until the end of the 21st century, so PLEASE feel free to use up top-quality stuff other guests have left.


That’s exactly what I do - but on a shelf, not in a posh basket. :slight_smile:

I explain to guests during the house tour that they’ve been left by previous guests and it seems that many guests do use them so they’ll get used up eventually. I think that they’re appreciated.

I also get guests who leave aftersun stuff too - I have many bottles of aloe vera.


And insect repellant … though our midges are so vicious I use most of that myself!


I supply it. I want guests to know that we have man-eating mosquitoes around here. And if I point it out during the house tour I can also mention that it’s a really bad idea to leave the outside door open in South Florida or you’re going to get the little buggers in the house.

Also, I don’t want guests to have any bites at all anywhere on their body so they can’t start any bedbug scam malarkey… :slight_smile:


Sounds like a great plan. When you accept their reservation remind them that you provide sun screen so they don’t have to worry about packing it in their suitcase. I would even post the picture you posted here on your site as an amenity.


We’ve been doing this since we started. I tell them we USUALLY have leftovers - enough to get them started and they can get more in the grocery in town a day or so later. Then I tell them to confirm with me how much we have shortly before they arrive - just in case we’ve run out.
The challenge here is that as soon as you tell them you have sunscreen and insect repellent, they’ll stop buying their own - and you’ll run out sooner or later. Those later guests will arrive to an empty cupboard, and be disappointed.

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I’m so glad people don’t think it’s a yukky idea and good thinking to let people know ahead of time that we have it. Though as @PitonView says, it means we’ll eventually run out … but no doubt supplies will soon build up again next Summer!

I wouldn’t. I would encourage guests to inform themselves about the problems common sunscreen chemicals are creating for coral reefs:

Skincare Chemicals and Coral Reefs Common chemicals used in thousands of products to protect against harmful effects of ultraviolet light threaten corals and other marine life.

This from NOAA, so it’s valid scientific information.


Now that is a fair point. I recall the warning signs at Xelha (lagoon with great snorkeling) on the Yucatan against sunscreen.

It would not be a bad idea to let guests know that sunscreen is fine for plain old sunbathing but if they plan to snorkel/dive, it’s much better to wear a rash guard shirt or even a T shirt + boardies.

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Definitely a good idea, given how much the branded stuff costs here!

We’re more of a touring destination, so not so many folks leave it.


@NordlingHouse, Your post makes interesting reading. Actually, although we’ve lived most of our long adult lives in hot countries, we ourselves (gasp!) rarely use sunscreen, preferring to accustom our skins to the sun during winter/Spring and keeping to the shade in Summer.

However, I really don’t think it’s my place to lecture our guests on ecological dangers, valid though the info may be. In any case, a) they won’t listen and will go out and buy the sun cream anyway and b) if they do they are adding to our plastic waste since they’ll then leave the bottles here!

@PuppyLover, it’s not really snorkelling/diving country here, it’s more lounging by the pool sipping sangria country …


Presumably they’re in the bodegas all day, so not really needing sun protection?

That’s what I thought! I did think I found some Costa Brava diving options but maybe they are quite minor.

Thank you for posting that link. Very informative. I’m going to start using a uv shirt. I’m horrified by the degradation of the reefs I visit. Not much left to see anymore.

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Absolutely a great idea to offer this as an amenity. I provide sunscreen already because it is not an item I want to be hauling around when I travel there for my own vacations.

Re SKEETERS :slightly_smiling_face: Our area is desirable for being usually mosquito free among many reasons (it takes a rare prolonged rainy season for that to be the exception). I grew up in a swampy climate that breeds them and I as a result am never without Witch Hazel.

Douse cotton ball, hold on bite, itch gone.

In a spritz bottle for massive amounts of bites. Bonus soothing if the soaked cotton balls are kept in a zipper baggie in the fridge.

Inexpensive to stock in the rental if mosquitoes are endemic. I have a bottle in the cabinet at that house anyway because hubby is ridiculous sensitive to bites/stings of any sort.


Great advice - thanks! I hear tea tree oil is soothing, too.

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Thank you! I’ll try that as soon as I can. I love sitting outside but at this time of year, the mozzies seem to think I’m dinner. Usually by around this time of year I get immune to their bites but next spring the new lot comes back stronger and meaner than ever. :slight_smile: