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Sun Protection in Hawaii


Sun Protection in Hawaii: 10 Ways to Stay Safe from Nasty Sunburns

Sun protection in Hawaii is very important for anyone considering a Hawaii vacation. Most of the tourist attractions in the Aloha State involve beaches, the ocean, hiking, and other outdoor activities…and that means lots of exposure to Hawaiian sun.

Whether your Hawaii vacation is a day or a week, sun protection in Hawaii is one of your top priorities.

Here are 10 tips for sun protection in Hawaii:

1. Wear sunscreen with a high SPF rating.

Not all sunscreen is created equal.

You may be able to get away with SPF 15 in most other climates, Hawaii’s tropical sunshine doesn’t play games. Consider wearing SPF 30 or SPF 50. If your skin is particularly sensitive, it’s a good idea to wear something even stronger.

2. Reapply the sunscreen after taking a dip in the water.

Many sunscreens claim to be waterproof, but they can still wear off after time in the ocean.

Reapply liberally to the most exposed areas.

3. Apply your sunscreen to every body part you can think of.

There are plenty of easy-to-forget areas on the human body, and the last thing you want is a sunburn in a particularly sensitive spot.

Here is a checklist of body parts that are easy to forget:

  • Ears
  • Feet
  • Calves
  • Behind the knees
  • Inside and outside the elbows
  • Lips

4. Find things to do inside during the hottest times of the day.

The sunniest times of the day are between 10 am and 3 pm, which makes these hours the worst for sunburns.

You’ll always be able to find things to do in Hawaii that don’t involve direct sun exposure…even if that means relaxing in a bar with a Mai Tai.

5. Wear sun shirts and other clothing with high SPF ratings.

Most clothing actually doesn’t offer that much sun protection, so look for clothes that do.

There are several companies that create protective sun shirts, for use in the water or out of the water. O’Neill, Billabong, and other swimwear companies create rashguard shirts that offer 50+ UV protection factors.

For protection on the land, look for apparel with high SPF ratings, by companies like Coolibar or Columbia.

6. Apply lots of sunscreen and reapply often.

If you apply too little, then you can miss a spot, so don’t be stingy when you do apply sunscreen.

Also, clothing, swimming, and sweating can all wear away sunblock, so make sure to reapply as much as necessary. Your skin is worth it.

7. The shade is your friend.

Direct sunlight burns quickly, and even if you’re wearing sunscreen it can be hard on your skin.

You can always find shaded areas near beaches, from bars to cabanas to umbrellas.

8. Wear hats.

It sounds like common sense, but many who take Hawaii vacations don’t follow this simple advice.

The best hats are those that offer UV protection and cover the back of your neck. Look for wide-brimmed hats or, if you really want to stay protected, ball caps that have sun skirts and sun shields – the flaps that cover your neck and face.

9. Stay protected, even when you’re in the shade.

As mentioned, avoiding direct sunlight goes a long way to preventing sunburn.

On a tropical island such as Hawaii, though, the sun’s reflection can still hit your skin pretty hard. Always wear sunscreen and keep your skin protected, even when you’re not in direct sunlight.

10. If you do get burned, treat your skin right.

Don’t be surprised if you miss a spot one-day and wake up with a patch of lobster skin the next morning.

Treat burned skin with aloe Vera, shower with cold water, and consider other topical treatments to alleviate the pain. Most importantly, keep the sunburned area protected at all times.

Whether you’re taking a short Oahu tour or an extended vacation around all the Hawaiian Islands, sun protection in Hawaii should be one of the most important items on your checklist. As long as you follow these basic tips, your skin should stay safe and you’ll be able to enjoy your Hawaii vacation…without getting burned.

Please remember popular Hawaii tours and Hawaii activities tend to sell out frequently. We highly recommend making reservations well in advance.