We’ve all been there; you’re out enjoying yourself on a fabulous holiday, soaking in some sunshine, relaxing, and looking around you at the wonderful things – not thinking about whether your skin is burning. Bali is, according to TripAdvisor in March 2017, the top tourist destination in the world, and the island has a lot to offer. It’s part of an Indonesian province, and being close to the equator, enjoys an even climate throughout the year, averaging temperatures of around 30 degrees C (86 degrees Fahrenheit). While this means you have a good chance of encountering beautiful weather, it also means you need to think about protecting your skin, especially if you plan to be outdoors in open spaces for large parts of the day. Even on a cloudy day, high UV levels can penetrate the clouds and burn you.
Skin damage from sunburn is an enormous health risk, posing both short term discomfort and potentially long term problems. Getting burnt is a sure way to put a damper on your holiday, no matter how great it might be – sunburn can be extremely uncomfortable and last for days, causing prickling, soreness and even blisters, followed by itching and peeling. It’s not exactly the most attractive look for your holiday snaps either, and certainly not a part of the holiday you’ll be wanting to look back on. In the long-term, it can have detrimental effects on the look of your skin, and increase your risk of skin cancer – definitely something you should make real efforts to avoid.
It’s especially important if you attend to do one of the many retreats in Bali as I did because often you are outside in the sun for many hours. So having proper sun protection is even more important.
Protecting your skin is simple and quick, so it’s certainly worth doing before you head off to enjoy your day. You should be using a sunscreen of at least SPF15 (sun protection factor), with a four star UVA rating. Remember to reapply after swimming, and once every couple of hours, especially if you’re out of doors. Try to choose a sunscreen with environmental credentials, particularly if you’re planning to be in the water; Bali has amazing aquatic life, and many sunscreens cause pollution. Also bear in mind that being tanned is not enough of a protection from the sun alone, and you should still make an effort to use sunscreens.
Another way to protect yourself from the sun is through your clothing choices; try to choose clothes which will cover as much of your skin as possible (go for loose options if it’s hot), and use a scarf to protect the back of your neck. You could also consider wearing a sun hat, and going for sunglasses with UV protection. Remembering to give your skin a break from the sun, particularly in the hottest parts of the day, is very important, even if you have taken all these precautions.
While sunshine is essential to our well-being, it’s vital to take care of your skin, particularly when you’re in an environment which your body isn’t used to. These steps are a great and simple way to ensure you can enjoy your holiday without damaging your skin by over-exposing it to the sun.