It’s been feeling like spring for a while now here in the Lowcountry and you can see athletes all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston taking advantage of this GORGEOUS weather. Whether it’s going for a run on the beach, kayaking or playing outdoor sports, those of us who love to move are taking our business OUTSIDE! Nothing is better than getting fresh air, taking in the sights and of course, getting a dose of Vitamin D.
But with all of this great outdoor activity comes great responsibility. And what we’re talking about fellow DUFFNATICS, is SUNSCREEN. While the first dose of sunshine always feels like the start of the season, that does NOT mean that getting an early sunburn is okay.
FEELING THE BURN
According to PopSugar, “Your skin is extra sensitive to the sun’s rays at first, especially if you have pale skin, but that doesn’t mean you should just let it burn. Just to remind you, any amount of sun exposure poses an increased risk for the development of skin cancers and accelerates the aging process, but sunburns, especially repeated sunburns, pose an even stronger risk. So make sure to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply it every two hours to prevent sunburn and keep your skin protected at all times.”
SkinCancer.org recommends that you “Buy a high-quality product with an SPF of 15 or higher; check its ingredients to make sure it offers broad-spectrum protection; and decide whether it works better for everyday incidental use or extended outdoor use. Finally, look for The Skin Cancer Foundation‘s Seal of Recommendation, which guarantees that a sunscreen product meets the highest standards for safety and effectiveness.”
THE SWEAT FACTOR
We get it, putting on sunscreen is messy and when you workout, even messier. That can be a huge reason why people tend to skip the screen and go for the burn. But according to Active, wearing sunscreen “can actually improve your performance by protecting against burns and keeping you cooler in the heat.”
So with that in mind, we culled our favorite fitness resources to find the most popular, most effective screens for working out:
- Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense SPF 50+
- L’Oreal Invisible Protect Clear Cool Lotion SPF 30
- Coppertone Faces
- Coppertone Sports High Performance SPF 30
- Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport SPF 30
- Neutrogena Wet Skin Spray SPF 30
- Coppertone Sport Stick
- Watermans Aqua Armor 50+
- Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen SPF 50
- NO-AD Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
- Coola Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 – Tropical Coconut
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Lotion Spray for Face and Body
And while sunblock helps protect us from the sun, it’s not the end-all-be-all for athletes who workout outside. The Active Times explains, “It’s a little bit scary to think about, but according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and many top dermatologists, we shouldn’t be relying on sunscreen as our first source of protection from the sun. ‘The consensus among scientists is that sunscreens alone cannot reverse this trend,’ the organization recently pointed out in their 2015 Guide to Sunscreens. Instead, the EWG reports, it should be just one tool in your arsenal when it comes to keeping your skin safe from the sun. In fact, they even go so far as to say that “sunscreen should be your last resort.” Instead they recommend wearing UV protective shirts, shorts and hats. Check out these resources for suggestions (and purchasing links!) to great UV protective fitness gear:
- Health Magazine “These Cute Clothes Have Built-In Sun Protection”
- The Today Show “SPF You Can Wear! 11 Stylish Ways to Add Sun Protection This Summer”
With all of the new advances in sweat-friendly sunscreen and fitness-friendly workout gear, there is no reason we should avoid the sun when we exercise!