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Boating and skin care: seven tips for boaters

Summertime and boats go hand in hand. There is nothing like a breeze off the ocean, lake, or river to cool down a hot summer day, and when that fails, a dip in the water will usually do the trick. Whether it's a yacht cruise, canoe trip, or fishing expedition, boating is a fun way to spend the day.

Let's hope all these yachters are wearing their sunscreen and spending most of their time under the awnings and canopies ir indoor compartments rather than getting full sun with no hats!
Let's hope all these yachters are wearing their sunscreen and spending most of their time under the awnings and canopies ir indoor compartments rather than getting full sun with no hats!
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.
Even on an overcast day, you get plenty of sun on a boat!
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.

However, regardless if it's a bright, sunny day with a UV index of 9, or a cloudy day, the sun is going to effect the skin unless it is a night-time boat ride.

In fact, on a boat the sun is also reflecting off the water, off any white decks or paint, off any metal and glass, and off other reflective surfaces. That is why it is important to cover up on a boat, whether you are 17 or 71. Sunglasses, hats, and other cover-ups are a must, as well as wearing a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen on your hands, face arms, legs -- anywhere that is exposed to the sun.

Even under canopies and awnings, while hats and cover-ups may not be necessary, it is a good idea to keep reapplying sunscreen because of the reflection factor.

As important as putting sunscreen on is remembering to reapply it after you get in the water or perspire. Sunscreen breaks down in the sun so it is important to reapply it every couple of hours to keep it fresh and active.

Sun damage is a leading cause of wrinkles, brown spots, melasma, acne, and skin cancer, so especially when out in the full sun where it is reflecting off water the skin needs to be protected. Here are some tips for boaters:

  1. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen and carry it with you
  2. Reapply every time you get wet or perspire
  3. Reapply frequently, every couple of hours or so
  4. Wear a hat with a broad brim all the way around to protect the face, ears, and neck
  5. Wear sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB protection
  6. Try to find or bring some shade to help block the sun
  7. Wear light-weight long-sleeved shirts and long pants for maximum protection

If you have questions about sun damage, sunscreen, skin care or this article, email me.

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