Best Way To Avoid A Sunburn
Basking in the sunlight is one of the best things to do while at the beach; it relaxes your body and gives your skin a beautiful glow. But if you stay too long under the sun unprotected, you could suffer sunburn that could ruin your vacation.
Lucky for you, we’ve prepared important facts and tips to help you attain that relaxing tropical paradise feeling without the discomfort that comes with a sunburn.
Facts About Sunburn
The best way to avoid getting a sunburn is to understand how it occurs. Getting a normal amount of sunshine can give your skin strength and nourishment, but too much sun exposure can destroy your epidermis, our skin’s outermost layer.
The epidermis is our body’s primary defense against external stimuli like sunlight. This is the part that peels off when our skin gets burnt and the damage is considered a first-degree burn.
A more severe type of sunburn occurs when the dermis, a layer under the epidermis, gets damaged by the sun. This is a very painful type of sunburn that includes blistering and swelling. This takes longer to heal and may need a doctor’s intervention.
There are three reasons that increase your risk of getting a sunburn.
1. Proximity to the equator
Tropical beaches, like the ones located in the US Virgin Islands, are near the equator. This means they receive a lot of sunshine all year round. When fair-skinned people who live in regions with temperate climates visit tropical beaches, they are more likely to get a sunburn since their skin lacks melatonin, the skin pigment that protects against UV-induced cellular damage.
Apart from direct sun rays, you could get sunburnt due to the sun reflecting its rays on the ocean, sand, or even the pool. So even if you are under a shade, the reflection of the sun’s rays can still damage your skin.
3. Cloudy skies
Do not be fooled by cloudy skies; you can still get a sunburn when you are enjoying the beach on a cloudy day. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, clouds cannot fully block the sun’s harmful UV rays. So you have to keep yourself protected from the sun even on dreary overcast days.
4 Ways to Prevent Sunburn
1. Apply Sunscreen
Always apply sunscreen when you go to the beach. Slather a generous amount of sunscreen on exposed parts including ears, feet, neck, and hands. Even your scalp and lips need sunscreen, though you need to use a specific type of sunscreen for these parts. Re-apply sunscreen every two hours. But if you take a swim or are sweating a lot, it is necessary to re-apply every one hour.
2. Wear Protective Clothing
Wearing layers of clothes while on the beach may not allow you to enjoy the sun or the breeze, but your risk of getting a sunburn increases without them. So when you head for the beach, try not to limit the items in your bag to just sun hats, beach towels, and your cool shades. Throw in a cotton long sleeve t-shirt, a polyester surfing top, or any clothing made of materials that offer Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) that falls between 30 to 50 like nylon, wool, or silk.
3. Avoid the Sun’s Hottest Hours
In the United States Virgin Islands, the sun’s heat peaks between July and September. During this time, the afternoons are the hottest and have the highest ultraviolet index. It is safer to visit the beach in the early morning during these months because you get to enjoy a healthy amount of sunlight plus the calm breeze. When the hottest hours set in, you must change to your sun-protective clothing.
4. Avoid Expired Sunscreen
Before heading to the beach, check your sunscreen if it is not yet past its expiration date. Never use expired sunscreen since it is no longer effective in protecting you against the harmful UV rays from the sun.
If you cannot find the expiration date on the bottle, check for any discoloration or change in the consistency of the sunscreen. If the cream or lotion had turned brownish or if the content is hard to squeeze out from the bottle, then it is more likely that the sunscreen’s ingredients have been oxidized and no longer usable.
Your beach experience should be a relaxing one. The clear, sunny sky, along with the tall palm trees and the pleasant sea breeze, should make your time at the beach fun and exciting. Sunburn should not be part of that wonderful experience.
We hope that our tips will help you have an enjoyable summer. And if you want to add more sizzle and fun for your stay in the USVI, hop into one of Sonic Charters’ boat rentals to take you into the scenic spots around the Caribbean. Call us today at (833) 205-9544.