There is nothing better during your sailing holiday than staying in complete relaxation enjoying the rays of the sun and getting a tan day after day that everyone will envy. As in all things, however, even with the sun’s rays you must not exceed and above all living on board for most of the day, and therefore exposed to sun and heat, it is essential to protect yourself with protective creams, use the shade and hydrate yourself sufficiently to heatstroke and sunburn. At first, there is the skin, being exposed to UV rays for too long also brings with it the risk of sunburn. At a later time, there is a risk of injury to the eyes and premature aging of the skin. In the water, mainly due to the reflections of the sun, the risks are even greater. On a dinghy or catamaran, prolonged exposure to the sun is dangerous due to the glare on the water, to which is added the reflection of light on the sails and deck of the boat. Despite the wind and spray, the dangers of the sun are always present. It is therefore essential to equip yourself well
Protect yourself from the sun on boat: The right equipment
To protect yourself as much as possible from the sun, we have prepared a list of equipment useful for sheltering from UV rays and navigating in total tranquility:
- For clothing, it will be important to choose light garments that can protect against UV rays, which still allow feeling the sensations of the surrounding environment. For the lower part of the body, prefer a pair of anti-UV trousers or shorts and for the upper part, a T-shirt or a polo will be fine, both on the boat and on land.
- The head is a sensitive area, which must be covered with a suitable hat, such as a “fisherman” model, a cap with a visor or with a neck cover. In case of strong wind, they must have the possibility to be tied to the collar or life jacket.
- To protect your eyes, wear polarized lenses, capable of filtering UV rays. In these conditions, it is important to choose an index equal to 3 or 4, based on the intensity of the sun.
Protect yourself from the sun on boat: The sun creams
On unprotected parts of the body, it will be important to apply water-resistant sun creams (both for splashes and in case of falling into water). The choice of cream must be made based on the intensity of the sun, it will also be necessary to reapply it every 2 hours.
Choose a good sun cream
First rule: raise the filters. Spreading your face and body with a higher SPF (Solar Protection Factor) is essential during your days on the boat when wind and salt dry out the skin: you need first of all waterproof sun creams, resistant to water and sweat, which defend you in any situation. An excellent cosmetic is a milk: it has a light consistency that dries immediately, without greasing the skin. Don’t forget a full-screen stick to use as protection on the lips or as a barrier in case of redness on the nose, forehead, and cheekbones, the most delicate and sensitive areas. Even a bottle of thermal water can become a great ally: on a boat, fresh water is a precious asset and with this product, you refresh the skin and eliminate a little salt (without any complaints from the rest of the crew!).
Finally, here are some elements not to be underestimated when choosing a sun cream for your holiday:
The coordinates – the difference in latitude in fact greatly affects the strength of the radiation – and the characteristics of your skin. Essential details to choose the protection factor to rely on, remember that the cream should be applied several times during the day (the ideal would be every three hours) and, even more so, immediately after taking a bath, even if the packaging shows the word ‘water resistant’. Be careful not to forget the instep, the ears, the back of the knees, and the nape of the neck: this is where you burn most frequently!
When it comes to sun protection the market is full of endless options. The choice, however, must fall on a cream that suits your skin type, possibly differentiating it between that for the face and that for the body. Facial sun creams in particular tend to be less irritating to the skin and less likely to clog pores. Of course, keep an eye on the expiration dates and replace your products if necessary. It is also important to keep the sun creams away from excessive heat so as not to compromise their properties and duration.
Also, keep in mind that so-called “moisturizers” do not offer the same benefits as sun creams and do not replace them. They can only be used effectively as a complement to a good protective cream.
Sun creams and anti-puncture creams
The two do not work well together, if you put on the sun cream and then a cream against insect bites these will greatly reduce their protective power. If you need to use both creams you must first put the sun cream and after 30 minutes put the anti-stinging one, or use a cream that performs both functions.
The sun creams have a duration of 12 months from their opening. Before using the cream bought the previous summer you have to smell it and feel it in your hands to understand if the weather has changed it. If the cream has a rancid smell it should be thrown away. The first thing to degenerate in creams is the fat that composes them.
The creams last one year if well preserved, fresh, and perfectly closed. A cream left for days in the sun will last a few weeks. How to relieve sunburn.
Despite our efforts to protect ourselves or our children on board from the effects of the sun, it happens that due to frequent water games, excursions and times spent drying on the deck without reapplying the sunscreen, we can get burned. How to solve it? The first step is to try to contain the pain and soothe the skin as best you can. Topical steroids, such as hydrocortisone, helps well when mixed with a gentle rehydrating creme. Antihistamines can also be taken to treat itching and inflammation, but use them with caution as these drugs can induce sleepiness. If the burn is more severe, you may need to see a doctor. You can also use natural gels, such as aloe vera, or natural oils such as jojoba.
Drink to also prevent the risk of dehydration The sun’s rays are when the sky is overcast, so you will need to protect yourself even if the sun is not strong When you are in the boat to risk as much as possible without returning to the problems that may arise in everyday life. The goal is simple: enjoy the moment!