Best Suntan Lotion for Equatorial Cruises Like Galapagos Islands

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Suntan Lotion for Island Cruises

A cruise is one of those few luxuries that never gets loses its appeal, but there’s one thing many people overlook when planning a trip out to sea – sunscreen. Choosing the right sunscreen for your cruise comes with a lot of considerations. For instance, how high should the SPF be to protect your tattoos? Is your favorite brand “ocean-friendly”? How often should you reapply for different activities? If you’re thinking of going on a cruise in the near future, here’s a few tips on what you should look for in your suntan lotion to have the best experience possible.

Selecting SPF

Suntans on Cruises
Suntan Lotion for Galapagos Islands Cruises

SPF is available in various levels from as little as to to as much as 100. Naturally, most people’s instincts will be to pick the highest SPF, assuming it offers the most protection. In reality, though, higher doesn’t always mean better.

For starters, no sunscreen will have 100% effectiveness at blocking UVB rays no matter how high the SPF is. The fact of the matter is that, for every increase in the SPF value of a sunblock, there’s an equal decrease in the amount of protection it offers. For instance, SPF 30 will block about 97% of UVB rays from hitting your skin, while an SPF 50 will block only 98%.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that those with average skin wear an SPF of 30 for maximum protection on an average day. You might require more or less protection depending on your location and the time, though. You can find this information in the UV index rating for your location. As most cruise destinations will have naturally high UV index ratings, make sure to apply liberally for the most protection.

If your children will be on the cruise with you, it might be wise to buy them a different sunblock for personal use, as there are other factors to consider when finding the right formula for kids. The SPF level, your child’s sensitivity to sunblock, and how easy it is to apply are all factors worth considering. You may even wish to consult with your pediatrician for the best results.

Waterproof Or Water-Repellent

Given the fact you’re on the ocean, a sunscreen that won’t wash off in water is vital to keeping yourself from roasting. What kind should you choose, though? There are certain products labeled as “waterproof” while others are marked as “water-repellent”. Shouldn’t they be the same thing? Or, if not, what’s the real difference between the two?

There is a difference, and it’s pretty important. Waterproof sunscreen last about 80 to 90 minutes while fully submerged in water, while water-repellent (sometimes called resistant) only last for around 40 minutes. This can change based on brands, but these are the general rules.

Ultimately, which you choose will depend heavily on how long you expect to be in the water for any stretch of time, as well as any additional features a specific brand might have.

Biodegradable Sunscreen

Biodegradable sunscreen is require on some beaches, as contact with the ocean will inevitably cause some of the chemicals in the sunscreen to leak into it. If these chemical don’t naturally break down, they risk contaminating the water and hurting the sea life. If your sunscreen isn’t biodegradable, you may not be allowed to participate in certain activities while on your cruise.

UVA or UVB Protection

Certain types of sunscreen offer certain types of protection. Different brand will shield your skin from UVA, UVB, or both types of sun rays. Too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation of either variety can cause wrinkles, premature aging, sagging skin, or skin cancer, making sunscreen crucial for more than just preventing burns. Look for a brand labeled for “broad spectrum protection”, as that will protect you from both types of radiation.


Now that you’ve got the knowledge necessary to pick the right sunscreen for your needs, you can enjoy your cruise vacation to the fullest. Just remember to select a brand with at least SPF 30 protection, that’s ocean-friendly, protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and is appropriate for the amount of time you’ll be in the water, and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is having fun.