Sitting in the cozy warmth of my house in a blizzard makes me dream of travelling south! I recently linked a RYOT video on my Facebook page about the harmful effects of sunblock on marine life. So here’s some tips for both you and the dolphins for sunny destinations this winter.

  1. Use a self-tanner for 2 weeks before you head south.  Self-tanner provides a base layer that helps protect skin from sun exposure. Tanning beds increase premature aging of skin and risk of skin cancer from UV rays.
  2. Find a self-tanner than isn’t full of toxic chemicals, and for smooth, even coverage mix it with your body lotion to spread evenly over all areas of the skin.
  3. Once in the south wear a hat.  It’s pretty hard to put sunblock in your hair! But you can protect your hair with leave-in conditioners or serums that protect it from the sun.hat-1494041_640
  4. Wear sunglasses.  Not only do they protect your eyes, but they help prevent wrinkles caused from squinting.  Get UVA/UVB lens protection.
  5. Protect the environment and your skin with chemical free sunblock.  Look for mineral-based sun protection SPF 30 or higher. Sunblock is meant to sit on top of the skin so don’t rub it in, and apply often, especially after swimming or exercise.
  6. Avoid sun exposure between 10:00am and 4:00pm.  Find some shade, take a nap, or go shopping. If you’re on your honeymoon…..
  7. Be extra cautious of sun exposure while taking certain medications, like some anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, blood-pressure medications, or chemotherapy drugs. Consider clothing with sun protection if you are particularly susceptible to burning.  There are light-weight clothing brands with UVA/UVB protection you can wear right over your swim suit.
  8. Stay hydrated in the sun. And, sorry, but alcohol doesn’t count! Alcohol actually dehydrates, so maybe add some water in every other round at the swim up bar.  Don’t drink from plastic water bottles.  The heat of the sun leaks chemicals from the plastic into the water, which you ingest. And too many plastic bottles and lids end up in the ocean.  Take a refillable container with you and carry it around.
  9. Look into eco-tourism destinations where you footprint won’t be so heavy, and the scenery will be breath-taking.
  10. Once home protect your tan with continued hydration – drink water, and use moisturizer on the skin daily.  You can also prolong your tan by using self-tanner at home to keep that sun-kissed glow most of the winter.