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Don't forget about sun protection, particularly in shallow water where the magnifying effect is at its strongest. Excess UV can actually lead to skin cancer, affecting 80.000 people a year and the number of melanomas has tripled over the last 15 years.
It is estimated that 80% of lesions are caused before the age of 18 so protect yourself and check out smart snorkeler's health tips immediately !
1. Good Sun Protection When Snorkeling
For complete peace of mind when snorkeling, bring out your "Sun Protection" equipment.
Your skin generally gets a hard time from the sun. But during a snorkeling outing, the risks are greater for several reasons :
The sun's rays reflect on the surface of the water and attack you again, from a new angle, on your skin (under your arms, chin, etc.) and your eyes.
While you are looking at sea beds, another danger is lurking: the magnifying effect ! It is generated by the thin layer of liquid that remains on your back whilst you snorkel and amplifies the UV intensity. This happens in the sea down to 25 cm deep. What are the consequences ? In the evening, your skin will feel hot and prickly around your shoulders, your back and thighs...
Cloudy weather ? Protect yourself all the same as there is still a risk of sunburn : 40 to 95% of UV penetrates the water, even through clouds.
2. A Snorkeling Top or a Shorty to Stop the UV
To protect you from sunburn.
To protect your back and your shoulders, think about a UV top, like the Neofun model by Subea. Made of neoprene, This top protects you effectively without stopping you from moving freely. It even makes life easy for you when putting it on, thanks to opening across your tummy!
Which novice snorkeler hasn't felt that painful feeling of sunburn on the back of their thighs that makes it hard to sit down after a lovely day in the water ? Put a stop to it by wearing a shorty that combines a neoprene top and shorts.
3. Full Suit
Keeps you safe from the sun's reflection
Fair skin ? It's best to wear a diving suit that protects your arms and legs from the sun. But also from the cold and possible scrapes on coral reefs.
For an outing in a temperate environment, choose a 3 to 5 mm thick suit.
If you are setting sail for tropical climes this summer, a 1 to 3 mm thick model will be enough.
4. Sun Cream
Don't forget those hard-to-reach areas!
So now you're equipped from head to toe.
But... some zones are still left bare: your face, ears, ankles... Get out your waterproof sun cream !
For better hydration, sun cream is often better than oil. But both should be applied every 2 hours to remain effective.
5. One Last Tip Before Your Snorkeling Outing!
Avoid the hottest time of day to go exploring the reefs (12 noon to 4 pm). It's better all round. The light is actually often softer, making the show on the sea bed even more beautiful. And there are less risks of sun burn.
Your snorkeling bag is now complete. All you have to do now is check out the flora and fauna along the coast, without looking like a lobster at the end of the day !