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Our skin generally gets a hard time every once in a while. Blame solar radiation. When we are exposed to the sun for a longer period, we get a suntan or worse, we catch sunburn. Snorkeling can make our skin even more vulnerable to destruction. 40-95% of UV rays can still penetrate the water, even during cloudy weather. And the best skin-destroying time of the day is 12 noon, especially during sunny days. So, are we to avoid snorkeling at this time? No need to. There are a lot of ways to protect our skin. Read on.

Protect Yourself from Sunburn while Snorkeling

1. Wear full suit aka rash guard

This would help you stay safe from the reflection of the sun. Diving suits protect your arms and legs from the harmful effects of global warming. It would also help you stay away from possible scrapes from coral reefs. 3-5 mm suits are ideal for mild temperatures while 1-3 mm thick ones are enough if you are snorkeling on a tropical island in summer.

Rash Guards while Snorkeling

Photo by Tropical Snorkeling
2. Sun creams or sunscreen should be used for hard to reach areas

Even if you have a wetsuit to protect you from head to toe, areas like nape, ears, ankles and most importantly, your face are left bare. Expose those areas to the sun and they might get burned up. Invest in a waterproof sun cream or those who have 50 or higher SPF. It is highly recommended compared to oil to keep your skin hydrated. Also, please choose sunscreens that are not harmful to the corals (coral-safe sunscreens).

3. Wear a cap or a headscarf

There is something else from your body that might awfully get burned while you are out there in the water. This may not be a very common occurrence but scalp sunburn is real. This is because your head is out of the water most of the time. A wet scalp can get burned a lot faster compared to other parts of your body. And scalp sunburn is not only painful but dangerous. You will get prone to heatstroke so avoid this at all cost. The solution? Wearing a cap or a headscarf. A headscarf is more recommended for women. Most importantly, choose the 3-in-1 type.

4. UV shirt and shorts is another alternative if you choose not to wear a wetsuit.

It has a word wide standard, which means the material used for these shirts restricts 95% of the UV rays to penetrate on your skin. These shirts can be found on major brands you can find online and in malls.

UV shorts can be used as well to match the UV shirt (although a full suit is highly recommended).

5. Protect your lips

Your lips need protection, too! Buy a lip balm that has SPF 30 or higher.

6. Choose to swim and snorkel earlier than 12 noon

12 noon is the hottest time of the day (up to 4:00 pm). Avoid snorkeling during these times because your skin is more susceptible to sunburn, especially when it is exposed too much. Also, the UV rays from the sun are reflected most strongly. So, choose to swim and snorkel earlier than 12 noon, if possible.