When you're boating
skincare is important

Boating skincare. Two words you don't often think of together, right? While out on the boat this summer, I took note of how important it is to protect your skin from all the potential hazards of being out on a floating craft in the water. Here are some of the elements to keep in mind.

  • Sun. The sun of course will beat down on you. Most boats are white in color, so laying out on the deck and sunning on a white surface is akin to being on the ski slopes in winter. The sun’s rays bounce off the white, reflecting the rays right on to your skin. Don’t forget your sunglasses!

  • Wind. As your boat or jetski zooms across the water, you will notice the windy conditions caused by the speed. Windburn can occur, so be sure to keep your skin hydrated to combat this. Also, remember your lip balm. Lips can chap quickly when exposed to wind and breezes.
  • Fumes. Gasoline and diesel engine fumes coming from the boat are not healthy for your skin. Try a sailboat or catamaran, or maybe windsurfing for a change.
  • Alcohol. It’s often party time when you’re out on the boat. This usually includes alcohol. Remember to drink plenty of water, too. Alcohol will dehydrate you and deplete your skin of its vital nutrients, speeding up the aging process.
  • Mold and Mildew. Every boat, no matter how carefully maintained will get a case of mildew eventually. It is one of many forms of fungus, a very primitive plant form which feeds on other plants and produces microscopic seed-like spores that float freely around the boat’s cabin. These spores are always present, but it takes just the right conditions to encourage their growth. Unfortunately, the ideal conditions for mildew are in a dark, damp location like a boat, for example. If mold or mildew is inhaled or if the skin comes into contact with it, skin rashes or dermatitis can occur.
  • Spray. Watercraft generate spray as they bounce through the waves, misting your skin with water which most likely contains pollutants. Fresh or Salt water can harbor mycobacteria and vibrio. When the contaminated water comes into contact with cuts or open sores, the bacteria gets into the skin. Mycobacteria can lead to tuberculosis and leprosy in some cases. Vibrio can cause cholera when ingested, but it can also cause skin infections. I have a friend who to this day is leery of the water after suffering through a nasty and long-lasting skin infection after swimming with an open wound.

    Saltwater is not all bad, though. It is full of amino acids, mineral salts, vitamins, and living microorganisms that produce antibiotic and anti-bacterial effects for healthy skin. It can help to rejuvenate the skin by exfoliating, detoxifying and promoting cellular regeneration. Studies have shown the saltwater even helps to resolve skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. So, take a swim or two if you don’t have any open sores. I did not do much swimming towards the end of summer due to a couple of Bull sharks being caught not too far away from where we go boating.

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