Sunscreen tips for athletes and spectators

You are going for a run or to watch your kids play soccer/baseball/tennis/water polo…… or any other outdoor sport. Do the kids have sunscreen on? Do you have sunscreen on? How can you both be protected?

A little bit of info about the outdoors: The sun’s rays are most intense and can harm your skin between 10am to 4pm. If you can schedule your activities before or after, that’s a good start.

The key to sun protection, is before you go outside, make sure you apply sunscreen, then get ready to go. Maybe before breakfast, so by the time you eat, get organized or pack everything up, it will take some time. That time, will give the sunscreen at least 20 minutes to activate and bond to your skin. As you are competing and/or excising, make you you remember to reapply, as this is another safety factor that people forget. As I’ve said for years: Don’t be Shy to Reapply!

If you are one of the spectators, find some shade if it’s available, trees, awnings or building whenever possible. If you know there is little shade, maybe bring your own, such as an umbrella or portable tent.

Maybe you are a skin cancer survivor, or a fair skinned individual with family history of skin cancer, than UV apparel is an option or must have. A wide brimmed hat is a good safety product and of course sunscreen.

What type of sunscreen you ask: organic (chemical) or in-organic (mineral). A Dermatologist said it best to us 20 years ago, buy a sunscreen that you will USE! Make sure it’s broad spectrum protection (uva/uvb) and don’t be shy to reapply. It is best to reapply every 2 hours especially after vigorous activity or sweating, but even as a spectator, reapplication and save you for a very uncomfortable evening of burnt skin. An SPF 30 or SPF 50 blocks out a minimum of 96.7% UVB and make sure there is a UVA ingredient (Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide) in the product.

Now, go out and enjoy the sun!