Avoiding horrid sunburn 2

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Oregon Coast
39 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I also posted this in snorkeling and scuba but can you all help?
I will be in Cabo,Masitlan,and PV end of June and am planning to snorkel for several hours. I am REALY light complected and wonder how best to avoid the panfull sun burn I got the last time I was in the water (vegas in may) I dont know if a long sleaved tee would be ok compared to a spandex bodysuit or go for broke and bye a full wet suit. I WILL be useing SPF 40 but it always wears of if im canoing of kiaking. Any tips?

Alta & Peter
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Bethpage, LI, New York
3,156 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Last year I bought a sun proof tee shirt to wear while swimming. I burn very easliy and it was perfect for me. But to be honest, I do not remember where I got it, but I do remember someone on this board recommended the site.

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Norwegian Dawn May 23
Las Vegas, Nevada
5,582 Posts
Joined May 2002
I would suggest that you hit the tanning salon for about a month-6 weeks before the cruise and lay down a nice brown layer before the cruise.

I am very light skinned and freckled and this has saved many a vacation for me....not like the old days when every vacation was ruined by my severe sunburn.

I don't tan year round, just for a few weeks before a cruise/vacation, and it works like a charm.


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I Agree with hitting the tanning beds, I don't like them And I don't lay in them to get a golden brown. But I do lay In them for short periods of times 3-4x's before I go to help with the sunburn and use good sun block.

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Melfa, VA USA
487 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Bullfrog sun screen, It doesn't come off in the water!

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Pearland, TX
360 Posts
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I usually burn as well, but did the tanning beds last time and no burns. I did wear sunscreen just to be sure, and when snorkeling I usualy wear a t-shirt if I am going to be out very long; a little extra insurance just to be sure!

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Riverside, CA USA
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Joined Dec 2002
I don't just burn, I crispy critter!! But I've learned a lot over the last few years:

A white t-shirt only offers an SPF of 4, when it gets wet it's a SPF of 0!

Sea & Ski has a 75 SPF called Ultra (I get it at Walmart), I used it this past weekend while snorkeling in Cancun and it worked fantastic! No sunburn at all, but I did get a little bit of a heat rash while touring Tulum. A dose of Benadryl and I was fine! I also have a light weight scuba suit ( I think they call it a spring suit, I don't dive) that I've been using when we go sailing. After almost being hospitalized several years ago due to sunburn, I don't take chances anymore!

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I think Hawaiian Tropic makes a sunscreen called "Ozone." It comes in a silver bottle. It's supposed to be tough stuff - spf 70 or so I think.

I like Banana Boat Sport (I think they have super-sport or something like that as well.) It's water/sweat proof. And you can tell when you put it on because it's crazy thick .... but it works!

Carnival Glory 5/22 - Western
379 Posts
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Don't forget your head! Banana Boat also makes a spray for your hair and scalp that works great and makes your hair feel great as well!


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Many people I know swear by Bull Frog sunscreen. Other waterproof sunscreens work fine like sport coppertone, you just need to keep putting it on throughout the day if you are going to be in the water aloteven though it says waterproof. It also helps to put the sunscreen on ~ 30 minutes before you get out in the sun.

I always thought that a T-shirt was good protection from the sun while in the water, but maybe not. When snorkeling and only wearing a T-shirt I have burned my buns a couple of times and would recommend wearing a pair of shorts if you are going to be out there all day.

Depending on the water/air temperature a wet suit may be too hot. A skin suit (fairly thin)would work, but may be a bit pricey just for the cruise. Don't forget a good wide brimmed hat for the boat/beach to cover the back of your neck.

I am not a fan of tanning beds. In fact with only 7-8 minutes in a 20 minute tanning bed I've burned terribly. Everyone is alittle different, so it might work for you.

Sara b
14,481 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Our Sam's has the "shorty" wetsuits for only $29 if you want to go that route.

We usually have more luck with the sunscreens that say "sport", like Dr. O mentioned. They stay on real well.

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Dallas, TX
3,863 Posts
Joined May 2002
When you get a tan from a tanning bed, this is your skin's way of telling you that you have damaged it (same with real suntan). Plenty of studies have shown that tanning beds are not a good thing to do to your skin. But a really severe sunburn can also put you at high risk for melanoma.I guess you should weigh those risks; just don't assume a tanning bed is any easier on your skin than laying out in the sun for a short time with no sunscreen. If you are that fair, I would not recommend a tanning booth. That said, I am half Hispanic, and in spite of applying 50+ sunscreen when I am on the beach or outside, I still get very brown=sun damage. I always wear a hat because I don't need any more wrinkles than I'm already getting just by aging, and the sun/tanning beds does speed up that process. Do you have a dermatologist who could advise you on clothing options or who could recommend a particular sunscreen that won't come off frequently?
Allentown, NJ USA
401 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
We're leaving Sunday for the Caribbean.
I asked my doctor today for sunscreen advise. (We have a 7 year old who got burned last time wearing 45 for 2 1/2 hours in St. Maartan.)
She advised using products which include the ingedient "parsol". This will counteract the
itchy rash of a bad sunburn. I checked, my Coppertone 45 has it and I hope it works!
Atascocita, Texas
4,809 Posts
Joined May 2003

There are more,just do a google of UV Protective clothing,these are my favorite..

If you are going to do a Tan bed.Oly 5-7 min max first 2 times ..increase as needed.(that info is for the OP,not a statement on regular tan time)

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[This message was edited by brn2crz on 04-08-04 at 11:39 PM.]
Erin, Ontario Canada
27,122 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Thanks brn2crz for the great links and ideas!
I too am fair and after burning badly once in Florida, now I usually hide under trees for shade from the sun.
So on our upcoming cruise I was looking for ideas - some good ideas posted here.
I already own a Tilley hat and Tilley shorts (I love camping, and they're great for that(actually Indestructable). Anyway, I don't know if you have Tilley down in the states, but you could look them up: www.tilley.com
They have a store we go to in Don Mills (ontario)

Grandeur of the Seas
1,265 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
If your face really burns even after taking care to carefully build a base tan and using high octane water proof sunscreen that you frequetly reapply, oh by the way apply 20 minutes or so BEFORE you get in the water, you can always get zinc, now it comes in nice bright colors to cover your nose and cheek bones, (face) and that totally blocks out the rays.http://www.zinka.com/zink2.htm

winter springs, fl
2,154 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
buy the stuff that's made for babies it's waterproof and has a spf of 65


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