Do you dream of traveling to exotic locations? Do you wish for the warmth of the sun, the sheer blue of the skies, and mists gently rolling on the ocean water? Do you imagine yourself soaking up the sun sprawled in a lounger beside your loved one? Do you look forward to the excitement of spotting the plume of a whale’s spout or the frolicking antics of a school of dolphins at sea?
Choose an ocean cruise, and you might just be able to combine all these experiences into one exciting package. Many travelers talk about how they love that they can explore different destinations within a short vacation and dispense with the need for hotel check-ins, checkouts, arrivals, and departures. If you’re one of them, then an ocean cruise is possibly the best option for you.
Even as you make the necessary bookings for your vacation this summer, you’re probably reading up everything about the preparations and precautions you must take. And, one of your most important preparations needs to be focused on skin care. That’s because, in addition to the risk of sunburn, you chance signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
Skin Damaging Elements You Need to Watch Out For
While you’re well aware of the need for protecting your skin from sun damage when on the ocean cruise, you also need to watch out for the moisture in the air and the salty spray of seawater. If you have planned on visiting various destinations, do a bit of research on the climate and sun exposure you can expect and prepare accordingly.
In addition to the direct exposure to the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun, you must protect yourself from the sun rays bouncing off the water, snow, or sands when you go offshore to explore the beaches you land on during your ocean cruise. Even if the sky is overcast and cloudy, be sure to use adequate skin protection since UV rays can penetrate the cloud cover.
You might think that spending time in the water can lower the risk of sun damage and cancer. However, the water cannot act as a screen from the glare coming from the sands. As fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Ramin Ram of Beverly Hills, California warns, “Although a cold pool or seawater may soothe the skin, its ability to reflect the UV radiation can even double the initial amount of direct UV light your skin receives. It gets worse when you are near sandy beaches, since the sand also may reflect UV light, even while you are under the water.”
Here’s another factor that few people are aware of. The water in the showers of cruise ships tends to have a drying effect on your skin and hair. And, since you’re likely to buy water for drinking, it is recommended that you invest in bottled water for washing your skin and hair to protect it from drying out on the ocean cruise.
Wow! I Had No Idea
That’s the reactions that most people have. But, by taking the proper steps, you can protect your skin and return from the ocean cruise with nothing but a lovely tan.
Add Sun Protection Foods to Your Diet
A couple of months before you’re scheduled to leave, add sun protection foods to your meals. These foods have the ability to form a protective layer just under the surface, so you have a better chance of preventing the UV rays from causing much damage. Think foods like onions, spinach, lettuce, endives, fennel, carrots, and any others that are packed with beta-carotene. To protect skin elasticity from eroding due to sun exposure, eat foods that are rich in vitamins E and C, lycopene, and selenium. Eating calcium in your food will ensure that you’re protected from skin irritation, flaking, and sensitivity.
Use the Best of Sun Protection
Check with your dermatologist for the best sun protection suitable for your particular skin type and bring it on your ocean cruise. Dr. Ram advises, “”Aggressive and generous applications of water-resistant sun block reapplied every two hours and after the skin gets wet.” He also tells you to choose UV protection bathing suits and other clothing “while you are in the water, which may significantly decrease your exposure to the UV light.”
The best of sunscreens that can shield your skin from the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays will probably contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. and Livingood Chair, Henry W. Lim, MD, FAAD, C.S. says, “The best type of sunscreen is the one you will use again and again. Just be sure to choose one that offers broad-spectrum protection, has an SPF of 30 or greater, and is water resistant.”
When applying sunscreen on your ocean cruise, remember to use it on dry skin at least 15 minutes before stepping out into the sun. You must also reapply at two hour intervals or just after swimming irrespective of the SPF you’ve chosen.
Some Additional Precautions
Keep a close watch on your diet when on the ocean cruise. Stay hydrated with lots of water, and try to avoid high-calorie fatty foods that can cause your skin to breakout by the time you return home. Wear skin covering clothes as far as possible and pack along wide-brimmed smart hats to keep off the sun. Covering up is especially important when you’re going ashore during afternoon hours when the sun is at its zenith. And, avoid using the complimentary products placed in your cabin. They may not be suitable for your skin type, and you absolutely don’t want to risk allergies.
Caring for Your Skin Once You Return Home
Now that you’re home from your ocean cruise pamper your skin with lots of hydration in the form of moisturizers and water. Take cool baths to deal with the sunburn (if any) and talk to your dermatologist for creams you can use to erase sun damage. And, to reverse the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, consider getting a session or two of sound therapy. As the experts at the clinic for Ultherapy in Los Angeles advise, sound waves at specific wavelengths have the power to restore the layer of collagen and elastin in your skin, so you have smooth damage-free skin again.
Ocean cruises can be exciting, memorable experiences that you can have with your partner or family. Just remember to take careful care of your skin, and you’ll have lots of fabulous pictures to show off later.