Sun, Sand and Sea without a Sunburn!
Are you looking forward to your next summer holiday? Have you packed your new bikini and snorkel set yet? Thinking about what beach bag to bring?
Here are a few more things to consider when packing for your trip!
Getting a tan…
If you are living in an area where summers can be cold and rainy (as in The Netherlands for sure) you are probably just as happy as I am when the sun is out and you can get a tan and some vitamin D! Tanning is not the best for your skin, you probably know that, but it is a form of fashion / a status symbol as well in countries out of the tropics. Body lotion and face creams containing bronzing ingredients. The funny thing is that it works the other way around in the tropics, the whiter the better. Especially in countries like Thailand it can be quite hard to buy body lotion or face cream without whitening ingredients… Working outside in the sun is a sign of lower income – not the high income status for being able to afford a summer holiday. Other than ‘status’ and ‘fashion’ there is a health risk involved in tanning as well; sun burn, skin aging and skin cancer due to UV radiation.
Water and sand reflect sun rays / UV radiation, meaning that your body will receive more UV when you are in and around the water so you will get a sunburn more easily when snorkeling. Especially when snorkeling people can float around looking at the most amazing fish for a long time without realizing their skin gets burnt.
UV clothing instead of a T-shirt!
Off course, wearing a T-shirt is not really helping here. The fabric (cotton) is too thin to protect the body properly, even dark colored T-clothes do not block UV radiation properly – you still need to use sun screen underneath it.
UV clothing, or actually UV protective clothing is what you want to be using and put on your children. A UV-shirt or rash guard blocks the UV radiation equal to UPF 50+ Sun Protection. It is breathable, quick drying, light weighted and soft on your skin – perfect for snorkeling. Another great benefit of UV clothing is that it also protects your body from stingers like jelly fish or corals and anemones.
There are so many different kinds of UV clothing that is has become a shopping adventure by itself. You can buy UV T-shirts, long-sleeves, zipper jackets, pants with different lengths and full suits. Nowadays you can get them in all colors and prints but also in more loose fitting. No wonder this is getting more and more popular. Sbart has fashionable rash guards for sale! Especially the ones with zipper and convertible length are easy for snorkeling and beach days, even for fitness and yoga. Release the cord to change your top in to a dress. Check out the super cool collection here! (link http://www.diveoclock.com/shop/long-sleeve-rash-guard-for-women)
Wear a buff or scarf on your head!
For bald people it might be quite obvious that you need to protect your head against the sun as well. With longer hair a cover protects hair lines from sun burn as well, plus your head loses heat more quickly with a wet cloth and this can prevent headache. A buff or a scarf, preferably something with UV protection, also prevents water getting in your mask (because of hairs trapped inside your mask) and hairs strapped around the rubber mask strap.
Use Coral reef safe sunscreen!
What would you like to see underwater? Colorful reef, corals and fish probably! A healthy reef is colorful and amazing to look at! Sunscreen is a coral killer, did you know that? Chemical ingredients in sunscreen can kill or bleach corals when it washes off scuba divers, snorkelers and swimmers. Ingredients like Oxybenzone, Butylparaben, Octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor are harmful for corals. Corals are living animals, not rocks, and when they die they turn white. Healthy coral is not white. To help saving the reef you can buy coral reef safe sunscreen. Cover your skin (as mentioned above) so you need to use less sunscreen in the first place. Then buy coral reef safe sunscreen without these harmful ingredients. Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream 2.9 ounce (87ml) is one of my favorites. You can get it here. (link http://www.diveoclock.com/shop/badger-sport-sunscreen-cream-ounce). If you have to use other sunscreens, use only waterproof ones and apply it at least 15 minutes before you enter the water to wash off as little as possible.
Avoid sun peak hours and see more fish!
Between 10 AM and 4 PM the sun’s UV radiation is the strongest, so you get a sun burn more easily. Avoid those sun peak hours to prevent sunburn. What is even better news, is that a lot of marine life is more active early morning and late afternoon. This is because of changes in tides, water temperature and (day) light). You are more likely to spot squid and reef sharks for example. This is called diurnal vertical migration and one of the reasons you don’t see fisherman fishing at mid-day – there is less fish in the shallow part of the sea…
So, I guess a little bit of shopping might be all you need to get ready for some snorkeling fun on your summer holiday!
If you want more snorkeling tips you can read my post: 10 snorkeling tips for your summer holiday (http://www.diveoclock.com/blog/Snorkel_tips/)
Have a great summer holiday!