Extreme sun! How can I protect myself?

I will be living on a boat near the equator for 6 months. I use elta MD SPF 40 on my face, but will still burn if in the sun mid-day for several hours. What sunscreens do you recommend for my face & body? I will have to be on deck 4 or more hours per day in the sun.

The sun – especially at mid day at the equator – is brutal.   A sunscreen like the one above while good for every day use in temperate climates is NOT enough for use at the equator on a boat.  This is what I did in the Galapagos a few years ago. 

Let’s go from head to toe:

  • Head: A full brim hat that has ventilation and possibly a back neck flap
  • Face:   Double sunscreen with a sweat proof sunscreen and put the Colorscience Powder over it
  • Neck:   A neck gator – also goes by neck vizor, sun dickie, sun mask etc – buy on Amazon
  • Upper body:   Try getting surfer rash guards and just wearing them, if possible.   Provides complete protection and much faster than sunscreening everything.  If not, wear a sun protective shirt and sunscreen any exposed parts.
  • Lower body.   If you can wear long, very light pants or long shorts and sunscreen the rest.  Don’t forget your feet.

Go to some of the sites where you have guides working in these areas year after year.   They know what to wear!    See, for example, the National Geographic Trips site. More on sunscreens.

Hope this helps, Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!