First off, I've never been tanning in my life and don't particularly care to. However, my mom keeps telling me that if I don't tan before we go on our cruise, I'll burn because of the sun down there. I'm a midwest girl (i.e. no suntanning except for summer) and have a fair complexion so I usually burn anyway.
In your experience, should I tan and try to build up a base with the hopes of preventing sunburn or should I play it safe and use lots of my 50+ spf sunscreen?
I start tanning about 6 weeks before my cruise. I'm a fair skinned redhead and burn very easily. Once I'm in the tropics I still use 45 SPF and limit my sun time, otherwise I still burn. Make sure you bring a hat and a coverup with you if you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun.
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I've noticed a huge difference if I tan at least a month before the cruise, and thats just once a week for 20 minutes, although you may need to start out with just 10 minutes the first few times. Then the week before we go I go 2 times and I never get that bad burn I always did before, so YES, do a few sessions before you cruise and see the difference...You will still need to use a sunscreen once you are down there, just be careful and sensible.
I'm also fair skinned . . . ok, I'm paisty! I will tan about 3 weeks before the cruise. The last time we went, my DH burnt to a crisp and my tan just got darker. I'm usually the one that burns. It not only helped me keep from burning, I felt a lot better about walking around in shorts.
I will usually go tanning every other day or so for just 10 minutes. The key is to go slow. Don't try to get a golden tan in the first 2 visits, you'll probably end up burning. Use a good indoor tanning lotion. After the first week, I will increas my time to 15 minutes. Once you've been in there once or twice, you'll get a feeling of how long you can stay without getting burned.
and on the other side, i have cruised many times and i do not tan in advance. I am fair-skinned with light eyes and i do burn easily. I just wear my SPF45 sunscreen, sunglassess and hat. I limit my sun exposure the first day or two- i won't be baking out in the sun for hours on the first day, that's just asking for a sunburn, and i always wear my sunscreen, i change to a lower SPF(15) about midway thru the cruise once i have a nice base tan.
I'm a red head and didn't burn on my cruise. Just used spf 50 (highest I could get) and made sure I put it on when needed. When I went snorkeling I wore a t shirt over my swimsuit just to be careful. I came home looking just the same as I left with no pretanning.
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This is our first cruise but we go to Mexico every year to an all-inclusive. We start tanning about a month beforehand. We are sun-lovers but burned our first time out when we didn't do the pre-tanning. We even used the higher end sun-block and still burned so....we used the up-right tanning bed. Its 2-9 minutes and you are done. We go two or three times a week and have a great base and never had a burn since. Good luck!
I went tanning for a couple of weeks before my last cruise and it was a good thing I did. On our second day we went to Roatan and rented a scooter for the day. It was raining in the morning, so I didn't think to put sunblock on. My legs and the back of my neck were bright red that night. If I had already had a base, I know it would have been a lot worse, probably blistering.
As you can see from all of the previous posts, everyone has their own method. One thing I can think of is from a report I saw on sunscreen. Make sure it is not old, has not been overheated (left out in the sun) and that you apply it FREQUENTLY. Our first cruise we both tanned before going. Second time I used the bronzing products for color before we left and the sunscreen while in the sun on the cruise. Last time I got a little lax on it all and got a heck of a sunburn while we were snorkeling. If you don't feel comfortable tanning, or don't want to spend the $$ tanning before your cruise, get fresh SPF tanning lotion and apply it frequently. Our Pediatrician told us that any SPF over 40 is all the same.
I agree with Tasha.... I don't go to the suntanning beds prior to going down to the Caribbean or Mexico etc...
I am white white, freckles, red hair etc... I just don't tan at all even in a tanning bed, I do freckle though.... alot. For a while I even thought maybe I would get so many freckles that they would blend together and I would look tanned... Nope I just looked freckled.
I've finally gotten to the point in my life where I feel okay with not being a tanned goddess like everyone else. I use sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses and I come home looking exactly the same as when I left.
It just really annoys me when people tell me I look unhealthy because I am white. I'd rather be white than have skin cancer.
Just my opinion.. but I think pasty white skin is cool! : )
I too am a red head with white skin and freckles. Burned and peeled most of my childhood, stayed away from the sun in my adulthood and have just discovered "Spray on Tans". The ones done by professionals. I only did it once.....so far, but wow, it was quite a difference and it actually melted in my freckles. It doesn't last long, about a week, but I was a tanned goddess for a whole week!!!
There is not really a "safe" way to tan, you know. Sun is just plain bad for your skin. Even though as a teen and young adult I BAKED all summer, I have abandoned tanning as an older adult.
Being a strong outdoor girl, I don't avoid the sun, just try to be reasonable about exposure. Apply sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses, but above all - HAVE FUN on your vacation!
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I was a lifeguard back in high school and would get very tan every summer, for about 3 summers in a row. I'm now in my mid 30's & have had to have a mole removed, luckily it wasn't cancerous but it was severly dysplastic. I asked my dermatologist if it would be benefitial to tan before going on cruises and she said that UV rays are UV rays no matter if you're getting them from the sun or tanning booth, so she said no. I wear sunscreen 45 for the first half of the trip and then drop down to 30 for the second half. I do tend to tan rather fast and don't usually burn, which helps. Just thought I'd share my story with you.
Stay OUT of tanning beds!! Take the sunscreen & stay covered. Ask a dermatologist about tanning beds (&sun) I had to use a chemo cream on my face last summer for precancerous cells. It peeled the skin off my face, it blistered, it bled, it was a very ugly red, it hurt, I had to wash my raw face before putting the cream on & oh it burned! I had to go to work with NO makeup looking like that. I had a pregnant girl in a store back away from me!! Doctor couldn't give me time off, it was a vanity thing. I am not a tanning addict anymore! I will go to the dermatologist before the cruise and get the spray on tan
I am tanning (my cruise is in 3 weeks) and its not bad, i only burned a little bit (im very fair skinned) but now im just building a tan, the tanning bed i'm going to is good, and i don't go every day like they say to, i went the first day and burnt a little so i skipped a day or 2 until it was gone then i went again and skipped two more days and then went and increased my time, it is working out good, and i'm not too worried about precancerous cells because this is the only time im actually tanning, but anyways, i haven't gone in to tan my face yet, i put moisterizer on in the morning and it has an spf of 30 and my makeup has an spf of 15 on top of that and it has lasted all day so i havn't tanned/burnt my face yet..... I normally peel when i burn really good, but so far even though i burned i havn't peeled... interesting, and i like it haha
Not sure if this is allowed......... but......... check out dermik.com (find the lovely pictures). My problem went back from years an years of tanning, not just one season. When I was a kid, they didn't stress sunscreens like they do now. But.......... is your body, do as you wish ) I just hope this makes some parents think about using sunscreens on their children. I don't hide from the sun all summer but I don't do the bronze goddess thing anymore Skin cancers are not just on the face & there is no 'good' tanning bed GL
I can understand where you are coming from! I am devoted to sun screen now as an adult, but can remember burning and peeling as a child.
I have 4 younger sisters who are into tanning beds and laying in the sun for hours with no protection, just Panama Jack! Although they are are all younger than I, they look at least ten years older. All only in late thirties! Leathery skin, etc.
I have tried to caution them but they like to tan and think it's useless to take a trip down south if you come back as white as when you left. That was my usual color.
My mother has had many cancerous nodes removed from her face and has finally started to cover up and use a hat.
I wish my sisters would learn from this but...................
The good news is "Spray on Tanning". I am so glad companies found a safe alternative. The truth is, I do look better tanned, than not. Vanity was just not worth my life!