Sunscreen, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, is something that should be worn every day. Unfortunately, most of us don’t follow these strict recommendations. Typically, we tend to remember our sunscreen when we go on vacation to places like the hot and sunny Miami Port. Even then, however, many people with skin that isn’t so fair won’t wear sunscreen. So, if no one’s wearing it and we don’t seem to be really affected by the sun, why bother?

Think About What a Sunburn Means

Have you ever tried to swim in the ocean with a sunburn? Have you ever tried to do anything with a sunburn? Now imagine feeling that way for the next seven days on your cruise. Whether you get big blisters or just kind of pink, a sunburn (or any prolonged exposure to the sun) is your body’s way of trying to tell you something. When you actually have a sunburn, it’s a reaction caused by UVB rays. This is a response you can see immediately. What you may not be able to see, at least not right away, is the reaction your body is having to the UVA rays. The damage UVA rays cause is usually only visible years down the line and it comes in the form of wrinkles, leathering, and sagging. The biggest thing to remember here is that all kinds of over-exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. One in five Americans will developed skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the CDC. The other facts and figures about this disease are even more frightening, and are all good reasons to wear sunscreen religiously.

Even When the Skies Are Cloudy and Grey

So what about when you’re not in direct sunlight or it’s cloudy out or you spend most of the day inside? You still should be wearing some form of protection. For minimal exposure (like a job that keeps you inside all day) you can buy makeup or lotions that have SPF in them. For a job that might have you outside a lot (or when you’re relaxing on your cruise ship that just left the Miami Port) you should be using something with at least an SPF of 15 and you should be applying it every couple of hours. As far as the shade or the clouds go, around 40 percent of the sun’s UV rays make it to your skin on cloudy days. That means you can get a sunburn even when it’s gloomy out.

Forming Good Habits

Probably the most important thing to remember about sunscreen and skin cancer prevention is that most of a person’s sun exposure happens during childhood, according to the Skin Care Foundation. By the time you’re an adult, it’s too late. The site also says that one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. So while your family is sailing around the Florida Keys or playing on the dock at the Miami Port, keep in mind that the habits you’re helping them build now could very well save their lives. Make sure that you and your family are using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Be sure that you’re applying it every few hours and that you reapply after a swim or toweling off. No one wants to spend their entire vacation locked up in their room because they got a burn on the first day out. No one wants to put their children at risk for skin cancer later in life either. So keep your family safe and happy and slap on some sunscreen.