8 Ways to Prevent a Sunburn

While most people like to be tan, no one likes a sunburn. And the biggest phenomenon when you are first out in the sun is how fast the burn comes on – even if you slather on gobs and gobs of sunscreen with level 50 protection every fifteen minutes. That sun is a mean, sneaky rascal! But it’s a sneaky meanie we love because we look so darn good (we glow and appear thinner) when we’re tan. That’s a fact.

So how do you prevent a sunburn and still enjoy the sun? Consider these options.

1. Avoid peak sun hours. One of the best ways to prevent a sunburn, and still get a tan is to go to the beach or pool early in the morning before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m. But even then, depending on where you are in the world, the rays can still be harsh. So this is the first, basic rule, and probably one of the very best techniques for sunburn prevention.

2. Ease into it. For your first day on the beach, limit your time in the sun. Painful, we know. You want to serve up all your ghostly, white flesh to this almighty star (yes, the sun is a star), but if you can, hold yourself back. Better still, maybe spend your time at the spa getting a massage first before you get a burn. This way, you won’t have someone kneading your burned skin trying to help you relax when all you want to do is scream. All this, of course, does not go without heeding the next rule of sunburn prevention.

3. Slather, slather, slather. Sunscreen, that is. It doesn’t really matter what kind of skin you have, or if you stay in the shade – the rays still bounce off the sand and onto your skin. So when you go to the beach, put on buckets and buckets of sunscreen to prevent a sunburn.

4. After getting wet, reapply. We know it’s a pain. But water does what water naturally wants to do – it removes particles from your skin. Some products may tout the fact that you don’t have to reapply after swimming. Don’t believe them. Reapply anyway. You’ll be happy you did.

secrets st. james beach view jamaica
(Secrets St. James beach view, Jamaica, photo by: instagram.com/aircon2006.)

5. Apply sunscreen EVERYWHERE. This means your ears, hands, palms, feet (especially here), the back of your neck, under your arms…everywhere. And if you’re on a clothing optional beach, we do mean everywhere. (This, um, “everywhere” is where you’ll especially want to prevent a sunburn.)

6. Don’t forget your scalp or lips. Rub some oil or sunscreen in your hair. It’s easy to skip over our scalp – it’s covered by hair (for some of us.) But that’s what’s under there – skin. Vulnerable, tender, baby skin. Also, your lips – slather them, as well, with loads of lip balm with sunscreen already in it. You don’t want burned lips to interfere with relishing all the tantalizing tropical cuisine.

pueblo bonita sunset beach los cabos mexico
(Pueblo Bonita Sunset Beach, Los Cabos, Mexico, photo by: S. Daniels.)

7. Stay covered. Floppy hats, umbrellas, cover-ups or shirts. We know it kind of defeats the purpose of going to the beach – you just wanted to get some sun, right? Though these looks are not so sexy, it just makes good sense to make sure when you are starting to get burned to grab your clothing article and head for the shade. We know this is one of the most un-fun ways to prevent a sunburn, but trust us, it works.

8. Know your skin. If you have darker skin, you most likely tan easily, so you probably can be more carefree in the sun, but don’t overdo it. If you’re fair, you probably should sit under an umbrella most of the time. If you’re somewhere betwixt and between, err on the side of precaution. Limit your times and ramp up your sun exposure.

Moderation in excess. Use protection. When it comes to sunburn prevention, these are the two ground rules, as well as the aforementioned, that undergird not having the feel of fire all over our meat suits after a day at the beach. Summer, and life, is too short for that.

Now, if you’ve already done the deed, and are in the throes of suffering from too much sun, see 9 Fail-Safe Sunburn Remedies.

If you haven’t overindulged in the sun, and are craving some beach time, dial 1-800-915-3162 and one of our savvy Beachologists can set you on on a sunny dream escape in no time. If you want to check out the lay of the sand yourself, just go here. Don’t wait. We’re here to do everything can can to help you find your place in the sun.

Lisa Mitchell

I am a blogger for CheapCaribbean.com who is a travel junkie and addicted to the beach.

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