If you are going to live in Florida and especially if you are going to live the boat life, sun safety should be a top priority. You’ve probably loaded up on sunscreen supplies for the boat, but remembering to actually apply it regularly is where you can end up in some serious trouble. A sunburn is no joke on your health and it’s easy to get after a long day on the water.
While you’re busy thinking about life jackets and emergency supplies, be sure to take the time to focus on sun safety for everyone on board. Here is a look at some of the facts that you need to know about sunblock, skin cancer, and your health.
Why sunscreen is vital
Sunscreen is so vital for our skin because the sun contains such harmful rays. While these rays are good for providing Vitamin D, our ozone layer is depleting and the sun has become more dangerous because of it. You’ve likely noticed the increase in skin cancer and premature aging skin from those that spend too much time in the sun. Sunscreen can help prevent these things, as well as facial blotchiness, skin discoloration, and brown spots.
You’ll get your Vitamin D in about 30 minutes of regular outdoor activity or through your diet, which means you don’t need to go without sunscreen to get it.
Sun damage in excess
Sun damage is so common for boaters because they are getting more sun than anyone else in Florida. Not only is there the direct Florida sun, but you’re getting the reflection from the water as well. It can become excessive for your skin and eyes after a few hours on the water which is why sunscreen is so important.
Excessive UV rays can cause skin cancer, wrinkled skin, discoloration, and more. If you are on medication, you are more likely to get a sunburn or sun damage, especially for anti-inflammatory or acne medicines.
What types of sunscreen to choose and avoid
Part of using a good sunscreen is understanding the proper application. You should choose a sunscreen between 30-50 SPF since the higher ones don’t protect your skin as well. An SPF30 will give you 97% of the protection of the higher SPFs.
For the application, you should use one ounce for every two hours and don’t forget to reapply every few hours. Even on a cloudy day, you should be applying your sunscreen. Cover every part of your body, even your scalp, and your feet. Watch out for spray-on sunscreens that miss spots on your body and don’t inhale them since they could be harmful to ingest. These spray sunscreens go everywhere too and can permanently damage the vinyl in the cushions.
You should also avoid expired sunscreen and deceptive sunscreens like the waterproof or sports sunscreens that claim they won’t “sweat off”. You are safe however to choose a natural alternative, such as a tinted mineralized zinc and titanium oxide formula. Don’t forget that clothing, hats, and shade are also great forms of sun protection to go along with your sunscreen.
While you may love the feel of the sun on your skin while on the boat, it’s important to remember that sun in excess is dangerous. Remember these tips next time you go boating and most importantly, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every few hours!