Maui’s sun is INTENSE and sun protection isn’t fun, but leathery skin, premature aging, and Melanoma are very real possibilities for those of us who live here. It’s something we all have to think about unless we want to have leathery arms, wrinkly faces, and faded tats.
I know one very nice, bald instructor who has sun burns on top of sun burns, on the top of his head. I don’t know why he doesn’t do something to prevent further sun damage.
Diving is a good way to get out of the sun, but only during the dive. The problem is the surface intervals and gearing up/down can add up to a lot of time in the sun; AND IT ALL ADDS UP! In addition, sunscreen washes off in the water and if applied too close to a dive and it can wash off into your eyes, making for a miserable dive. Here are a couple of easy things you can do to protect yourself from the suns harmful rays:
Wash-in treatment for cotton shirts are easily available on the internet. It is easy to apply and stays in for most of the life of the shirt. It can make your Maui Dreams shirts excellent sun shields. I have used it and recommend Sun Guard brand treatment.
Hats are mandatory!! Something with a full brim to help cover the tops of your ears and yourneck are best. Cotton bucket hats can be washed easily, to keep them clean and sweat free. In fact, being bald myself, I always carry two, including one as a backup in my vehicle just in case I forget to bring one with me. I also use a neoprene skull cap when diving to keep the sun off my head while doing surface drills. This beats a “perma-burn” that some other instructors experience. Clothing with built in UPF protection is available from multiple sources from Volcom to Mountain Hardware, to Coolibar. I personally like the white long sleeve synthetics to help keep cool, when out in the sun.
Sunscreen: If not diving, I recommend a sunscreen with at least a SPF 60 rating. La Roche-Posay makes a very good one – Anthelios 60. This is skin friendly and fragrance free. If you are going to go diving, we have a Non-Toxic (for sea life) SPF 45 sunblock in “Dreams Central” called Reef Safe. It is SPF 45 and is water resistant for 80 minutes.
REMEMBER, the best way to keep having in the sun is to prepare to be out in it. Burns are no fun and they don’t have to be a part of visiting or living in Hawaii.