I am going to Hawaii in about 6 weeks. How best do I prepare myself, to be able to enjoy the water and sun, without getting sunburned?
By Sally from Chewelah, WA
Block Out UV Rays
Cover up. Wear tightly-woven clothing that blocks out light. Try this test: Place your hand between a single layer of the clothing and a light source. If you can see your hand through the fabric, the garment offers little protection.
Use sunscreen. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays. You want to block both UVA and UVB rays to guard against skin cancer. Be sure to follow application directions on the bottle.
Wear a hat. A wide brim hat (not a baseball cap) is ideal because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
Wear UV-absorbent shades. Sunglasses don't have to be expensive, but they should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.
Limit exposure. UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you're unsure about the sun's intensity, take the shadow test: If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun's rays are the day's strongest. Good luck.
And be the most careful on the first days, of course. Maybe toward the end you will have a little more ability to enjoy more time outdoors. Spend a few minutes each day outside without the sunscreen and soak up some free Vitamin D, though!
We did a vacation in SC once fairly early in the summer, and by hitting the beach in the morning/evening only and sight-seeing or napping midday, we had a good time and even my red-headed son wasn't uncomfortable. And the beach wasn't as crowded at those times.
PABA 500 mg. at a natural food store and take 1 tablet a day starting a week before you go, then one daily while you are there. Went to Hawaii years ago and did this. Was the only one in our group that didn't burn, and I have fair, very sensitive skin. One day I did have a pink tinge to my skin, but was gone the next day and tan lasted for several weeks after I came home.
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