There is a reason why so many famous travel destinations are warm all year around. A bright sunny day is always a welcome sight, even if your vacation does not revolve around days at the beach. However, the sun also damages your skin, and it is typically more harmful to people who come from regions with colder weather. In other words, to the exact type of people who love taking vacations in tropical destinations.
If you want to make sure you won't return from your trip red as a shrimp and shedding skin, here are some tips that will help you stay safe from the sun.
1 - Follow recommended sunscreen protocols
Yes, it can be annoying, but there is no getting around it. If you want to get the most effect out of your sunscreen, you need to apply it at least 15 minutes before you leave the house. It takes some time for the sunscreen to properly set and become fully active.
Sunscreen should cover every part of your skin not covered by your clothing, including your face, neck, ears, and the tops of your feet. And you should wear sunscreen even when the day is cloudy, as clouds won't necessarily stop the harmful UV radiation. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours for maximum protection.
2 - Choose the right sunscreen
On top of applying the sunscreen correctly, you also need to be smart about which product you choose. While cheap sunscreens can help prevent sunburns, if you are worried about skin cancer, you need broad-spectrum sunscreen. These are typically graded to protect you against both UVA and UVB radiation. And you should pick waterproof sunscreen so water and sweat won't wash it away as you go about your day.
It's also wise to look into local regulations before you go, as some regions either suggest or require that visitors wear eco-friendly and reef safe sunscreen. Hawaii has recently banned the use of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, for example.
3 - Protect your lips
Wearing sunscreen on your lips is possible, but entirely unpleasant. It's easier to protect your lips by wearing lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen. Staying hydrated will also help stop your lips from getting chapped.
4 - Go for accessories
A big hat and a nice pair of shades won't just look good on your social media profiles. They help protect your body and eyes from the sun. And if you are not going to take a dip in the ocean, you can wear long-sleeved shirts made out of light fabrics. Those will reduce your sun exposure without making you sweat all over the place.
Bear in mind that cheap sunglasses often offer no real protection to UV light. The safest option is to get your sunglasses from the same places where you'd get prescription glasses in your country, and specifically tell them that you want lenses with UV protection.
5 - Watch when you go outside
The sun is often at its harshest between 10 am and 4 pm, which is also peak hours for the amount of UV radiation in the atmosphere. That's a 6 hour period where you should stay inside as much as possible if your goal is to avoid being damaged by the sun.